Mathematics curriculum at Dominican College Sion Hill
Mathematics is a core subject for all students throughout their six-year cycle in Sion Hill.
All Mathematics classrooms are equipped with interactive Whiteboards. These use ‘ActivInspire’ software, which is particularly suited to Mathematics teaching. There is an extensive range of hands-on resources which are used to promote co-operative learning and deep understanding of core concepts. The Mathematics Department works closely with other subject departments in delivering a school-wide Numeracy Programme. Schoology is used as a Learning Platform for the sharing of resources in all years. For years that have i-Pads, useful websites are accessed in class.
Mathematics is a wide-ranging subject with many aspects. Most people are familiar with the fact that mathematics is an intellectual discipline that deals with abstractions, logical arguments, deduction and calculation. But mathematics is also an expression of the human mind reflecting the active will, the contemplative reason and the desire for aesthetic perfection. It is also about pattern, the mathematics of which can be used to explain and control natural happenings and situations. Increasingly, mathematics is the key to opportunity. No longer simply the language of science, mathematics contributes in direct and fundamental ways to business, finance, health and defence.
For students it opens doors to careers. For citizens it enables informed decisions. For nations it provides knowledge to compete in a technological community. Participating fully in the world of the future involves tapping into the power of mathematics.
The Mathematics syllabus underwent significant change with the introduction of the new ‘Project Maths’ syllabus over recent years. The NCCA have produced a useful video which explains the benefits of this new syllabus to parents. This can be found at:
The Mathematics syllabus comprises five strands:
- Statistics and Probability
- Geometry and Trigonometry
Junior Certificate Mathematics
Junior Certificate Mathematics is offered at three levels: Foundation, Ordinary and Higher, with separate syllabuses for each level. It is examined at all three levels by means of terminal examination papers. There is one examination paper at Foundation level and two at Ordinary and Higher levels.
New Junior Cycle
This mathematics specification provides students with access to important mathematical ideas to develop the mathematical knowledge and skills that they will draw on in their personal and work lives. This specification also provides students, as lifelong learners, with the basis on which further study and research in mathematics and many other fields are built.
Mathematical ideas have evolved across societies and cultures over thousands of years, and are constantly developing. Digital technologies are facilitating this expansion of ideas and provide new tools for mathematical exploration and invention. While the usefulness of mathematics for problem solving is well known, mathematics also has a fundamental role in both enabling and sustaining cultural, social, economic and technological advances and empowering individuals to become critical citizens.
The specification is underpinned by the conception of mathematics as an interconnected body of ideas and reasoning processes that students negotiate collaboratively with teachers and their peers and as independent learners. Number, measurement and geometry, statistics and probability are common aspects of most people’s mathematical experiences in everyday personal, study and work situations. Equally important are the essential roles that algebra, functions and relations, logic, mathematical structure and working mathematically play in people’s understanding of the natural and social worlds, and the interaction between them.
The mathematics specification builds on students’ prior learning and focuses on developing increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, reasoning, computational thinking and problem solving. These capabilities enable students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations by employing mathematics to make informed decisions and solve problems efficiently.
The specification supports student learning across the whole educational system by ensuring that the links between the various components of mathematics, as well as the relationship between mathematics and other subjects, are emphasised. Mathematics is composed of multiple but interrelated and interdependent concepts and structures which students can apply beyond the mathematics classroom. For example, in science, understanding sources of error and their impact on the confidence of conclusions is vital; in geography, interpretation of data underpins the study of human populations and their physical environments; in history, students need to be able to imagine timelines and time frames to reconcile related events; and in English, deriving quantitative, logical and spatial information is an important aspect of making meaning of texts. Thus the understanding of mathematics developed through study at junior cycle can inform and support students’ learning across the whole educational system.
Leaving Certificate Mathematics
Leaving Certificate Mathematics is also provided at Foundation, Ordinary and Higher levels, with separate syllabuses for each level, and each examined by means of terminal examination papers (two at each level).
The Mathematics Department