A Level Maths/Further Math teaching?

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bandai1972
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Hi there! Posting on behalf of my daughter whose just started year 12 at her high school 6th Form. She’s decided to take Maths, F Maths and Physics with a view to an Engineering Degree in the future. She’s wondering if she’s made the right decision about staying on at her school 6th Form so we went to look at a local 6th Form College in Friday. Both have good reputations and similar grade outcomes I think.
One thing we found out is that at her current school they teach maths and f maths separately for the two years. At the college they teach A Level Maths in Year 12 so for 6 periods instead of 3 and sit the AS in it at the end of year 12. In Year 13 they then teach Further Maths for the year and then at the end of year 13 sit both A Levels separately. Not being a mathematician myself I wondered if anyone could tell me the pros and cons of both ways and if there is a better way? Thanks so much for your help! Just want her to be happy ultimately in a place she’ll enjoy her time at and do as well as she can.
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vix.xvi
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dont hv much info on this but ill bump this up for u
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tiny hobbit
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(Original post by bandai1972)
Hi there! Posting on behalf of my daughter whose just started year 12 at her high school 6th Form. She’s decided to take Maths, F Maths and Physics with a view to an Engineering Degree in the future. She’s wondering if she’s made the right decision about staying on at her school 6th Form so we went to look at a local 6th Form College in Friday. Both have good reputations and similar grade outcomes I think.
One thing we found out is that at her current school they teach maths and f maths separately for the two years. At the college they teach A Level Maths in Year 12 so for 6 periods instead of 3 and sit the AS in it at the end of year 12. In Year 13 they then teach Further Maths for the year and then at the end of year 13 sit both A Levels separately. Not being a mathematician myself I wondered if anyone could tell me the pros and cons of both ways and if there is a better way? Thanks so much for your help! Just want her to be happy ultimately in a place she’ll enjoy her time at and do as well as she can.
If you teach all of A level Maths and then all of A level Further, you can be sure that topics can be taught in a sensible order, i.e you're not having to hurriedly teach a bit of second year Maths in order to be able to teach a bit of first year FM. Against this you have to balance the fact that some of second year A level is harder than some of first year FM.

I like the idea of not taking A level Maths until the end of the second year even though it has been taught in the first year. The second half of A level Maths will be used a lot in FM so won't get rusty before you take the exam.
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mnot
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(Original post by bandai1972)
Hi there! Posting on behalf of my daughter whose just started year 12 at her high school 6th Form. She’s decided to take Maths, F Maths and Physics with a view to an Engineering Degree in the future. She’s wondering if she’s made the right decision about staying on at her school 6th Form so we went to look at a local 6th Form College in Friday. Both have good reputations and similar grade outcomes I think.
One thing we found out is that at her current school they teach maths and f maths separately for the two years. At the college they teach A Level Maths in Year 12 so for 6 periods instead of 3 and sit the AS in it at the end of year 12. In Year 13 they then teach Further Maths for the year and then at the end of year 13 sit both A Levels separately. Not being a mathematician myself I wondered if anyone could tell me the pros and cons of both ways and if there is a better way? Thanks so much for your help! Just want her to be happy ultimately in a place she’ll enjoy her time at and do as well as she can.
I took these 3 A-levels and went on to study mechanical engineering. Further maths is by far & away the preparation you can do for an engineering degree.

I took the approach the college takes of learning all of A-level maths in year 12, then all further maths in year 13. I only did this because it was the way my local comp did it and it was easier (for me) to stay at the same school.

I dont think it makes a great deal of difference tho, the piece of information I would look at is what percentage of students get A+A* in maths & further maths at each school (and also the A*AB percentage). This will give you a rough idea of where you are most likely have the best shot at top academics, which will open more doors after A-levels.
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Dancer2001
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I took Maths in year 12 and further maths in year 13. I personally liked it best this way because I wasn’t that confident with a lot of maths topics compared to others in my maths class, and the straight maths year gave me time to catch up.
For example, AS maths starts with expanding brackets and AS further maths starts with complex numbers. When I started year 12, I genuinely wasn’t confident enough with coordinate geometry to understand the initial further maths topics, and probably would have quit pretty soon if we had to do it that way.
Like someone else mentioned, it also means the topics will be taught in a sensible order, without having to jump around. It also means she will definitely be in a maths class with other further maths students at the same level.

