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Maths & Science

Maths

The skills developed through the study of Mathematics at AS and A Level are in high demand from employers. In addition to developing the ability to solve problems and think logically, the study of Mathematics provides opportunities to develop team-working skills, resilience, effective communication of complex ideas and the ability to use your own initiative; the breadth of application is immense.

Mathematics underpins most of science, technology and engineering and is also important in areas as diverse as business, law, nutrition, sport science and psychology. It supports a wide range of other A Level subjects; Economics, Psychology, Business, Computing and Geography all benefit from students having fluent and confident numerical, algebraic, graphical and statistical skills.

AS and A Level Mathematics extend techniques covered at GCSE and introduce new methods and concepts. Both courses provide a mix of pure and applied Mathematics. Pure units include familiar topics such as Algebra, Functions and Coordinate Geometry, as well as new topics such a Sequences and Series, a wider view of Trigonometry, Calculus, Numerical methods and Vectors. Applied units cover key areas of statistics and mechanics and include topics such as statistical sampling, data presentation, probability, and modelling the motion of objects and the forces acting on them.

Further Mathematics is a second qualification that can be taken in addition to A Level Mathematics. This aims to provide an opportunity for enthusiastic mathematicians to broaden and deepen their subject knowledge. AS or A Level Further Mathematics is suitable for students who are thinking of studying for a Mathematics, Engineering, Physics or similar degree. It is also suitable for those students who simply love Mathematics and want to devote more time to studying wider aspects of the subject.

At Burgess Hill Girls AS and A Level courses in Mathematics and Further Mathematics are a popular choice. Our experienced teachers recognise the need to support the individual needs of every girl, regardless of their reasons for choosing to study these subjects. Support for girls aiming to study Mathematics at Oxbridge and other universities is offered, as well as competitions, trips and other events that aim to develop the mathematical curiosity and enthusiasm of our girls.

Biology

Biology in the Sixth Form is an in-depth exploration of key biological concepts alongside the development of practical and analytical skills. We want to inspire a love of the subject and a confidence that will enable you to progress to further scientific study or to take the skills that you have developed into other fields.

Biology is not a ‘soft’ or ‘easy’ science option at A Level. There is an expectation for students to have a breadth and depth of knowledge far beyond that seen at GCSE Level, as well as the ability to apply their understanding. The application of mathematical manipulation to investigative work also forms a key part of the course.

Year 1 of the OCR AS Level Biology A contains topics including Biological Molecules, Cell Structures and Membranes, Exchange and Transport.  Year 2 of the A Level covers work on Communication, Homeostasis and Energy, Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease and Genetics and Ecosystems.

As A Level students you will be encouraged to look beyond the syllabus and deeper into aspects of Biology that particularly interest you.  There will be opportunities to extend your own learning through the support of younger students in the role of a subject mentor or by assisting at extra-curricular activities, such as Science Club or Ecology Club.

There will be opportunities to develop biological understanding outside of the classroom through work with the Sussex Wildlife Trust and various field visits to exhibitions, museums and zoos.  Biology in the Sixth Form gives you the opportunity to extend your intellectual curiosity and become a proficient and confident scientist with a deep understanding of a broad range of topics.

Chemistry

Chemistry is a great subject to study at A level and is required for acceptance into reading Medicine, Veterinary Science, Nursing and some Biology, Nutrition, Psychology and Engineering courses at university. The skills developed are highly regarded by law and accountancy firms as well as the financial services industry. Chemistry is a highly practical subject and it is a rare week when a practical is not carried out! The practical skills of planning, making risk assessments, manipulating apparatus, deriving conclusions from results and evaluating the accuracy, precision and reliability of results are all developed throughout the two year course. Chemistry involves using the mathematical skills of rearranging equations as well as using logarithms and exponents so students should feel confident in Mathematics before taking Chemistry.

The OCR A level Chemistry H432 specification modules are : Development of practical skills in chemistry, Foundations in Chemistry, Periodic table and energy, Core organic chemistry, Physical chemistry and transition elements, and Organic chemistry and analysis.

There are opportunities to act as mentors to GCSE students and to enter competitions such as the U6 Chemistry Olympiad, the L6 Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and the L6 RSC ‘Young Analysts’ competition.

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Physics

The dictionary definition of physics is ‘the study of matter, energy, and the interaction between them’, but what that really means is that physics is about asking fundamental questions and trying to answer them by observing and experimenting.

Physicists regularly ask questions such as:

If you think these questions are fascinating, then you’ll like physics.

Here at Burgess Hill Girls we study the AQA Physics AS and A Level course (7407, 7408). In the first year you will study the topics of Particles and Radiation, Waves, Mechanics and Materials and Electricity. These build on the topics you will have studied for GCSE as well as brand new branches of Physics.

In the second year you will study Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics, Electric, Gravitational and Magnetic Fields, Nuclear Physics and an option topic (currently Turning Points in Physics).

Have you heard of Quarks? Leptons? Baryons?  What is all the fuss about the Large Hadron Collider at CERN? How can particles such as electrons have a wavelength – surely only waves have a wavelength?

Physics will introduced you to a whole new set of subatomic particles, the building blocks of matter, as well as building on the more familiar topics of Motion, Energy, Forces and Electricity.

Studying Physics will open so many doors for you; it is not all Rocket Science and Engineering.  People who study physics enter a whole range of careers from Accounting to Zoology. If you are truly interested in finding out how things work, you have an interest in mathematics and are good with numbers then Physics is for you.

Psychology

Psychology is currently one of the most studied and most sought after disciplines. It is fundamental to unravelling the mysteries of what makes us human and our future development. Psychologists study why people behave in the way they do and how they might be influenced by genetics, thinking or past experience.
Psychologists are at the centre of the most contested race in science at present. Following on from the successful unravelling of the human genome, global research is now trying to develop detailed maps of the human brain, its activity and its systems.

Whether a student is looking for a career in medicine or child development, business or sport, ecology or art therapy, neuroscience or Psychology itself, studying A level Psychology provides an understanding of the mind, which is an advantage for many degree courses and careers. Students develop their thinking skills and learn to ‘analyse like a scientist and argue like a lawyer’. They explore tried and tested theories of behaviour right up to current scientific understanding of the brain.

The AQA course followed includes study the topics of Memory, Attachment, Social Psychology, Psychopathology, Approaches to Psychology and Research Methods in the first year. In the second year the girls study Forensic Psychology, Schizophrenia, Gender, Issues and Debates in Psychology and higher level Research Methods.
If you want to understand how humans work, develop your ability to think independently and be comfortable analysing any type of data – Psychology is the subject for you. Exciting, challenging and fundamentally important, this is a subject worth studying.

 

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