All students will have the opportunity to enter for the AQA Extended Project Qualification (equivalent of up to 28 UCAS tariff points)
The EPQ research project allows you to choose an area of interest, that differs or extends from your core studies, to broaden and deepen your understanding above and beyond what you do in the classroom, and to develop suitable independent learning skills.
Students will learn skills including planning and managing a piece of high-level academic research, how to critically analyse sources, and use references and citations appropriately. You carry out the project which may include either a long form final written report or the production of an artefact. Your EPQ supervisor will provide advice and guidance throughout the project. Universities support the Extended Project Qualification because they want students who are capable of independent study, a skill which they feel students are lacking in when arriving at university. Many universities will offer alternative entry conditions (lower grade requirements) for students who complete the EPQ.
Students studying Economics, Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography or Psychology, who are not studying A Level Maths will take Core Maths. Core Maths helps to ensure that students’ mathematical ability is maintained and extended post-GCSE and the content is designed to complement the quantitative aspects of these other A Levels.
Core Maths focuses on using mathematics in context and so students should feel like this course has less of a focus on abstract concepts found at GCSE and more of a focus on how mathematics can be applied as a helpful tool in a variety of scenarios. Students should find a lot of overlap between content covered in GCSE Higher mathematics and Core Mathematics; however, as mentioned, the focus is on how the maths is used rather than simply how to do it. The core mathematics curriculum comprises four main strands of study; statistics, sequences, linear programming and probability.
STEP Mathematics lessons are designed to raise the level of challenge beyond A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics and help prepare students to pursue mathematics (or a mathematical discipline) at one of the top performing universities. STEP focuses on finely tuning problem solving skills rather than on learning new knowledge and lessons have a strong focus on building resilience and independence.
Competitive university places often need students to sit an exam in addition to A Level Maths and Further Maths (such as STEP II, STEP III, MAT, TMUA) and so these lessons are designed to deepen students’ mathematical understanding and help them to cope with the demands of these challenging exams. Some students attending STEP lessons do so solely to improve their problem solving and mathematical skills and do not need to prepare for a university entrance exam. These students will sit the Advanced Extension Award at the end of the course which is aimed at the top 10% of mathematics students in the country.