Maths

If you have any further enquiries, please email Mr James Prout, Head of Mathematics, at proutj@salesiancollege.com

Why study Maths?

Mathematics is central to our understanding of the world. In order to develop knowledge of the structure of DNA, it was necessary to build the mathematical model of the double helix. The designs of modern Formula One cars and supersonic fighter planes are the results of refined mathematical analyses. In sport, mathematics is used to study and improve the performance of athletes.

Even the food we eat reaches us because of the applications of logistics to transport networks.

Mathematics is for you if you are considering a scientific or technical degree. Mathematics is also for you if you would like to study economics, history, computing…. It can be teamed with almost any other subjects. Choose it because you enjoy solving problems.

What does the study of Maths involve?

Mathematics is a set of inter-linked tools for modelling the real and complex world into sets of simplified systems that can then be studied in order to derive answers to real problems. The tools are studied in Pure Mathematics, which is the kind of Mathematics you have studied so far, at GCSE. At AS and A Level, these tools include, however, the study of Calculus (Integration and Differentiation), which are about the ways in which changes occur and the rates at which they happen. Series and Sequences are studied, because these are also tools to understand, classify and generate evolving patterns. Algebra and Trigonometry are important tools for expressing and manipulating the models. Mechanics is the mathematical analysis of physical situations, and Statistics is much more interesting at A Level.

Why at Salesian College?

Choose to do Mathematics at Salesian College and you will have small classes, personal attention and encouragement. The Mathematics staff are all extremely well qualified and dedicated, and enjoy their sixth form lessons. The department’s results year on year are outstanding. Once again for A Level we had 100% pass rate of which 78% were at least B grade.

What does the course involve?

The subject is very flexible. You can do one A Level or two (the second one is Further Mathematics: this goes further than the single A Level, obviously). Two thirds of the A Level is Pure Mathematics and the rest is Mechanics and Statistics. Mechanics complements studies in Physics, Biology, Physical Education and Technology. Statistics is very useful with History, Biology, Economics, Geography, Psychology and almost any other "ology" you might consider.

The course at Salesian College is the Edexcel A Level. The AS consists of paper 1 in Pure Mathematics (2Hrs) and paper 2 in Mechanics and Statistics (1Hr total). For A Level there are paper 1 and 2 in Pure Mathematics (2Hrs each) and Paper 3 in Mechanics and Statistics (2Hrs total). There is NO coursework or non - calculator examinations. It is a requirement to have a graphics calculator.

Skills required

To choose Mathematics, you should have done the HIGHER Tier at GCSE and we strongly recommend you have gained a grade 7 or above. The exam board stipulates this. If you are keen to take Further Mathematics,it should be from the basis of a grade 8 predicted grade at GCSE.

What the Maths Department offers in teaching and resources

The Mathematics Department is located in its own suite of dedicated classrooms. The department has a wide range of resources to support its students, including excellent graphical ICT hardware and software which you will receive guidance on using. The department has an excellent record in helping its students, and staff are generous in giving their time to assist students on an ad hoc basis, as well as giving revision days and running a daily Mathematics Workshop. This was highly praised in the school inspection. The Mathematics department was highlighted by the previous Inspection for being well run, and for the support to its students.

What is expected from Maths students?

We do not study Mathematics because it is easy, but because it is challenging. Students choose to study Mathematics do so because they enjoy solving problems. When difficulties are encountered, we expect students to be pro-active, and our experience shows that the most successful students are those who seek assistance.

What can an A Level in Maths lead to?

Studying Mathematics gives kudos. The subject is highly regarded by universities because the ability to perform in it demonstrates capability of organized and analytical intelligence. There are many areas of Mathematics at degree level, including financial mathematics such as the world renowned MORSE degree at Warwick University. Logistics, once known as Operational Research, is an increasingly important field of study. Many degrees have a mathematical component, such as the many kinds of Engineering (Statistical, Bio-Medical, Genetic, Mechanical, Computer Engineering, to name but a few), Hydrology, Physics, Economics … There are many more. Several other degrees require Mathematics, such as Engineering, Veterinary Science or Dentistry. Other degrees such as Computing or Medicine may not insist on Mathematics at A Level, but having it will save students having to do a Mathematics module in the first year at university.

Whether you are considering one of the above pathways to your future career, or another, the Salesian College Mathematics Department wants you to study Mathematics here. We have put a great deal of time into your development, and look forward to helping you in your A Level.

At Salesian College we give our Mathematics students A Level of support and attention that is unequalled in any other establishment.