I received a Masters in Product Design from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. I then got offered a job as a teaching assistant at the university. I am also doing an internship with the designer, Philip Starck in Paris.

Fiona Pender
Class of 2002



Within the maths department, our aim is to provide the students with the necessary mathematical skills which will help them meet the challenges and problems of the real world.  This means we attempt to use maths as a tool for solving problems which they will meet as adults when they enter the world of work.  The emphasis within the department is on both knowledge skills and on deductive reasoning; which is developed both by discovery and by the use of didactic teaching. 

To achieve success in life, our students are going to have to be able to demonstrate what they have learned, discovered or simply been told in the context of sitting recognised externally assessed examinations. The recently installed smartboards are used extensively by teachers to provide high quality, stimulating lessons which will continue the departments' drive for academic excellence at all levels of study.

Mathematics differs from nearly every other subject in that, as well as the obvious need to memorise a recognised set of basic facts, it is a logical science and hence, though much of the actual content will never be consciously used by the students in later life, it will train them to tackle and reason a problem using a logical argument.  It is also obviously a generic tool utilised by many other departments. 

We trust you will feel most welcome within our department!

S1 & S2 pupils build on knowledge gained from Junior School.  Pupils then move on to National 4 or National 5.  Gaining a pass National 4 moves pupils on to National 5.  Higher is available to pupils gaining a Grade A at National 5.  Advanced Higher is also available.

S1 & S2 Maths

Follow the S1 syllabus from the Heinemann R1 textbook. The top level textbook for that yeargroup; students briefly consolidate the main Junior school topics prior to commencing the S1 course.

Follow the S2 syllabus from the Heinemann R2 textbook, and commence the National 5 syllabus.

National 4/5 Maths

Mathematics is the study of measurement, properties and relationships using numbers and symbols. It helps us to make sense of the world around us. Mathematics can be used to model real-life situations and can equip us with the skills we need to interpret and analyse information, simplify and solve problems, assess risks and make informed decisions.

Skills and Knowledge
A broad overview of the subject skills, knowledge and understanding that will be covered in the course includes:

Operational skills:

  • algebraic — working with patterns, expressions, equations and graphs
  • geometric — using properties of shapes, calculating angles and lengths
  • trigonometric — using trigonometric ratios and relationships
  • statistical — calculation of statistics, presenting information, assessing risk.

 Reasoning skills:

  • investigative — researching and extracting information
  • problem solving — formulating an approach to reach a conclusion
  • analytical — interpreting information, using logic, providing justification and proof
  • modelling — applying a suitable mathematical model.

Your skills in using a calculator will also be developed.

Learning and Teaching Methods
A varied and flexible approach is aimed for in the department, including class discussion and group work (particularly in investigative, practical, context-based work). A programme of promoting investigative skills runs from S1-S5. The interactive SmartBoards are used extensively.

Careers Information
Mathematics is used in everyday activities and has been one of the greatest influences in shaping the modern world in the fields of science, technology, engineering, business and even our social life. Mathematics is essential for many careers and higher education courses (e.g. business analysis, statistics, computational mathematics, management science, engineering, science, architecture, aviation etc.).

Higher Maths

The aim of this course is to build upon and extend students’ Mathematical learning in the areas of Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry and to introduce students to elementary Calculus. 

Mathematics 1 (H), Mathematics 2 (H) and Mathematics 3 (H)

Recommended Entry
Students would normally be expected to have attained a National 5 grade A award.

Course Details
Three mandatory 40 hour units.

Unit Title, Length and Brief Description
Mathematics 1 (Expressions & Functions) 40 hours - Topics studied include logarithms and exponentials; trigonometric expressions; functions & graphs; composite & inverse functions; vectors

Mathematics 2 (Relationships & Calculus) 40 hours - Topics include algebraic equations; Trigonometric equations; Calculus – Differentiation & Integration

Mathematics 3 (Applications) 40 hours - Topics include the straight line, the circle, sequences; differential calculus; integral calculus

Main Textbook is ‘CfE Higher Maths’ (Leckie & Leckie)

Departmental worksheets are also in use.

There are 3 internal assessments (testing the 3 units shown above) plus one externally marked final examination.

Prelim examinations take place in February and April.

Advanced Higher Maths 

The course seeks to give students a broad background of Mathematics.  It is designed to meet the needs of those going into a wide variety of courses, as well as preparing students for further studies in Mathematics.  For this reason the course embraces both Pure and Applied Mathematical topics.  Some use of Numerical Methods, an introduction to Statistics and several applications in Mechanics are included so that students can meet these important strands of Mathematics without necessarily taking one of the specialised courses in these topics.

Recommended Entry
Students would normally be expected to have attained a Higher Mathematics grade A award.

Course Outline
Topics are studied in the following areas:

  • Algebra: Algebraic skills, system of linear equations, sequences, series, complex numbers, matrix algebra
  • Calculus: Differentiation, integration, curve sketching, differential equations
  • Proof theory

The main textbook is ‘Maths In Action – Advanced Higher Maths.’

Departmental worksheets are also in use.

The ideas and skills acquired in previous years are consolidated and developed throughout the course with the aim of providing students with the Mathematics necessary for practical problem solving.  A number of coursework tasks have been prepared, and these provide the basis for students to learn via investigative approaches.

Homework is set after each lesson.  It is expected that students should research and carry out more than the minimum alloted tasks.

Assessments take place in November and the Prelim examinations are in February and April.

Higher Education
There are many opportunities for the use Advanced Higher Mathematics, especially in year 1 of a University course involving the sciences or maths.