On the other hand, some people would argue that taking the maths exam a year early is risky. If she got a bad grade, it would disadvantage her when applying to universities, even if she’s planning to resit in year 13. Getting a good grade means she has one A level out of the way though, which will give her more confidence.
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bandai1972
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(Original post by Dancer2001)
I took Maths in year 12 and further maths in year 13. I personally liked it best this way because I wasn’t that confident with a lot of maths topics compared to others in my maths class, and the straight maths year gave me time to catch up.
For example, AS maths starts with expanding brackets and AS further maths starts with complex numbers. When I started year 12, I genuinely wasn’t confident enough with coordinate geometry to understand the initial further maths topics, and probably would have quit pretty soon if we had to do it that way.
Like someone else mentioned, it also means the topics will be taught in a sensible order, without having to jump around. It also means she will definitely be in a maths class with other further maths students at the same level.

On the other hand, some people would argue that taking the maths exam a year early is risky. If she got a bad grade, it would disadvantage her when applying to universities, even if she’s planning to resit in year 13. Getting a good grade means she has one A level out of the way though, which will give her more confidence.
Thanks that’s really useful.. she would study the full A Level in Maths at the end of year 13 but only take AS Maths in year 12. So end end of year 13 take ALevel Maths and F Maths exams if that makes sense.
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bandai1972
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(Original post by mnot)
I took these 3 A-levels and went on to study mechanical engineering. Further maths is by far & away the preparation you can do for an engineering degree.

I took the approach the college takes of learning all of A-level maths in year 12, then all further maths in year 13. I only did this because it was the way my local comp did it and it was easier (for me) to stay at the same school.

I dont think it makes a great deal of difference tho, the piece of information I would look at is what percentage of students get A+A* in maths & further maths at each school (and also the A*AB percentage). This will give you a rough idea of where you are most likely have the best shot at top academics, which will open more doors after A-levels.
(Original post by mnot)
I took these 3 A-levels and went on to study mechanical engineering. Further maths is by far & away the preparation you can do for an engineering degree.

I took the approach the college takes of learning all of A-level maths in year 12, then all further maths in year 13. I only did this because it was the way my local comp did it and it was easier (for me) to stay at the same school.

I dont think it makes a great deal of difference tho, the piece of information I would look at is what percentage of students get A+A* in maths & further maths at each school (and also the A*AB percentage). This will give you a rough idea of where you are most likely have the best shot at top academics, which will open more doors after A-levels.
Thanks for the really helpful advice, it really does help.
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bandai1972
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(Original post by tiny hobbit)
If you teach all of A level Maths and then all of A level Further, you can be sure that topics can be taught in a sensible order, i.e you're not having to hurriedly teach a bit of second year Maths in order to be able to teach a bit of first year FM. Against this you have to balance the fact that some of second year A level is harder than some of first year FM.

I like the idea of not taking A level Maths until the end of the second year even though it has been taught in the first year. The second half of A level Maths will be used a lot in FM so won't get rusty before you take the exam.
Brilliant thanks for this, really useful advice
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DFranklin
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(Original post by bandai1972)
Thanks that’s really useful.. she would study the full A Level in Maths at the end of year 13 but only take AS Maths in year 12. So end end of year 13 take ALevel Maths and F Maths exams if that makes sense.
As others have said, I think this is the ideal way of doing the two subjects. I would assume in practice this is also effectively a "custom" M+FM course; that is, the teaching of both is going to be tailored towards people taking M + FM together, which I'd expect to work better than doing a M course aimed only at people doing maths A-level.
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