Hello and welcome to the Maths Department at Reigate College.
My name is Mary Pitman and I’m joint Head of the Maths Department, together with my colleague Christine Edwards. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming you in person at the start of the academic year and getting going on our interesting and challenging A Level programme.
To help introduce you to the course, we’re setting some activities for you to complete over the coming months. These tasks will develop some of the ideas you’re familiar with from GCSE and give you an insight into the approach required at advanced level. They have been designed for you to complete independently from home and there’ll be the chance to review them when you start the course in September.
All the tasks should be completed by Choices Day on 25 August.
The activities will be released here in three phases:
Explore your Subject – 4 May
At A Level, Mathematics and Further
Mathematics become more interesting and more complex; you’ll find you have to
problem-solve more than at GCSE and that there are often many different ways of
During this series of tasks and activities we’ll
be looking at both Pure and Applied Mathematics.
For a short taste of Pure Maths, have a look
at this video with Matt Parker and James Grime. They’re exploring The Difference of Two Squares using
different methods. Don’t worry if the algebra becomes a little more complex
towards the end, just do your best to follow and enjoy it!
We’d now like you to try the below Essential Skills worksheet, which includes topics that are important for A Level Mathematics. The questions have three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. You should be able to complete ALL the Bronze questions, MOST of the Silver questions and SOME of the Gold questions. If you’re planning on studying Further Mathematics, you should be aiming to complete them all.
You should complete this section of tasks by 1 June.
Get Going – 1 June
You should complete this section of tasks by 1 July.
As part of the Applied
Maths content of the A Level course, we will be looking at Statistics. But what
is Statistics? What perceptions do people have of the word? Can Statistics be
misleading? For example, if we consider the following question:
Find the mean, median and mode of: 1, 1, 2, 1000, 9 000 000
The mode is 1, the
median is 2, the mean is 18 000 200.8
So which is most
representative? What would you think
if these figures were:
time taken to complete a question on a website?
monthly pocket money for students?
TASK 1: Click on the link below towatch a TED talk with Alan Smith as he explores some of these
Practicing your essential skills
We’d now like you to return to some of the Pure topics
you met in the ‘Explore your Subject’ section.
TASK 2: Please use the below worksheets to improve and revise these skills. You should aim to spend up to 30 minutes on each topic. Start at Q1 if you’re not feeling confident; if you’re already good at the topic, try the second half of the worksheet and the Extension questions:
You should complete this section of tasks by Choices
Day on 25 August.
As part of the
Mechanics section of the Applied Maths content, we will look at Newton’s Second
Law of Motion:
Force = Mass x Acceleration (F = ma)
TASK 1: Watch the following video to see why it is almost
impossible to run the 100m in 9 seconds as a result of F = ma.
Practising your essential skills
TASK 2: Please complete the following worksheets in preparation for the A Level course, making sure you set out your working clearly, and then bring them with you to your first lesson. Your teachers are looking forward meeting you and seeing your work: