Why study Mathematics?

One of the main reason for studying Mathematics is that it is challenging and interesting. The teachers of the Mathematics Department at St. Columb’s College strive to make pupils aware of the wide importance of Mathematics and incorporate various activities and competitions into daily teaching in order to make classes more enjoyable. The everyday use of arithmetic and information displayed on graphs is such an everyday commonplace that learners need to learn problem solving skills that will be valuable outside of the classroom.

The study of Mathematics can satisfy a wide range of interests and abilities. It develops imagination and develops clear and logical thinking. By giving pupils tasks to solve in class, it develops pupils’ ability to formulate problems and achieve a sense of satisfaction when solutions are reached. The use of group work allows pupils to make assumptions and deductions together, and it allows for reasoning of situations which can contribute to our learners’ understanding and appreciation of the real world.

Members of the Department

  • Mrs M McMullan (Head of Subject)
  • Mrs M Doherty
  • Mrs D Duffy
  • Mr B Keys
  • Miss E Kerr
  • Mr D Marlow
  • Mr G Millar
  • Mrs C Smith
  • Mrs M Matthewson
  • Mrs F McCaffery

Teaching of Mathematics
In Key Stage 3 all our pupils develop thinking skills and problem solving skills in

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Shape, space and Measure
  • Handling Data

Pupils also develop their Using Mathematics skills through practical application of the mathematical processes in the classroom whereby learners are given real life problems to solve.

In Key Stage 4, pupils generally work towards a combination of two final examinations in
• T4 which makes up 45% of the overall GCSE grade
• T6 which makes up 55% of the overall GCSE grade and comprises of one calculator paper and one non-calculator paper.

In As Level, we begin with an induction to ensure pupils are familiar with the relevant GCSE content required for the study of A-Level Mathematics. The following modules are then completed in Year 13

• Core Mathematics C1

• Core Mathematics C2

• Mechanics 1

In A-level the pupils continue their studies through the following modules

• Core Mathematics C3

• Core Mathematics C4

• Statistics

Use of ICT and computer skills are developed throughout all year groups through using MyMaths, Fronter, iPads and appropriate web based resources.

Within the Mathematics department we also promote cross-curricular links and develop of pupils’ literacy skills.

In order to develop and enhance problem solving skills, pupils are given opportunities to enter a variety of competitions, such as

• UK Mathemathics Challenges

• Problem Solving Days

• Children-in-Crossfire competitions

• Game 24 where primary school children are invited in to join.

Mathematics as a career

The study of Mathematics opens the door to a wide range of career choices in:

• Finance

• Statistics

• Engineering

• Computers

• Accountancy

• Teaching

The flexibility of Mathematics and its ability to develop logical thought and use of advanced concepts is important in the uncertainty as to which areas will be the best for employment in the future. However, even with a high qualification in Mathematics, if you feel you are more cut out to be a comedian you could always follow in Dara O’Brian’s footsteps!