L3 Mathematical Studies AQA
1 Year or 2 Years?
On Thursday I hosted a Virtual Community for AQA on Developing the Teaching of L3 Mathematical Studies, concentrating on the 2A option. (Unfortunately 15 minutes in, the tech company hosting the platform had a fire alarm and we were stuck on a chat screen, so 45 minutes were spent type chatting to the delegates, having a general chat about the course – the VC will be rescheduled, hopefully for early December. Really looking forward to connecting to other teachers again).
However, we had managed to get to the part where we discussed advantages and disadvantages of the 1 year or 2 year course. We currently run it as 2 years, but I’m looking to change to a one year course with more lessons per week, as we’ve finished all the teaching and it’s a long time to keep enthusiasm for revision from November until May! The contributions from everyone at the VC were very valuable, and having seen other teachers query this, would like to share here. I’ve anonymised the comments, but haven’t edited any of them. From the poll, most teachers in the VC taught over 1 year, hence the imbalance of comments!
Question: What have you found the advantages of 1 year course?
I don’t know. I only joined the school in September and there was no other option.
Level 3 results available when doing UCAS,
Students can focus on other A levels in year 13
Students who study psychology but gained a 4 in maths. Pupils are more likely to engage with a 1 year course.
Only funded for 1 year
Doesn’t clash with other A’Level exams
Great to have the extra qualification
We have a mixture of Y12 and Y13 students, including those who did not do well enough with A level in Y12.
The real life applications have been invaluable to students
Students studying psychology have a pre requisite of Core Maths if they do not achieve a grade 6 or above at GCSE so helpful for that
Financial maths is invaluable preparation for uni
I’m actually delivering as CPD to other members of staff so the advantage for doing it over 1 year is that they’re able to get it ‘under the belt’ quicker
Can be useful if students are dropping from 3 A’Levels to 2 or are resitting a year but keeping one of their original ones to fill in time on timetable
Doesn’t interfere with the pressure on Students in Year 13. Students find the financial maths both interesting and very helpful.
Question: What have you found the disadvantages of 1 year course?
The exam is set too early (mid May) so less time to revise
Lots of content to get through
Fitting everything in can be a challenge
Getting everything done in time, not alot of time to review learning
Not enough time
Why did they move the exams back to May? Last summer they were in June.
Agreed. Time is a bit tight, especially as I’m in a UTC where we lose lessons here and there for things like careers related days.
Exams have usually been late May, they were only pushed back because of lost learning time due to covid, This mirrors the previous Use of Maths AS Level which it replaced.
Question: What have you found the advantages of 2 year course?
More time in teaching
Extra exam paper practice
I teach Deaf children and they need a lot of help understanding the vocabulary. 2 years allow me to take time to cover the langauge as well as the maths.
Question: What have you found the disadvantages of 2 year course?
Very thin content wise
Difficult to plan
Not knowing how long it takes to teach each part of the content