Department               Mathematics

Staff in Department
 Mr C Kennedy  (Head of Department)

Miss E Hyde

Mrs G Patterson


Ms K Savage

Miss M Heaney

Mrs S Coulter

Mrs S Mawhinney

Aims of Department
Mathematics has a unique place in human development. It provides a way of viewing and making sense of the world in which we live. It is the intention of the Mathematics Department to create a vibrant and positive attitude towards mathematics. It is vital that we develop children’s appreciation of a skill for life through practical application and visualisation of mathematics.
Key Stage 3
KS3 is spread over three years. Students are taught in sets according to their ability and have five lessons per week. Our KS3 schemes of work consolidate the core skills in the four key areas of Mathematics: Number, Algebra, Shape and Space and Data Handling. Students also have the opportunity to apply the mathematics they learn by completing Functional Skills tasks, rich tasks and investigations. Students are assessed four times throughout the year and are given targets to help them improve their work.

Course Outline:

During their first year at Breda Academy, pupils consolidate the mathematical skills acquired in primary school at Key Stage 2 by embarking on the Key Stage 3 Programme of Study. This entails work on Number, Shape and Space, Algebra, Data Handling and Financial Capability. Elements of personal finance are introduced this year to the students. Pupils will be able to explore the concepts of budgeting, making their own financial decisions, understanding how banks, credit or debit cards work and applying their knowledge and skills creatively in a range of situations. Pupils will be encouraged to learn basic computational skills without using a calculator and practise mental arithmetic. Throughout their time at Breda Academy students will be introduced to ICT through Mathematics with the use of their ipads.

Key Stage 4 Pathway

All pupils in Years 11 and 12 must follow a full course in Mathematics. For the majority of pupils this will mean Key Stage 4 / GCSE Mathematics with written modular examinations taken during Years 11 and 12.

For GCSE Mathematics the course followed is that described by the Statement of Attainment and Programmes of Study as laid down for Key Stage 4, and the syllabus followed is that offered by the CCEA exam board. Pupils are expected to have their own scientific calculator at the beginning of Year 11.

This Course Is Suitable If:

This GCSE is a two year unitised course providing a sound basis for progression to employment and further education, particularly GCE AS/A2 Mathematics. You will study number, algebra, geometry and measures and statistics and probability. The content that you will study is divided into six units (T1, T2, T3, T4, T5 and T6). All units (T1, T2, T3 and T4) and both of the completion tests (T5 and T6) will be available in January and June.

What Will I Study?

·         Foundation Tier T2 and T5

·         Higher Tier T3 and T6 or T4 and T6

You Will Study:

·         Unit T2 plus Unit T5

·         Unit T3 or Unit T4 plus Unit T6

All Units will cover the following areas:

·         Number and Algebra;

·         Geometry and Measures; and

·         Statistics and Probability.

Depending on your ability and performance you may be entered for a combination of units. Every candidate has access to Grade C.

How Will I Be Assessed?

You will sit two units: one from T1, T2, T3 and T4 and one from T5 and T6. Units T1, T2, T3 and T4 will be worth 45% each while Units T5 and T6 will be worth 55% each. You may resit T1, T2, T3 or T4 only once. This allows you to monitor your progress and offers an opportunity to improve your results. Within all units you will be assessed on the functional elements of Mathematics. This means that you will need to show how you can apply Mathematical skills to questions set in wide range of contexts. There will also be questions which will assess your quality of written communication (QWC). These QWC questions will assess how you can express your solutions to the questions in clear, concise and correct mathematical language – in words or in symbol form. Candidates entered for Higher Tier must also have studied all of the content of the Foundation Tier. Candidates may sit units from different tiers and the results from each unit will be combined to give a total uniform mark. The final grade will be determined by the total uniform mark for the better results in both the unit test and the completion test.

Foundation Tier:

·         Unit T1 – external written test with a calculator – 1 hour and 30 minutes – worth 45% or

·         Unit T2 – external written test with a calculator – 1 hour and 30 minutes – worth 45% and

·         Unit T5 – external written tests: one paper with a calculator/one without a calculator – each 1 hour – worth 55%.

Higher Tier:

·         Unit T1 – external written test with a calculator – 1 hour and 30 minutes – worth 45% or

·         Unit T2 – external written test with a calculator – 1 hour and 30 minutes – worth 45% and

·         Unit T5 – external written tests: one paper with a calculator/one without a calculator – each 1 hour – worth 55%.

What Skills Will I Gain Studying This Subject?

In studying this course you will:

·         develop knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts;

·         acquire and use problem-solving strategies;

·         select and apply mathematical techniques/methods in mathematical everyday and real-world situations;

·         reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences, and draw conclusion;

·         interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context; and

·         acquire a foundation appropriate to a further study of mathematics and of other disciplines.

Progression Routes After This Course:

The study of Mathematics at A-Level opens the door to many careers – Engineering, Computing, Architecture, Actuarial Sciences, Business and others. While being highly desirable for some of these it is essential for others, pupils should consult the school’s career officer for further details. Please note that some Universities require a minimum of a grade B for entry e.g. Queen’s University – All Business-related degrees, Engineering, Computer Science, Politics and Economics; University of Ulster – Accounting, Engineering, Managerial Finance and Investment Analysis. Pupils should consult university prospectuses for further details. Some Careers where Mathematics is useful; Actuarial Science, Aeronautical Engineering, Biochemistry, Biomedical Science, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry Computing, Dentistry, Electronic/Electrical Engineering, Teaching Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Optometry, Physics, Veterinary Science.

Where Can I Find Out More?

