The Sixth Form
The Mathematics Department runs two different courses at Advanced level catering for a variety of aims and abilities. Most popular is Single Mathematics, although the more gifted boys may opt to study Further Mathematics
There are many justifications for Mathematics, and a boy whose leanings are likely to be Scientific or Technological will probably have considered the arguments often enough for them not to be repeated here. But as well as being a vital tool for the Physicists, Chemists, etc., Mathematics, because of its intrinsic logic and beauty has often, in the past, appealed to boys who would probably think of themselves primarily as 'Arts Men'. Given the move towards complementarity, it is our expectation that this trend will accelerate.
A boy opting for Single Mathematics will be required to sit six modules for his final A level, all of these being taken at the end of the Upper Sixth. Four will be in Pure Mathematics, and two in Applied Maths. In the Lower Sixth we lay the foundations of the subject, teaching traditional topics in calculus, trigonometry and logarithms on the Pure side at the same time as covering most of the Mechanics on the Applied side. In the Upper Sixth the Pure moves into the newer A level topics such as series and vectors while the Applied completes the Mechanics syllabus in the first term before pulling the whole package together.
Most of those opting for Maths in the Sixth Form will have taken early IGCSE in the Removes. They will already be aware of the significant change of direction taken by the subject as we advance post IGCSE. If a boy has enjoyed his Fifth Form work, and has been able to cope with it intellectually, then it is likely that he will be able to make a success of Single Maths in the Sixth Form. The only other prerequisite is a willingness to work hard.
Single Mathematics is offered in two blocks, 1 and 4.
Those boys who have taken early IGCSE in the Remove may opt for Maths in either block 1 or block 4. However, those who have not taken early IGCSE must opt for Maths in block 4. And block 4 is also the only block in which we offer AS Maths. Any boy wishing to take AS Maths will complete the first term of the full A Level, the AS group being fixed later in the course. However it may just be worth inserting a note of caution. There are some candidates for whom Single Maths will prove extremely demanding. At the end of the day it is for a boy to choose his own A levels, but there are those who have regretted their choice as the academic demands of this course have increased throughout the two-year period. For some Radleians a C grade will be the very limit of their potential, with subsequent implications for university offers and places.
After A level
It is anticipated that most boys taking Single Mathematics will be using it as a 'support subject'. Those keen to major in Mathematics should seriously consider the Further option. As a support, Mathematics will sit happily as part of a University application for almost any course.
(It should be noted that we are unable to prepare boys for Oxford Entrance in Mathematics, Computation or Engineering, or for Cambridge entrance in Mathematics, Computation, Engineering or Natural Sciences on the basis of Single Mathematics alone. Boys wishing to show Mathematics as part of entrance to either of these Universities must take the Further Mathematics course. Further Mathematics
is also very nearly a pre-requisite for Chemistry or Physics at Oxford.)