Mathematics Department

Departmental Staff List:

Mrs B McNamee (Head of Department)

Miss M O’Toole   (Assistant Head of Department, Numeracy Coordinator)

Mr P McIlwaine   (Vice Principal)

Miss S Gillan

Miss L McGranaghan

Mrs P McIntosh

Mrs O McKenna


The Mathematics Department in St Killian’s College endeavours to ensure that:

By the end of his/her mathematical education in this school, each student will be able:

  • To perform basic numeracy skills
  • To perform the basic mathematical skills needed in his/her chosen career or for entry to higher or further mathematical education
  • To understand the mathematics likely to be encountered in daily adult life
  • To reason clearly and logically, and to set out a rational argument
  • To identify patterns encountered in diverse situations and to extrapolate from these
  • To approach problems systematically, choosing appropriate techniques for their solution
  • To follow logical instructions clearly expressed
  • To experience satisfaction in and enjoyment of his/her mathematical achievements
  • To obtain any formal mathematical qualifications needed for his/her chosen career
  • To obtain his/her best possible results at KS3, KS4, AS/A Level & other Sixth Form courses.

In addition, we hope that students will acquire the logical abilities characteristic of a mathematician.

Departmental Overview

Key Stage 3

At KS3 all students follow the same curriculum with lessons appropriately differentiated.  Students are tested at the end of each topic and will complete in-school exams at Christmas and in the summer.  Year 10 students will also complete three ‘Using Mathematics’ assessments throughout the year which will result in an overall level of attainment at KS3.  Students are streamed according to their ability at the end of Yr 9 and again at the end of Yr 10.

Key Stage 4

KS4 students will follow the CCEA Mathematics specification for GCSE.  They will complete modules in June of Yr 11 and January and June in Yr 12.  Further mathematics is available as a subject choice in Yr 11.  Students who select this option will complete GCSE Mathematics in June of Yr 11 and GCSE Further Mathematics in June of Yr 12.

Post 16

Students who choose to study Mathematics at Post 16 level will follow the CCEA specification.  They will study two pure mathematics modules, C1 and C2, along with one mechanics module, M1, in Yr 13.  Two pure mathematics modules, C3 and C4, and a statistics module, S1, will be studied in Yr 14.  Exams will be taken in January and June in each year.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How often will I get maths homeworks?

Maths home works will be set regularly.  All students should complete all homework given by teachers to the best of their ability.  It is strongly advised that students review their notes and class work on a regular basis.

  • What materials will I need to bring to school for my maths lesson?     

You must always be prepared for each lesson.  Basic equipment includes exercise book, notebook and textbook.  You should always be equipped with stationary such as a pen, pencil, ruler, calculator (Yr 9+).  Should you require any other equipment, your teacher will inform you prior to the lesson.

  • Do I need a home computer?

A computer may be useful for work at home.  There are lots of very useful mathematical websites that students can use to help gain confidence in maths and also provide help with more difficult topics.

Also, throughout the school year students will be involved in activities such as World Maths Day and Maths Week where students will be issued with usernames and passwords for certain websites which allow them to compete against schools around the world in mathematical competitions.

  • How can I be successful in maths?

Always work to the best of your ability and always ask the teacher if you need help.

  • What careers or employment prospects are there with this subject?

Maths is important because it is the most widely used subject in the world. Every career uses some sort of maths. More importantly, doing maths helps the mind to reason and organise complicated situations or problems into clear, simple, and logical steps. Thus, as students learn more maths, the rationale is that their minds will eventually develop into logical entity that can resolve any difficult situations. The reality is that in a society such as ours, high paying jobs often demand someone who can take complicated situations and simplify it to the level that everyone can understand. Therefore, by knowing more maths, students give themselves the competitive edge they will need to compete for these high paying jobs.

Activities / Competitions:

Throughout the year there are many mathematical events and competitions in which students are encouraged to participate:

  • ·                     Number Day
  • ·                     UK Maths Challenge – Junior & Intermediate
  • ·                     STEM Day
  • ·                     Maths Week Ireland
  • ·                     Game 24 Tournament
  • ·                     World Maths Day

Useful Mathematics websites:



GCSE Mathematics is designed to promote continuity, coherence and progression within the study of mathematics.  It builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed within KS3.  The subject content is divided into four areas of study:


(a) using and applying mathematics                    (b) number and algebra

(c) shape, space and measure                           (d) handling data




GCSE Mathematics is compulsory.


CCEA Specification:  Two tiers are available – higher and foundation.


Pupils who are considering A Level mathematics must cover the CCEA specification at the higher tier (modules T4 and T6).  Most pupils who are placed in the CCEA specification classes will enter into higher level mathematics (modules T3 or T4 and T6); however, the option to enter into the foundation tier is available if deemed appropriate.  The content of the foundation syllabus is not as intense as the high level. The grades offered at foundation level are C-G and at high level A*-D.  Both tiers are assessed through a modular exam and a completion paper: T3 or T4 in Year 11 and T6 in Year 12.


AQA Specification:  Two tiers are available – higher and foundation.


Most pupils who are placed in the AQA specification classes will enter into foundation level mathematics but modules are available at the higher level if deemed appropriate. The content of the higher syllabus is much more intense than at the foundation level. The grades offered at foundation level are C-G and at high level A*-D.  Both tiers are assessed through 3 modular exams: Units 1 and 2 in Year 11 and Unit 3 in Year 12.


In Year 11, mathematics classes are blocked.  The pupils are placed into a suitable group on the basis of their Key Stage 3 exam in Year 10.  One group does GCSE higher level mathematics in Year 11 and then GCSE Additional Mathematics in Year 12.  The other groups sit modules of the appropriate GCSE specification in Years 11 and 12.