There are a number of ways that you can find out more about Mathematics. These include:

·         CCEA microsite;

·         Mathematics Teachers in Breda Academy;

·         Students who have already studied the subject.

Useful Sites

Rainforest Maths  Aimed at: Key Stages 3 and 4 If you are in Years 8 to 10, or you are doing the Foundation paper at GCSE, then have a look at this excellent Australian website. It has lots of interactive notes and activities for you to practise your maths and sort any problems out.

BBC BiteSize  Aimed at: All Key Stages They say the old ones are the best, and this is still probably the best one-stop place to call in for notes, examples, interactive solutions and questions for you to have a go at yourself. Each question has its level next to it, and you can even download a big revision check-list to make sure you there will be no nasty surprises in the exam. What more could you want in a website?

Subtangent  Aimed at: Key Stages 3 and 4 Lots of topics in the Revision section, and in the Test Yourself bit you can tackle the following topics – Function Machines, Number Properties, Pythagoras, and Quadratics. The questions are of an interactive nature, and are extremely well laid out. There are also some good games, for when you have earned a break from revision.

InteractiveMaths Puzzles  Aimed at: Key Stages 3 Quite a few decent puzzles covering a wide range of topics. Many puzzles rely on the use of “matching things”. Good for a quick revision of topics, and it shouldn’t give you too much of a headache.

Supermathsworld  Aimed at: Key Stages 3 and 4 A collection of some of the best and most original maths games around. The website even keeps a record of your progress, and the longer you play, the more you learn.

Key Stage 5

Enhance your financial capability. Learn about the many financial products you will require over a lifetime and help you make the right choices from the wide range available within the financial services marketplace.

The Course Is Suitable If:

You have an interest in understanding financial matters. This qualification is not just for people who want a career in financial services, it is for anyone who wants to make better-informed choices when managing their money.

What Will I Study?

Year 13 – Certificate in Financial Studies leading to Year 14 – Diploma in Financial Studies. AS Unit 1: Financial Capability for the Immediate and Short Term: This unit highlights the importance of financial capability in meeting immediate and short-term financial needs.

·         It introduces students to the financial services industry by focusing on the interaction between money, personal finance and the financial services market place.

·         tudents will gain an understanding of cash flow to meet immediate and short-term financial needs through balancing income against expenditure.

·         Students will gain an appreciation of the differentiation of financial products for savings and the key features of interest and charges on borrowing.

·         Students will understand their key responsibilities in terms of earning, income tax, National Insurance and other personal financial considerations depending on the stage of their life cycle.

·         Students will gain an appreciation of why money is important through focusing on what money is, attitudes to it, and how it can affect life choices.

AS Unit 2: Financial Capability for the Medium and Long Term: This unit highlights the importance of planning for medium and long-term financial needs, with particular reference to the importance of the need to budget for future aspirations and life events.

·         It introduces students to the features of risks and reward in managing personal finances.

·         Students will consider the changing priorities attached to needs, wants and aspirations as individuals progress through the personal life cycle and the role of financial services in assisting lifelong financial planning.

·         Students will gain an understanding of the personal approaches that individuals take towards risk and rewards and the impact of foreseen and unforeseen influences on financial budgeting.

·         Students will understand the features of different types of financial services product, how to make informed choices about these financial services products, and when, where and how they can get financial help and advice.

·         Students will gain an appreciation of the differentiation of financial products for investment and borrowing, and the charges attached to them.

·         Students will consider the validity of data and information as a means of assisting in the financial decision-making process.

How Will I Be Assessed?

All units will be assessed by a written paper made up of the following components:

·         Multiple-choice questions;

·         pre-release case study requiring essay responses to 5 questions.

Certificate in Financial Services (CeFS) is equivalent to a GCE AS Level qualification. Diploma in Financial Services (DipFS) is equivalent to a GCE A2 Level qualification. The qualification carries the same UCAS points.

What Skills Will I Gain Studying This Subject?

The qualification will encourage students to:

·         Analyse financial information, financial services products and services and begin to make judgements about suitability for people in different circumstances;

·         Understand financial concepts and terminology;

·         Analyse, synthesise, evaluate and reflect;

·         Demonstrate numeracy skills including the ability to manipulate financial and other numerical data;

·         Select appropriate data and information to make arguments;

·         Structure and communicate ideas logically and coherently; and

·         Increase their ability to work and learn independently.

Some Careers Where This Subject Is Useful:

This course provides a route to higher education and to a career in finance. A number of past pupils have gone on to pursue higher level education in related and unrelated areas. These have included: Finance, Financial Services, Business Studies, Hotel and Tourism, Real Estate Management , Marketing, Banking,

Specific finance jobs could include: Insurance, Banking, Financial Advisor, Tax Planning, Accountancy, Consultancy, Mortgage Adviser, Asset Management, Sales.

Where Can I Find Out More?

·         Mr C Kennedy (Head of Mathematics)

·         Careers Adviser


The Mathematics department will issue regular homework normally related to the learning experience being covered by the pupils unless it is specifically for revision purposes. All members of the department will insure homework is recorded correctly in the homework diary issued to the pupils we would also ask parents or carers to check these diaries to make sure pupils do not forget to do homework.

Homework is used to:

·         Give pupils the opportunity to practice skills taught in the class,

·         Allow pupils to revise for assessments,

·         Give pupils the opportunity to asses if they are secure in topics,

·         Allow the teacher to plan the content of lessons to allow progression by all pupils.

Homework will be marked in one of three ways:

·         Teacher marked,

·         Self marked by the pupil,

·         Peer marked by another pupil in the class.