Gavin Williamson has outlined his vision for next year’s A level mathematics syllabus. ‘It’s a brilliant way to incorporate academic rigour with maintaining Covid-19 awareness,’ he said today, revealing a sample paper.
‘If three households containing fourteen members can meet up in Manchester, and four households in Llanwyrn containing eighteen members can meet up, how many households can meet up in Edingburgh? Answers in decimal notation and quickly please?’ is one of the questions.
Another question sets out the four devolved and national government rules in a series of simultaneous equations, while simple calculus is used to predict the spread of an infection starting in one household breaking the relevant devolved or national allowance and assuming an R rate of 1.2. An extension question asks the student to prove that the spread is reduced for the same data in a devolved area with greater latitude in its rules – the so-called Covid paradox.
‘If 100 MPs wash their hands of responsibility…’ is the starting point of one question, but it is unlikely to make the final exam as the answer is only too obvious to find on in every government statement.