Mathematics is becoming a very popular course at Poole High School and it is regarded as a facilitating subject by Russell Group universities. As well as traditional areas of study the new specification includes working with a large data set and the use of programs such as Excel.
Studying involves discussion, individual work, note-taking and independent research. Success in this course depends as much on hard work as ability and a high degree of self-motivation is required.
Students will study pure maths, which includes algebra, trigonometry and calculus; these are essential skills for all areas of mathematics. The applied topics are divided into statistics and mechanics. Statistics is a major part of the course and involves drawing conclusions about real life by gathering and analysing information. It supports subjects such as biology, economics and business studies. Mechanics is the mathematics of structures and movement. It supports other subjects such as physics and design and technology and includes topics such as forces and Newton’s laws of motion.
Students will develop their knowledge of all the above areas; in pure maths they will solve problems which bring together several techniques and will learn to prove results that they have been using. In statistics they will develop their knowledge of hypothesis testing, calculating whether or not there is evidence that a change in conditions or situation suggests that a probability or mean has changed. In mechanics students will apply methods from pure maths, such as calculus and vectors, to work with more complicated models of situations.
There are three exams, each 2 hours long. The exams are Pure Mathematics 1, Pure Mathematics 2 and Statistics and Mechanics.
Future Opportunities and Careers
Mathematics is a highly regarded subject and opens up unlimited career possibilities. There is statistical evidence that people with mathematics A level earn significantly more than those without it. Mathematics degrees contain a broad range of disciplines; other related degrees are statistics, computing and combinations of these. Mathematics is a useful qualification to have if you want to study accounting, sciences, engineering, economics, business studies, medicine, architecture etc. Several of our students have gone straight into engineering apprenticeships.