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Mathematics within 'A' level STEM subjects

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 21 March 2012 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 21 March 2012 by ncetm_administrator

Mathematics within 'A' level STEM subjects


Many students taking A-level Physics, Chemistry and Biology are not studying A-level Mathematics. This package aims to help teachers of these students find resources to help them with the mathematical aspects of those courses.


CPD Resources

If you want to check what your students will have been taught in Mathematics, you will find the Mathematics Content Knowledge section of the NCETM Self-evaluation Tools useful.

Do you and/or your Mathematics department use the approaches and resources from Improving learning in Mathematics? Does your school or college have any unopened boxes which you could use in your department?

Read the Mathemapedia article Using rich collaborative tasks in AS and A2. You may wish to look at some of the suggestions at the end of the article!

Look at the Mathematical Moment Calculus Vocabulary published in Issue 20 of the FE Magazine. Could you adapt this activity and use it in your course?

The Mathematics in Engineering microsite was developed in partnership with the Further Mathematics Support Programme (FMSP) and aims to support teachers of mathematics working with learners in Engineering. It contains ideas which could also be used in Physics and Mechanics lessons. If you think that it would be useful to develop similar microsites for other STEM subjects, please contact us with your suggestions for what could be included in such a microsite for your subject.

Visit the Secondary Forum or the FE Forum to engage online with other teachers! If you would like a community specifically for teachers of your subjects, please let us know.

Discussion Point

The departmental workshop Working with other departments helps a mathematics department identify and discuss where mathematics features in other subject areas.

It also encouraged the department to aim for consistency in teaching approach – firstly across the mathematics department and then across the school.

How could you use the ideas in this workshop to run a CPD session for STEM subject teacher with the aim of encouraging a consistent approach to the teaching of mathematics topics and methods within all STEM subjects in your school or college?

Explore a piece of mathematics

Work through the activity suggested in Simplifying logarithmic expressions from the What Makes a Good Resource microsite. 

How would doing an activity like this ensure that your learners understood logarithms?

Learning from each other

It has been said by some recently that ‘teachers learn best when they learn from each other’. If you know of another link to an activity or resource on the NCETM website that you think would be useful or appropriate for readers of this guidance, please use the comments box below to let us and them know of your idea.

Courses and Networks

Several NCETM communities are used by teachers of ‘A’ level to discuss new ideas and current development. For example, the ICT in Mathematics community has a thread on effective classroom use of iPods and iPads and another one on Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs).

Personal Learning

“Activity by itself is not enough; it is the sense that is made of it that matters” (DRIVER, R. (1983) The Pupil as Scientist?, Milton Keynes, Open University Press.

For the things you have tried out for yourself in your own classroom to become useful pieces of professional learning, there is a need to capture them, reflect upon them and remark on them. The NCETM Personal Learning Space (PLS) allows you to do this.

  • Use My Learning Journal to collect your thoughts and reflections as well as to log actions; documents can be attached to your entries. You could do this now by visiting your own PLS.
  • Use My Favourites and Notes to take note of and organise interesting things you have found (like this page) and want to return to easily in future.
  • Use the Sharing and Contacts facility to share elements of your PLS with colleagues, selecting them from your own list of contacts
  • Use the “Request a reminder” function

Find out more details of these and other functions of the PLS.


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