Exam season is over, and most of us are winding down to enjoy the summer break. I have a few slots left for new starters in September so please get in touch if you're local and looking for Maths tuition!
One of my main tasks over the summer is going to be getting fully up to speed on the new A level specification, which is prescribed by Ofqual and so is the same across all exam boards, although of course there will be small differences. The bulk of it is similar to the old one and there isn't supposed to be any increase in difficulty but, as with the new GCSE, there's more emphasis on problem solving and proof - and also on mathematical modelling. Decision Maths is completely disappearing (though it will still feature in some Further Maths specifications) and the applied maths element - still a third of the overall total - will consist only of Statistics and Mechanics. The big change in Statistics is the use of "large data sets" which vary depending on which exam board you're with. The student is expected to be familiar with the data for their particular board, and a variety of ways of analysing it.
The grade scale will be unchanged, with the lowest pass grade being an E and the highest at A*. There will still be an AS level available, but many schools/colleges are not entering their students for it, because it costs money and doesn't count towards the A level result. An AS level is now worth 40% of an A level in terms of UCAS points. (There will no longer be any such thing as an A2 level.)
If you want to keep your Maths skills ticking over during the summer, regardless of whether you're just finishing Year 9 or about to go on to A-level, take a look at Corbettmaths 5-a-day. Each day, answer the questions for the grade level that you're working at - or try the next level up - and then check your answers against the worked solutions. This is a great resource to keep you up to speed on a wide range of topics throughout the year, even though your lessons at school are likely to be focusing on a particular topic for a week or two at a time.