Further Pure Mathematics with Technology

Further Pure Mathematics with Technology (FPT) is an exciting and innovative new A level unit that requires students to have access to technology for the teaching, learning and assessment.

Free CPD day for Further Pure with Technology covering general CAS and programming

MEI is holding a free CPD day for its Further Pure with Technology (FPT) unit on November 27th 2014 at Birmingham University. As well as FPT, the day will cover the use of Computer Algebra Systems and ideas for introducing programming into general maths lessons. It will be of interest to anyone teaching or considering teaching FPT but also to those who are looking to introduce these aspects of technology into their lessons. For more details and bookings see this flier.

Why do Further Pure Mathematics with Technology (FPT)?

FPT, approved by Ofqual and first examined in June 2013, is an optional A2 Further Mathematics unit that can be studied alongside (or after) Further Pure 2 that has been developed with the full support of OCR and Texas Instruments. This module builds on and extends students' knowledge of Pure Mathematics through using technology to perform mathematical processes quickly and accurately. They will observe the effect of changing parameters displayed in different representations, which is useful for aiding generalisation. Students will engage in investigative approaches to problem solving.

The content of FPT

Candidates are expected to know the content of C1, C2, C3, C4, FP1 and the Complex Numbers, Polar Curves, Power Series and Hyperbolic Functions Sections of FP2. Included in this module are Investigations of Curves, including curves expressed as cartesian equations, parametric equations and polar curves (moved from FP2), Functions of Complex Variables, in which students will be expected to use the complex number capabilities of CAS (Computer Algebra Systems), and Number Theory, where candidates may be expected to write their own programs to provide solutions as well as understanding a program and suggesting limitations and refinements to it.

Students are expected to have access to software for the teaching, learning and assessment that features a graph-plotter, spreadsheet, CAS and programming language. The expectation is that students will be using TI-Nspire software and free Integral teaching resources are being developed to support this.

FPT is assessed by a timed written paper that assumes that students have access to the technology. For the examination each student will need access to a computer with the software installed and no communication ability. A graphical calculator is allowed in the examination.

You may find the documents below useful:

Specimen paper
Specimen paper markscheme
June 2013 Examination Paper
MEI Conference 2012 FPT background
MEI Conference 2012 CAS and the Curriculum

Software for FPT

MEI recommends the use of TI-Nspire for FPT (and the teaching and learning resources are written in this).

Alternative software that is appropriate for FPT:

  • GeoGebra and Python*
  • Maple
  • Casio ClassPad

*Students using GeoGebra and Python will need to learn a small number of additional processes that are not performed automatically in the software such as how to plot a polar curve and how to calculate if an integer is prime.

In addition to this it is acceptable for candidates to have access to Autograph and Excel in the exam but these alone will not be sufficient.

Centres must inform OCR what software candidates will have access to in the examination via a form that will be provided.

For more information about software or to discuss optuions contact MEI's ICT Specialist.

Podcast about FPT

You may find the podcast below useful:

Tom Button, MEI's Learning Technologies Specialist, talks to Craig Barton, TES adviser for secondary maths, about the success of, and the future for, the Further Pure Mathematics with Technology project.

TES Maths Podcast Special - Tom Button Interview

Articles about FPT

Lee, S & Button, T (2013)
Moving with the Times - A New A level Further Mathematics Unit: Further Pure Mathematics with Technology (FPT)
MSOR Connections, Higher Education Academy.

Button, T & Lee, S (2013)
Further pure mathematics with technology: A post-16 unit of study that uses technology in the teaching, learning and assessment.
Proceedings of the International Conference on Technology in Mathematics Teaching, Bari, Italy, July 2013.

An article on the development of Further Pure with Technology was published in issue 235 of the ATM magazine, Mathematics Teaching.
Further pure mathematics with technology: Developing a new A-Level mathematics unit that uses technology in the teaching, the learning, and the assessment - Tom Button

For more information please contact MEI's ICT Specialist.