A Level Maths: Course Handbook


  • Expectations


To start the AS/A Level course you will need a minimum of a grade 6 (a grade 7 for further maths). Over the summer holiday you will be expected to complete a series of questions on the basic skills & techniques. You will get this during the induction day in July.


You will be given an initial test within the first two weeks on these basic skills to assess your suitability for the course. If you do not meet the pass mark you will be expected to pass a re-test.


There will be another assessment at the end of October. This will be a series of exam questions on the topics covered in the first half term.


You will be expected to have the following for September:


•  A lever arch folder with dividers to keep all your notes, class work, homework and independent study work organised. 


•  You will all need to have a Casio Classwizz FX-991-EX. You will be able to purchase one through the school in September for around £20. If you want to buy one earlier you can but it may be more expensive.


•  You will need to download a copy of the large data set form the A Level folder in lesson store or using the link in the transition book.


•  You should download the latest versions of Geogebra and Desmos onto a laptop or tablet. You may also find it useful to have these on your smart phones to use in lessons.


  • Attendance. 


Attendance to all lessons is expected of you and we expect you to be prompt.  We have a lot of content to cover over the course and so we need to minimise the loss of time as much as possible.  If you have to miss a lesson please let the teacher know ahead of time and ask for any work you will be missing.  


  • Organisation. 


You will be covering a lot of content this year and answering a lot of problems.  As such, you will need to be organised. We expect you to have a large folder to organise your work in.  How you go about this is up to you however splitting sections into classwork, homework and independent study work seems reasonable, but we will check periodically that your work is being organised and completed to a high standard.  This will help you in the long run and so should not feel too onerous. You will be given a course structure in September so you can use this to organise your work.


  • Independent study.


At Redborne, we run by the mantra that for every lesson you do in class, you should do an extra hour of work independently. For maths, this could be completing exercises starting in class, writing up notes and methods for easy revision in the summer, or completing extra exercises to help with your understanding.  The course builds on previous topics studied so leaving an area you are not comfortable with will put you at a big disadvantage when you move on.  


  • Support:


  • Basic skills powerpoints


We have produced a number of powerpoints to help you with the fundamental skills required for A-Level.  These are all GCSE skills and match many of the topics tested in your holiday work. If you are finding any of this work challenging, then, alongside the maths websites you have access to, you can utilise these powerpoints:

  1. Straight Line Graphs

  2. Surds

  3. Single Bracket Factorising

  4. Simple Quadratic Factorising

  5. Nth Term Linear Sequences

  6. Linear Inequalities

  7. Linear Equations

  8. Indices

  9. Harder Quadratic Equations

  10. Fractions

  11. Completing The Square


  • Collins Bridging GCSE and A-level maths book


The step up from GCSE to A-level is considerable.  If you consider that to gain a grade 7 at GCSE you will have scored about 60%, that leaves 40% of the GCSE content which you will be expected to have mastered before starting A-level.  This is why we provide you with holiday work to try and ensure you are prepared to make this step up. We provide the support above so that you are not left alone to prepare yourselves.  However, if you feel you might need more support for transition from GCSE to A-level, there are publications that aim to facilitate this. One such is the Collins Bridging GCSE and A-level Maths book:




  • Active learn links & useful websites


There are a number of websites that you can use to support your learning this year:


Pearson Active Learn - Your textbooks can be found in digital form here.


MyMaths - Both year 12 and year 13 is covered in the same way as GCSE.


MathsWatch - AS (Year 12) content is currently supported.



If you want further support, you can purchase a student subscription to MathsNet A-level, which costs £24:



  • Support sessions


A support session runs every week on Wednesday after school with Mr Kelly in room 33.


  • Study room


To ensure you have a suitable space for quiet work, you can book the workspace between room 33 and 34.  


  • Teachers


It seems obvious, but remember that you can ask any teacher in the department for help with your work!


  • Calculator guides


There is support on how to use all the functionality of the ClassWiz and the CG-50 calculators.


The course is split between two teachers as outlined below.  Next to each sub topic you will find the associated text book exercise.  Some of these exercises will be completed in class but where they are not, you should aim to complete at least some, if not all, of each of them during independent study time.

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  • Course Assessment Flowcharts:

Below are the key assessment points in the course and the options if a student fails an assessment.