Oxford College is pleased to offer the Edexcel A Level in mathematics.
The study of Mathematics is highly respected by Universities who look favourably on applicants who can demonstrate knowledge in this subject. In addition the Oxford College course in mathematics will help you to; to gain knowledge and understanding of Mathematics direct study of the original sources. It will encourage and develop your enthusiasm for maths as well as give you the chance to form your own personal responses to the set texts chosen for study. It will help you to further and enhance your mathematics and evaluative skills such as geometry and algebra and other additional tools to like the mechanics based questions, to use with the kinematic equations.
The AS maths course is organised in a modular format and spans Core modules (C1 and C2 and later C3 and C4 for A2 maths) and Mechanics modules (M1 and later M2 for A2 maths). The course aims to develop a deeper understanding of some of the most important topics in mathematics which play a crucial role in the world around us, in everything from technology to our understanding of the universe. The course builds upon existing knowledge as well as introducing completely new and challenging topics.
The material corresponds to the Edexcel Modular Mathematics text books and these should be purchased to review with the course material. Each module has a formal tutor marked assessment which acts to check your understanding of the course material and will highlight any gaps in your knowledge which your tutor will be able to identify and address before you move on to the next module.
The AS Units
Unit 1 - C1 introduces the topic of differentiation which is the cornerstone of the solution to many real world mathematical problems. The course also includes modules on polynomial equations and deals with ways of manipulating these expressions. The course also looks at graphing these functions and considers turning points, intersection and the behaviour of graphs at extreme values. Tools in understanding co-ordinate geometry are also developed, specifically looking at the multiple forms of an equation of a straight line and graphical rules for translation, and reflections. The concept of surds and rational and irrational numbers is also introduced.
Unit2 - C2 builds on your algebra skills and teaches you how to simplify expressions as well as a new take on long division to enable you to perform division on functions which contain variables and teach you how you can use the factor and remainder theorem to quickly get to the correct answer. Your knowledge of trigonometry will be enhanced by learning about the Radian and the course considers the graphs of trigonometric functions and how you can think about problems graphically. The course also introduces some trigonometric identities and equations. The topic of co-ordinate geometry looks in more depths at circles and we introduce the concept of a geometric series. Integration, as the inverse of differentiation is also introduced giving you a powerful set of tools to tackle a wide range of mathematical subjects.
Mechanics 1- M1 The Final module is M1, this is concerned with the mathematical models used to describe real world physical systems. The first topic on Vectors looks at how we can represent physical objects and their properties and interactions in a mathematical way. The next topic termed Kinematics looks at how we can represent a particle moving in a straight line and introduces the constant acceleration equations which relate its speed at different times to its acceleration. Statics of a particle considers forces acting on an object and the notion of equilibrium and the effect friction plays in this. The subsequent topic of Dynamics bring the previous 3 topics together and looks at the more complex case when an object is moving and subjected to different forces and resultant accelerations and the course considers the concepts of impulse and momentum and we also explore how connected particles and pulleys can be used in a system
The A2 Units
The A2 maths course builds upon material previously learnt in the AS course to develop a more detailed understanding of some of the most fundamental and important concepts in mathematics, as well as introducing some new yet equally valuable and fascinating topics. Like the AS course the A2 course has 2 pure maths units: Core 3 (C3) and Core 4 (C4) and an applied maths unit Mechanics 2 (M2).
As with the AS course the material corresponds to the Edexcel Modular Mathematics text books and these should be purchased to review with the course material. Each module has a formal tutor marked assessment which acts to check your understanding of the course material and will highlight any gaps in your knowledge which your tutor will be able to identify and address before you move on to the next module.
Unit 3 - C3 includes a module on algebraic fractions which further develops students’ abilities to manipulate and simplify algebraic equations which is useful across almost all other topics in mathematics, the topic also covers algebraic long division, applying a method first taught in primary school and adapting it for algebra. The concept of functions and relations is also introduced as well as the exponential and log functions which have application in almost every area of science and are used to model the world around us. The Numerical methods topic introduces students to iterative approaches to solving equations, giving them a new tool in their tool kit to approach mathematical problems. Graph transformations of functions builds on the material in the AS course but in the context of the newly learnt material on functions and relations and helps draw these topics together to allow students to see connections between seemingly disparate subjects and illustrates the interconnectivity on many mathematical topics. There is a further chapter on trigonometry which builds on the previous work in the AS units but takes students understanding to a deeper level by introducing the inverse trigonometric functions and in Differentiation students learn how to use their skills to tackle ever more increasingly complex functions.
Unit 4 – C4 The C4 course is the most advanced pure mathematics course in the series, it contains further topics on integration and differentiation which builds upon everything in C1,2 and 3 as well as multiple other topics such as trigonometry and some of the graph drawing topics to bring acquired knowledge throughout the course together. Partial fractions is also introduced which is a way of breaking apart fractions with polynomials in them which is typically the converse of how students work to simplify problems in previous topics. The binomial expansion is also taught and proved which is an elegant way of expanding brackets which include high powers and students are shown how the binomial coefficients appear as the entries of Pascal’s triangle. The topics of vectors and coordinate geometry are also relevant to the Mechanics courses and provide students with a way of visualising certain problems.
Mechanics 2 – M2 The final module is M2, this very much builds upon the subjects covered in M1 while introducing new concepts such as work, energy and power to give students additional tools to deal with mechanics based questions to use with the kinematic equations. The equations for a particle moving in a straight line can be understood in terms of energy transfer which allows students to consider collision scenarios. The course also covers centres of mass and statics of a rigid body to further enhance students understanding of this interesting area of study.
Examinations are held each year .