Course ID
A Level (Further Mathematics, Mathematics) and IGCSE (Mathematics)

Introduction to the Maths department

Mathematics at Wolverhampton Grammar School has a strong track record of developing students who go on to use their maths studies and expertise to achieve academic, professional and commercial success including roles in prestigious universities (Durham and King’s College, Cambridge) and financial sectors (including Lord Mervyn King, previous Governor of the Bank of England).

Staff with responsibility to teach maths include:

The aim of the department is to provide all students with a good grounding in mathematical ideas (up to GCSE level) and then support for the further and advanced study in mathematics for Mathematics A Level and Further Mathematics A Level.

Students also participate in number of extra-curricular activities involving maths and are encouraged to take part in the annual Junior, Intermediate and Senior Maths Challenges and Team Competitions.

Introduction to the Course

At the heart of this course is the study of mathematical concepts and patterns which explain much of the world we live in: algebra, trigonometry and an introduction to calculus. Key numerical, algebraic and statistical skills studied also provide valuable support for topics in other areas of the curriculum. Students completing this course successfully will be well prepared for A Level mathematics and have a sound appreciation of numerical concepts used in daily life.

Students will continue to be taught in sets, arranged by ability, as they are in year 9. There is scope for movement between the sets in the light of work this year, influenced by the quality of homework and by performance in tests and in the summer examination. We aim to cover all the material judged to be of A* standard with the higher sets. Other students will spend longer on fundamental ideas, but will cover such additional topics as time allows. Currently, all sets are entered for Higher Level IGCSE. The course follows a linear structure.

What the student will learn

  • Number: compound percentages, highest common factor and least common multiple, upper and lower bounds in calculation, recurring decimals and fractions, financial arithmetic, irrational numbers and surds.
  • Algebra: negative & rational indices, reciprocal, expanding and factorising, quadratic equations, algebraic fractions, the difference method for sequences, direct and inverse proportion, quadratic inequalities, simultaneous equations (including the case where one is quadratic), functions.
  • Calculus: simple differentiation, equations of tangents, stationary points, application to motion in a straight line.
  • Graphs: equations of straight lines and curves, using graphs to solve equations, graphical representation of inequalities, travel graphs, gradients of tangents to curves.
  • Shape & space: constructions and loci, angle properties of circles, transformations, arcs and sectors of circles, surface area and volume of prisms, cones, pyramids and spheres, trigonometry, sine and cosine rules, area and volume in similar figures, vectors and vector geometry.
  • Probability & statistics: sets and Venn diagrams, cumulative frequency, medians and quartiles, relative frequency, tree diagrams, histograms.

How the student will be assessed

Paper 1


2 hours


  • Calculators allowed.
  • All topics may be covered.
  • 100 marks.

Paper 2


2 hours

  • Calculators allowed.
  • All topics may be covered.
  • 100 marks.

One of the main requirements for success at A level is an interest in the subject, an ability to work logically and  understand the need for careful proof, and a degree of  tenacity in being prepared to persist with a problem when it  appears difficult.

A ‘good’ A level pass in Mathematics facilitates the study of any of  the engineering and physical sciences, as well as Mathematics and  Computing, at university. Economics, Management, Business Studies and  Accountancy are other courses to which the subject may lead.

A Level Mathematics is changing in 2017. All the new specifications will  cover the same content, but the format of the final examinations will vary.The specifications are still in draft, so please contact Wolverhampton Grammar School to ensure you receive the latest
update about Further Mathematics A Level and the specification.

There has long been an opportunity to study Further Mathematics as a second Mathematics A Level and the discipline has a strong track record for excellent results at the School.

Students pursuing A Level Further Mathematics should ideally enjoy Mathematics in itself, as well as having an interest in its applications. Students need to possess the ability to comprehend mathematical ideas readily, with the minimum of repetition, and to work effectively and accurately with mathematical concepts.

A background in Further Mathematics is valuable if you plan to study mathematics or an engineering, natural science or computer science course at Oxford or Cambridge and for Mathematics at many Russell Group universities.

A Level Further Mathematics is changing in 2017 and the specifications are still in draft. Contact
Wolverhampton Grammar School to ensure you receive the latest update about Further Mathematics A Level and the specification.

If you are considering doing Further Mathematics, you should discuss the matter carefully with your maths teacher, or Dr O’Brien, or Mr Hughes (Head of Sixth Form).

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