The Mathematics Department
Mathematics is a core subject throughout the school and all pupils are prepared for public examinations at both junior and leaving certificate level.
Each form has 5 lessons per week, each of 45/40 minutes length. All forms are set on ability. The top two or three sets in each year will aim to undertake higher level exams. Different styles of books and resources are used for the different ability levels.
In general, work will be set at the end of every class. This will be a small number of questions based on the work covered in the class, or revision, and usually should not take longer than 15/20 minutes in junior years and 30 minutes in senior years.
The department prides itself on having a well rounded transition year programme, with an emphasis on academic work. We are continuing to improve and refine our scheme of work, to be flexible to the needs of our pupils. The top mathematicians are also introduced to applied mathematics, to encourage them to take up the subject for leaving certificate. We also offer an advanced maths ‘Q-set’ at leaving certificate, which is an additional 2 periods per week, for those thinking of engineering or other maths based courses and professions.
Class tests are given at suitable intervals, with standardised tests given at the end of each term to all in each form. Records of marks and weekly effort grades are kept as an aid when writing end-of-term reports. These results also help us decide which set a pupil is best able to perform well in, and we regular adjust classes accordingly.
The department consists of five very well qualified and experienced mathematics teachers, 4 of which teach the subject fulltime. It meets at regular intervals to discuss developments within the school and department and share ideas of best practice in the classroom. Staff are sent on courses when available, to encourage development within the department and of individual teachers.
In 2016 we entered 62% of our pupils for Higher Level Leaving Certificate, 34% more than the national average. Of those sitting higher level, 32% got an A grade, compared with 11% nationally. For Junior Certificate Higher level we entered 86%, with 31% achieving an A grade, compared to 12% nationally. We are extremely proud of our outstanding results record, and continue to find ways to improve further.
The department has access to a number of digital projectors, and access to useful software packages. It has use of an ICT suite with terminals for the whole class. Various websites are used as teaching aids when appropriate.
Each year prizes are awarded as the result of examinations in Forms III and IV and a senior prize is also awarded.
In 2009 the mathematics department underwent a Department of Education Inspection. The findings of this were extremely positive and complimentary and can be read at;
The Mathematics Department aims to develop:
- pupil’s potential to the full
- a positive attitude to mathematics as an interesting and useful subject
- an appreciation of the creative aspects of the subject and of its aesthetic appeal
- an ability to think logically and clearly in mathematics with confidence and flexibility
- an appreciation of pattern and relationships in mathematics
- mathematical skills and knowledge and the ability to recall essential facts quickly
- an awareness of the uses of mathematics beyond the classroom, in business, the sciences and other disciplines
- persistence and perseverance through sustained work
- an ability to work on one’s own and to develop the skills necessary for mathematics at leaving certificate and university
- the confidence and ability to communicate mathematically both orally and on paper
- an ability to use ICT when appropriate
- the ability to work as a member of a group
- more open-ended questioning and prep
- an interest in the history of mathematics
- pupils ability in the use of calculators and ICT when appropriate
Dr. M. Singleton, MSc, PhD, HDipEd
Mr. D. Higgins, MA, HDipED
Mr. N. Coldrick, BSc
Ms. J. Robinson, BA, HDipED