Offering Further Mathematics

The Further Mathematics Support Programme helps schools and colleges to offer A level Further Mathematics by providing support and advice, teaching resources, professional development and tuition for students.

Schools/colleges already teaching Further Mathematics

The FMSP offers:

  • Advice on organising schemes of work;
  • Resources for teaching Further Mathematics and enriching the course;
  • Revision support for students;
  • Support for teaching Further Mathematics on reduced time, such as FM Videos;
  • Professional development to improve skills and build capacity in your mathematics department;
  • Information about curriculum developments and changes.

Schools/colleges setting up Further Mathematics provision

In addition to the support outlined above the FMSP also offers:

If you are thinking of starting up Further Mathematics in your school or college, please contact your local FMSP Area Coordinator for advice and support.

Strategies for Offering Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics is offered in many different ways, from teaching it as a fully timetabled class, to having all of the tuition provided through the FMSP.

The FMSP can help your school/college teach Further Mathematics. Your FMSP Area Coordinator can discuss different strategies and suggest support to help develop provision for Further Mathematics at your school.

    Strategies include:
  • Teaching a small group of Further Mathematics students on a reduced timetable
  • Using the FM Videos to support teaching in school
  • Students from two or more schools/colleges being taught together to form a viable Further Mathematics class.
  • Teaching being shared between a school/college and its local FMSP Tutor
  • Students receiving FMSP tuition either from a local FMSP tutor or via online tuition.
  • AS Further Mathematics can be offered as an option for year 13 students; see the section below on AS Further Mathematics in Year 13 for more details.

Possible strategies:

Stagger the teaching of applied options.
Teach Further Pure over the year and the applied options in alternating 2-week blocks, e.g. teach Decision for a fortnight, and set some homework on it, then teach Mechanics for a fortnight. Students will always be studying one unit in class whilst studying a different one in their homework.

Teach just Further Pure for the first part of the course, then teach the applied options whilst consolidating the FP work.
For example: teach Further Pure for the first term then focus on Statistics and Mechanics after Christmas, building in regular opportunities to consolidate and revise the Further Pure.

Offer AS Further Mathematics over 2 years starting January year 12.
This option is ideal for students who have started studying just A level Mathematics but discover early in their course that they like the subject and would like to study more of it. Studying AS Further Mathematics over 18 months suits many of these students.

If you have any questions about these models, or would like to discuss your individual circumstances in more detail please contact your Area Coordinator through the Regions section of the website.

Further Mathematics as part of a 4 subject programme

The majority of students who take A level Further Mathematics do so as part of a four A level programme. Studying four A levels is a way for high-achieving students to demonstrate their abilities. Taking Mathematics and Further Mathematics as two of four A levels is often an achievable way to study four subjects as a consequence of their complementary nature. It is also common for Further Mathematics students to achieve higher grades in A level Mathematics as a result of the extra time spent studying mathematics.

A level Further Mathematics is required for some prestigious degree courses and recommended for many others (see: Universities and Careers). Offering Further Mathematics as part of four subject programme means that students are able to apply to these courses but are not necessarily committed to them from the start of year 12.

One further advantage of taking Further Maths as part of a four subject programme is that if a student starts the course but finds it too challenging they will have the option to just complete AS Further Mathematics alongside A level Mathematics. This means that they will still complete three full A levels.

Where there are a small number of students at a centre wishing to study Further Mathematics the FMSP can offer a variety of support such as FMSP Tuition. You can also contact your Area Coordinator .

Further Mathematics as part of a 3 subject programme

A significant minority of students take A level Further Mathematics as part of a three subject programme. This is appropriate for students who are sure they wish to take a very mathematical route, such as progression on to a Maths, Physics, Engineering or Computing degree; however, for some students this could narrow the university courses that they would be able to apply for. A potential disadvantage of this route is that if they find the full A level Further Mathematics too challenging and wish to drop the subject they would not complete three full A levels.

It is also possible for students to study AS Further Mathematics in Year 13. This is a valuable option for students who have discovered a passion for mathematics at the end of Year 12 and/or need to learn more mathematics in preparation for their degree choice.

AS Further Mathematics in Year 13

Whether or not your school/college already offers Further Mathematics in year 12, it is well worth considering offering AS Further Mathematics to your year 13 students for several reasons:

  • It is an ideal preparation for students planning to go on to degree in any STEM subject.

  • It is accessible to all students capable of passing A level Mathematics.

  • As well as introducing students to topics such a matrices and complex numbers, which will certainly be useful to them on their degree courses, it also improves their mathematical fluency. This often helps them to improve their A level Mathematics grade.

  • Many university departments in mathematically-rich subjects encourage or require students to take Further Mathematics qualifications.See the Universities section for more information.

  • Taking AS Further Mathematics in year 13 to support a university application looks very impressive on a student's UCAS form.

It is sometimes possible to timetable year 13 Further Mathematics lessons alongside year 12 lessons, and thus AS Further Mathematics can be delivered in year 13 with very little additional teaching time.

AS Further Mathematics Over 2 Years

AS Further Mathematics is a valuable qualification that is accessible to all students capable of passing A level Mathematics. For some students, who do not wish to study a full A level, the opportunity to study AS Further Mathematics over a two year period alongside their A level Mathematics course will allow them sufficient time to develop their understanding.

It is well worth considering offering AS Further Mathematics over two years for several reasons:

  • It is an ideal preparation for students planning to go on to a degree in any STEM subject.
  • As well as introducing students to topics such a matrices and complex numbers, which will certainly be useful to them on their degree courses, it also improves their mathematical fluency. This often helps them to improve their A level Mathematics grade.
  • Many university departments in mathematically-rich subjects encourage or require students to take Further Mathematics qualifications. See the Universities section for more information.
  • It may increase the accessibility and uptake of further mathematics in your school/college.

The schedules below provide detailed guidance on delivering AS Further Mathematics in parallel with A level Mathematics over 2 years. The schedules are designed to be flexible, can be adapted to suit the circumstances, and are ideal when there is limited contact time available.