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Mathematics

Using the universal language of numbers and symbols to develop logical reasoning, problem solve and make sense of the world.

Mathematics is a rich and stimulating subject that engages and fascinates learners of all ages, interests and abilities. Pupils who study maths develop logical reasoning and problem-solving skills while expanding their creativity and the ability to think in abstract ways.

From designing environmentally friendly electric vehicles to modelling the progress of a disease, mathematics underpins almost all scientific and engineering discoveries. Using mathematics enables individuals to model real-life situations in order to make informed predictions, interpret and analyse information, simplify issues, assess risk and make important decisions.

Our department arms pupils with the tools to become competent mathematicians who can contribute to solving tomorrow’s problems. We embed key concepts, helping pupils develop confidence by demonstrating the practical applications of mathematics and using peer activities that promote collaboration to solve problems.

Mathematics allows us to communicate ideas in a concise, unambiguous and rigorous manner. It is absolutely crucial is to everyday life, allowing us to understand the world and to manage our lives.

We also have an excellent record of participation and achievement in national competitions - from competing in UK Maths Trust competitions to testing their mettle in national Olympiads, High School pupils' take the opportunity to challenge themselves on a regular basis.

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From Transitus to Second Year, the Mathematics Department aims to motivate and challenge learners by enabling them to select and apply mathematical techniques in a variety of situations, as well as developing confidence in the subject and a positive attitude towards further study in mathematics.

All pupils study National 5 Mathematics during Third and Fourth Year, expanding on what has been learned throughout pupils' Junior and Senior careers, as well as introducing content from the Higher course. Pupils study the topics: 'Expressions and Formulae', 'Relationships' and 'Applications'. In addition to the learning outcomes of this introductory stage of senior mathematics, pupils at National 5 level develop skills in manipulation of abstract terms in order to solve problems and to generalise, as well as interpreting, communicating and managing information in mathematical form, all of which are vital to scientific and technological research and development. Aptitude in using a graphic calculator is also be developed over the course of Third and Fourth Year.

Higher Mathematics builds upon previous learning, increasing pupils' confidence with all aspects of the algebraic, geometric and trigonometric material from National 5, including functions, quadratics, surds and indices.

The course continues on from the three main units at National 5 level: 'Expressions and Functions', 'Relationships and Calculus' and 'Applications', developing candidates' ability to understand and use a range of complex mathematical concepts and relationships, while using mathematical reasoning skills to extract and interpret information, think logically, provide proof and solve problems.

Again, candidates' final grades are decided by an externally assessed examination that requires application of knowledge and skills acquired throughout Higher Mathematics, while skills in using a graphic calculator will continue to be a crucial part of the mathematics course.
 



Advanced Higher courses extends pupils' knowledge and skills beyond Higher level, as candidates face new academic and personal challenges that require them to expand their knowledge and abilities, and to think and work independently.

Keen mathematicians have the choice of three subjects at this stage: Advanced Higher Mathematics, Advanced Higher Statistics or Advanced Higher Mathematics of Mechanics. These are rigorous and intellectually demanding courses requiring many hours of private study every week - an 'A' grade in Higher Mathematics is necessary to partake in them. The decision to take one, or more, of these courses should not be taken lightly. A high level of ability and keen interest in mathematics is necessary.

In deciding on which Advanced Higher course to study, pupils should consider their future and which course is going to be most useful to them.

Advanced Higher

Courses

Mathematics

The Advanced Higher Mathematics course extends learners' knowledge in algebra, geometry and calculus.

Candidates undertake extensive decision making to solve problems and integrate mathematical knowledge in an interesting and enjoyable course that enhances awareness of the range and power of mathematics.

This course is recommended for those considering a future in engineering, physics or mathematical sciences.

Statistics

This is a specialist course in probability and statistics, that covers a number of interesting topics.

An ability to indulge in logical thought is essential, while experience of graphic calculator use is also beneficial.

This course is highly recommended for those considering further study or employment in the areas of mathematics, biological and social sciences, medicine, accounting, business and management.

Mathematics of Mechanics

This specialist course teaches the skills necessary for exploring ideas in mechanics such as linear and parabolic motion, force and energy.

Although not mandatory, it is desirable that learners' have some experience of Higher Physics.

Mechanics is widely used in physics, technology and engineering. As such, this course is recommended for those who are considering a future in one of these fields.

Where Next?

Business Management & Economics

Social Sciences

Gaining an understanding of power structures, resources and decisions that dictate how we live our day-to-day lives.

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Physics

Natural Sciences

Understanding the world around us, the world inside us and the world beyond us.

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