What have we learnt from this summer’s A level papers? As a teacher of the new (Edexcel) specification I certainly expected a fair amount of problem solving and modelling and had attempted to emphasise the application of methods rather than just the techniques themselves to my students. My expectations were most definitely born-out and this was also reflected in the examiners report:
“In this new specification, more emphasis is placed upon using mathematical models or formulating them from real-life situations in context. It was clear from looking at responses that a significant number of candidates struggled to formulate a correct mathematical model for each of the given situations.”
In our one day course, Angus Grogono (AC for London North) and I explored some of the more challenging topics in the second year of the A level course, focusing on proof, problem solving and the use of technology to explore, investigate and make links between the algebraic and graphical forms. Our follow up day will be in the new year and look at the applied section of A level specification. Participants will be able to choose from mechanics or statistics sessions or both for the keenest! Look out for our event posting coming soon.
By Julie Pritchard