Mathematics equips young people with a diverse set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include problem-solving skills, logical reasoning, and the ability to think in abstract ways.  Mathematics, therefore, is a creative discipline. It can stimulate moments of delight and wonder when a student solves a problem for the first time, unearths a more efficient solution to a problem or suddenly sees hidden connections.

Throughout history, mathematics has shaped the way we view the world and remains as important today. Many life stages and skills require a solid grasp of mathematics, from entering university to balancing a household budget, applying for a home loan, or assessing a possible business opportunity. When students eventually leave education and seek out a career, they will inescapably need to use the mathematical skills and strategies they have mastered at school. They will quickly realise that many careers require a solid understanding of mathematics. Doctors, computer game designers, astronauts, forensic scientists and other professionals use maths on a daily basis, as do builders, plumbers and engineers.  Mathematics, therefore, opens a world of opportunity for young people.



Levels taught:



Post 16

(Permanent staff only)

Mr W. R. Boyd (Head of Department)
Mrs S. Wright (Numeracy Co-Ordinator)
Mrs K. Harvey
Mrs L. McFarlane
Miss J. Peacock
Mrs P. Roulston

(Subject/Topic Content)

“There should be no such thing as boring mathematics”. (Edsger Dijkstra)

Year 8


  • Students study the role of Mathematics in future education and in the workplace.

Arithmetic and the calculator

  • Development of mental maths skills, language and notation.


  • Students identify angles in real life situations, name the different types, identify angle properties and draw and measure angles.


  • Develop knowledge and understanding of decimals.

Metric Units/ scale drawing

  • Students are introduced to the metric and imperial systems of measurement and are given the opportunity to convert between units of measurement. The concept of scale drawing is also studied.


  • Students revise the months of the year and apply this to calendar work. They practice reading analogue and digital clocks whilst converting between 12 and 24 hour time. Students progress to studying timetables.

Handling Data

  • Understand, and learn about, different ways to collect and display data.

Directed Numbers and Coordinates

  • Use directed number in real life situations e.g. temperature and use four quadrant coordinates.

Shapes and Construction

  • Learn the types, properties and parts of polygons and use compasses to construct these.

3D Work

  • Recognise common 3D shapes using real life objects. Draw 3D shapes on isometric paper and construct 3D shapes from their nets.


  • Reflect 2D shapes in a mirror line, draw and recognise lines of symmetry and identify order of rotational symmetry.

In June of Year 8, timetables are suspended and students participate in Maths Fun Day. Students have the opportunity to participate in paper football making, battleships, bingo, maths relay, table quizzes and much, much more.


Year 9

Algebra 1 & 2

  • Students study simple sequences and learn how to manipulate expressions and equations plus writing equations using words.

Straight Line Graphs

  • Students extend their understanding of coordinates by plotting them to draw vertical, horizontal and other straight lines.

Area and Perimeter

  • Students will begin to understand and learn about perimeter and area. They will find the perimeters of regular and irregular shapes plus the circumferences of circles. They will then use various methods (including formulae) to find the area of squares, rectangles, triangles, parallelograms, trapeziums and circles. The opportunity will also be provide to study Pythagoras’ Theorem.

Scatter Graphs

  • Interpret and draw scatter graphs and have a basic understanding of correlation. Use real life situations to compare two sets of data and describe the relationship between them.

Volume and Capacity

  • Calculate the volumes of cubes and cuboids by counting 1cm cubes or using formula. The concept of capacity is also introduced.


  • Develop and understanding of multiples and factors through discussion and practical activities. Explore and discuss strategies for identifying numbers which may be prime. Use index notation to represent square and cube numbers and use practical activities to investigate the most appropriate method of rounding.

Fractions and Percentages

  • Recognise the everyday use of fractions, decimals and percentages and calculate with these.


  • Calculate with ratios in a variety of real life situations.

In term 3, Year 9 students are given the opportunity to visit Carnfunnock Country Park to complete a Maths Trail and Treasure Hunt.


Year 10

Angles, Triangle and Parallel Lines

  • Recognise and draw parallel lines with transversals, name angles formed by intersecting lines and calculate angles using rules of intersecting lines.

