Stoke on Trent College students were among the first in the Country to achieve a new maths qualification today.
Almost 75% of the students passed the Level 3 Mathematical Studies exam which was designed for students who achieved a grade C or above at GCSE.
Core Maths helps to develop the students’ mathematical skills and thinking as well as supporting courses in Psychology, Sciences and Geography as well as technical and vocational courses.
Stoke-on-Trent College has been involved in trialling ‘core maths’, which could soon become the main alternative to studying the subject at A-level.
It counts as the equivalent of an AS-level, but has a much greater focus on practical maths and project work.
At Stoke-on-Trent College, 23 students have now completed the course.
The core maths syllabus they have been piloting has led to a certificate in mathematical studies.
First to pick up her results was Kayleigh Barwise, from Longton, who also studied an extended Diploma in IT. 18 year old Kayleigh hopes her pass will help her achieve her next step up the ladder with a Business Apprenticeship through Stoke on Trent College.
Kayleigh said she was “Spooked” to think that she was the first student in the area to collect this qualification. “My family have all done Maths”, she added, “They all can’t believe the higher standard of real life work that has gone into this course!”
Nineteen-year-old Alex Lister, from the Westlands, said: “The course has involved interpreting data and looked at everyday things such as tax. In one challenge we had to sort the costings out for a hotel in New York as well as a local one!
Alex achieved an A* in maths at GCSE, but never really considered an A-level in the subject.
He has achieved an A grade in the new qualification, which he took alongside his extended diploma in software engineering and games programming.
“From talking to friends who’ve done A-levels, it’s been about teaching you how to pass an exam,” he added. “Although this has involved exams, it’s been more enjoyable.”
Alex has now used his maths skills to help land a job as a trainee engineer.
Fellow Stoke-on-Trent College student Peter Highland has also taken core maths, although he has done it in just a year rather than two years. He achieved a B grade in it today.
The 19-year-old, from Blurton, said: “I’ve always been one of those people who likes maths.
“This has allowed me to expand my maths and get a qualification out of it.”
Peter initially started A-level maths elsewhere, but decided to switch to a more practical route and took core maths alongside a BTEC course. He has another year at the college and then hopes to continue his Maths with an IT course at Staffordshire University. Seeing the achievement on her son’s face as he opened his envelope, Mum Helen said: “Peter and his sister are loving the pathways they have taken at Stoke on Trent College. Peter is particularly more relaxed over his studies and it’s down to the support and teaching that the staff give!”
Martin Newton, head of maths at Stoke-on-Trent College, said the pilot has been very successful.
He added: “Almost 75% of the students passed the qualification which is a tremendous achievement and a fantastic starting point for us as a college. We always try and make Maths exciting for our students – and have a number of imaginative ideas to involve the whole community in the coming year!”
The exam also gives the student extra UCAS points when applying for University, depending on the grade.