Aim of the course
Our philosophy is rooted in creating confidence in maths. Students will frequently encounter problems that could, on first glance, appear beyond them and will certainly test their skills to the maximum. We help students to confidently unpick a question and select the best maths to deploy each time, giving students the ability to face challenges undaunted.
Students who study maths at A level learn to appreciate the difference between an answer and a solution, using their knowledge, skills and intuition to select the most appropriate maths to bring to bear on any question. We help them develop rigorous working habits, instilling the importance of writing proper solutions and making judicious use of computers.
Above all, we encourage students to explore and broaden their maths and inspire and equip them to discover more when they move on to the next stage of their education.
The course is split into 3 strands: pure, mechanics and statistics. The pure strand deals with ideas such as trigonometric equations, graphs, exponentials and logarithms and calculus. In the mechanics strand pupils learn to model physical systems and explore topics like projectile motion, friction and moments. Pupils develop their understanding of how likelihoods can be examined using probability distributions and how data can be interrogated with statistical processes in the statistics component of the course. Here pupils learn about the normal distribution, discrete distributions, hypothesis testing and regression.
The further mathematics course is split in the same way. The ideas from the mathematics A-level are developed further but additional topics such as complex numbers, polar coordinates, oblique impacts and probability generating functions are also explored.
The British Mathematical Olympiad is popular with our students. Perse students have qualified for BMO1 and BMO2 – just 100 pupils nationally are invited to take part in the latter – and earned Distinctions.
Perse students have also represented the UK in the Balkan Mathematical Olympiad, the International Mathematics Olympiad and the Romanian Master of Mathematics competition.
We have regular maths surgeries in which all pupils can drop in for extra support. Sixth Form students often act as mentors to younger pupils during these surgeries.
The Maths Olympiad Club meets weekly and is an opportunity for keen mathematicians from all year groups to get together and work on challenging problems. We discuss common strategies and tackle questions from UKMT Maths Challenges and Olympiads.
The Maclaurin Society meets weekly throughout the year. Students and staff take it in turn to give talks on any mathematical topic of interest, from chaos theory to the shortest distance between two points.
Examinations take place at the end of the Upper Sixth
Single maths students sit two 2 hour pure examinations and one 2 hour mechanics and statistics paper.
Further mathematicians sit these 3 papers and in addition take two 1.5 hour further pure papers, a further mechanics paper and a further statistics paper.