Further Triangles

  • Name triangles according to their properties, use the sum of angles in a triangle, calculate missing angles in a triangle using and construct triangles accurately given either ASA or SAS or SSS.


  • Learn about the concept of probability and use real life examples to determine “chance”. Students carry out a selection of investigations to calculate probabilities with different outcomes.

Algebra 3

  • Students extend their previous learning in relation to algebra by solving harder equations and factorising expressions.


Students design a questionnaire and carry out a survey.


  • The manipulation of shapes by translating, rotating, enlarging and reflecting.


  • Apply mathematical skills in everyday financial planning and decision making.

Year 10 are also required to complete Using Maths tasks throughout the year to assess their ability to apply mathematical concepts, processes and understanding in a variety of real life contexts. This information will be provided to parents on the end of year report.


CCEA GCSE Mathematics

This compulsory course provides pupils with the confidence to handle the application of the five elements of Mathematics – Number, Data Handling, Algebra, Shape, Space and Measure in everyday life. Mathematics also provides a powerful means of communication in terms of representation, explanation and prediction. It builds on topics covered at KS3. Mathematics is a very important subject as a ‘C’ grade at GCSE is necessary for almost every pathway beyond fifth form irrespective if that is looking for employment or continuing further in education.

Pupils take GCSE Mathematics with CCEA, the Northern Ireland Examination Board at the appropriate level to their ability, either Higher or Foundation level. Higher level pupils normally sit paper T3 or T4 at the end of Year 11 and T6 at the end of Year 12. Foundation level pupils sit either paper T1 or T2 at the end of Year 11 and T5 at the end of Year 12.

Examination Details


Foundation Tier – Grades C, D, E, F or G
Higher Tier – Grades A*, A, B, C or D


All levels – This course comprises of one module examination (45%) and a complete examination (55%).
The completion examinations consist of two papers – one non-calculator paper and one calculator paper. The module examination is a calculator paper.

CCEA Essential Skills Application of Number

This qualification is offered for pupils who would experience difficulty with the demands of GCSE. It forms a key part of all post-16 College, community and work-based learning provision in Northern Ireland, including apprenticeships and work preparation courses.
Pupils take Essential Skills Level 1 and 2 Application of Number with CCEA, the Northern Ireland Examination Board.
Students in Year 11 work towards achieving Level 1 in Application of Number and move onto Level 2 in Year 12.
Essential Skills is a national qualification, recognised by employers and Further Education Colleges.

Examination Details


Level 1 equivalent to E grade GCSE
Level 2 equivalent to C grade GCSE


Each level of this course comprises of one terminal examination paper with calculator.

Post 16:

GCE AS and A2 Mathematics encourages students to extend their range of mathematical skills and techniques. They use their mathematical knowledge to reason logically and recognise incorrect reasoning. They draw diagrams and sketch graphs to help explore mathematical situations and interpret solutions.

Students investigate algebra and functions, geometry, trigonometry, exponentials and logarithms, differentiation and vectors. They also examine quantities and units in mechanics, kinematics, forces and Newton’s laws, statistical sampling, data presentation and interpretation, probability, statistical distributions.

Studying mathematics develops students’ analytical, research and problem-solving skills. It provides a firm foundation for scientific, technical, engineering and mathematical careers. It gives students the knowledge and logic they need to solve scientific, mechanical and coding problems. This course is taught as part of the Ballymena area learning community.

Examination Details

This CCEA GCE in Mathematics has four externally assessed units. Students can take the AS course as a final qualification or the AS (40%) units plus the A2 units (60%) for a full GCE A level qualification.
The specification has four externally assessed units:

  • AS 1: Pure Mathematics
  • AS 2: Applied Mathematics
  • A2 1: Pure Mathematics
  • A2 2: Applied Mathematics.


Each unit consists of an external written examination:
AS 1 – Paper 1hr 45 mins
AS 2 – Paper 1hr 15 mins
A2 1 – Paper 2hr 30 mins
A2 2 – Paper 1hr 30 mins