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Mr K Marshall MEd BSc DipEd PQH (Head of Department)
Mr J Reid BSc PGCE
Miss S Mawhinney BSc PGCE
Mr A Fittis BSc PGCE
E Hawthorne MSci PGCE
Mr P McKittrick MSc BSc PGCE PQH
Mr M Irwin BEd

Our Aim As A Department

Fundamental is the realisation that the learning and development of each child is a partnership between parents, teachers and the individual pupil.

In the Mathematics department we also aim:

  • To develop, maintain and stimulate students' curiosity, interest and enjoyment in mathematics.

  • To develop students' familiarity with appropriate mathematical concepts, principles, methods and vocabulary.

  • To develop students' understanding of mathematics in its widest context and see how it relates to life outside school.

  • To enable pupils to develop a range of desirable personal qualities such as safety, awareness, politeness, perseverance, concern for others, initiative and independence.

  • To enable independent and group work for all students as appropriate.

  • To enable all students to have equal access to mathematics and to experience success in their work.

  • To allow students to develop transferable skills and informed opinions about their mathematics and to be able to support them by reasoned arguments.

Key Stage 3 Course

In Years 8, 9 and 10 there are 6 or 7 periods (65 mins each) in a two week cycle. There is standardised continual assessment throughout the three years as well as assessments at Christmas and in the summer. In Years 8 & 9 pupils are taught in registration group classes but in Year 10 they are banded according to their performance in assessments. Throughout the course pupils cover topics in number, algebra, geometry and statistics and are assessed in the cross curricular skill of using mathematics.

GCSE Course


At Carrickfergus Grammar School we also seek to create an interest in the subject so that all students will ultimately find it rewarding. KS3 work is essential preparation for GCSE Mathematics. In Year 11, we review some of these topics and introduce the easier sections of the new course. In Year 12, we complete the syllabus by tackling the more difficult topics.

We also offer an accelerated course to pupils who have achieved in the top 40% of the year group in Year 10. These pupils complete their GCSE Mathematics at the end of Year 11 and then study GCSE Further Mathematics in Year 12.

Course Details
We currently follow the CCEA Mathematics 2 tier modular course available at

Scheme of Assessment
There is no coursework. Assessment is by examination only.

Paper M3 OR M4  - 45 % ( 2 hours) Calculator paper
Paper M7 OR M8 - 55 % ( 2½ hours) Contains a Calculator and Non-Calculator section


Available grades are​

A* - D for the M4 and M8 combination

A – E for the M4 and M7 combination

B – F for the M3 and M7 combination

GCSE Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics is an extra GCSE subject designed for students with above average mathematical ability. It follows on in Year 12 for the pupils who have completed their GCSE mathematics in one year within the accelerated programme. It aims to broaden the mathematical experience of high attaining students, beyond the limits of the existing GCSE Mathematics syllabus.

You can only take Further Mathematics if you achieve a high enough mark in the Year 10 exam and have proven your mathematical ability through continual assessments throughout Year 10.

Course Details
We currently follow the CCEA Further Mathematics course available at

Tier of Entry
There is only one level of entry. Available grades are A* - E.

Syllabus Content
The course is divided into two sections worth 50%:
Unit 1: Pure Mathematics
Unit 2: Mechanics and Statistics

AS/A2 Level Mathematics Course


1. Requires:

Above average ability in Mathematics with an A grade in GCSE Mathematics (achieved by a combination of the M4 and M8 papers) and preferably a grade B or above in Further Mathematics.

2. Modules:

i. Study two modules in Year 13 and achieve an AS. (Modules AS 1 is Pure Mathematics and AS 2 is Applied Mathematics)
ii. Study 2 modules in Year 13 and 2 modules in Year 14 and achieve an A2 level. (Year 14 modules A2 1 is Pure Mathematics and A2 2 is Applied Mathematics)

3. Course Breakdown:
AS Weightings

AS 1 is worth 60%

AS 2 is worth 40%

A2 Weightings

A2 1 is worth 36%

A2 2 is worth 24%

AS 1 is worth 24%

AS 2 is worth 16%

4. Post A2

Most pupils taking either AS Level or A2 Level Mathematics will be proceeding to University/Further Education - their Mathematics result will form:
i. Part of the required entrance requirement
ii. A basis for further study in Mathematics, Engineering, Physics and a further array of scientific and numerical based degree course.

5. Resources
There are a variety of computerised resources available to help with both A2 and AS Level Mathematics available by the ccea website.

AS/A2 Level Further Mathematics Course
In additional to A level Mathematics we also offer both a 1 year AS level and a 2 year A2 level in Further Mathematics for the top mathematicians in the year. Year 14 pupils who study A level Mathematics can also pick up Further Mathematics as an additional AS level. The class runs as a joint Year 13 / Year 14 class and is designed specifically for those pupils wishing to go on to study Mathematics, Engineering or Physics at university or for those who simply wish to increase their mathematical knowledge.

1. Modules:
i. Study two modules in Year 13 and achieve an AS. (Modules AS 1 is Pure Mathematics and AS 2 is Applied Mathematics)
ii. Study 2 modules in Year 13 and 2 modules in Year 14 and achieve an A2 level. (Year 14 modules A2 1 is Pure Mathematics and A2 2 is Applied Mathematics)

3. Course Breakdown:
AS Weightings                              

AS 1 is worth 50%

AS 2 is worth 50%

A2 Weightings                        

A2 1 is worth 30 %

A2 2 is worth 30%

AS 1 is worth 20 %

AS 2 is worth 20%

Mathematics is the building block of all sciences and engineering.

- Unknown Author

Career Options

There are very few jobs for which a grade C or above in GCSE Mathematics is not one of the criteria for application. It is also an essential qualification for entry to any course in third level education.

If you enjoy Mathematics and have shown ability at KS3 level, you should seriously consider taking Further Mathematics as one of your optional GCSE subjects.

Further Mathematics provides an extra GCSE mathematical qualification that will enhance your career prospects. Highly numerate students are eagerly sought in all areas of employment.

Further Mathematics bridges the gap between GCSE and A-level by allowing pupils to study much of the AS Mathematics course in Year 12. Most students who follow this course continue to study Mathematics at A-level.

Further Mathematics can also help with the mathematical content of other A-level subjects. Pure Mathematics is useful in Science, Mechanics is useful in Physics and Statistics is useful in Business Studies, Biology and Geography.

Additional Information
The knowledge and skills delivered by the Further Mathematics course will be invaluable in helping pupils cope with the mathematical content of all the A level sciences but is especially useful in Physics.

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