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Mathematics with Financial Capabilities

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Department Staff

Mr S Cowden (Head of Mathematics and Numeracy)

Mrs F Jess

Mr S McKeag

Mr M McKee

Mathematics at Nendrum College


Mathematics embraces a wide range of inter-related activities. It is concerned with the organisation, manipulation and communication of information according to well-defined rules and processes. Everyone will appreciate that these include an understanding of number, measurement and data handling skills and their use in many walks of life.


We teach Mathematics because it is an enjoyable intellectual activity. Mathematics can be a stimulating, challenging and enjoyable experience. It gives pupils the opportunity to “get the right answer” and such mastery of a subject results in enjoyment. If this reason for studying Mathematics is to be fulfilled, then the “can’t do” attitude to Mathematics must be challenged.


Mathematics makes a major contribution to other subjects. Work in many other subjects involves mathematical activities. If pupils can see why certain aspects of Mathematics should be learnt this will provide motivation and encouragement.


Pupils need to see the use of Mathematics in everyday life. A facility in Mathematics is necessary in managing budgets, DIY tasks, understanding statistical and graphical data and many other aspects of life in the home or in adulthood.


Mathematics can contribute significantly to the development of pupils’ general skills and qualities such as communication, reasoning, problem solving, perseverance and creativity. It is a vehicle for development of general skills and personal qualities.



The aims of our Mathematics Department are to encourage:

  • A curiosity, interest and enjoyment from doing Mathematics
  • a sense of healthy self-esteem
  • all children to think clearly, creatively and critically
  • pupils to work co-operatively and independently
  • pupils to be tolerant of the opinions of others
  • the development of the self-discipline to work at an appropriate task, in some depth, over a period of time
  • pupils to communicate clearly their thinking
  • an appreciation of the place of Mathematics in society
  • an appreciation of the interdependence of the different branches of Mathematics
  • an awareness of the contribution Mathematics makes to other subjects



Our objectives are to develop:

  • Pupils’ confidence in their Mathematical abilities
  • A positive attitude towards Mathematics
  • The knowledge, skills and understanding needed to apply a range of mathematical concepts to situations which may arise in their lives
  • An appreciation of patterns and relations in Mathematics
  • Confidence in computation by mental, written and calculator methods
  • Skills associated with solving problems
  • A firm foundation for appropriate further study


In Nendrum College, all junior school students follow the KS3 Northern Ireland Curriculum Programme of Study. Department members use a range of teaching pedagogy to deliver the following key areas: 
  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Shape, Space and Measure
  • Handling Data
  • Using and Applying Mathematics in Financial Contexts
Homework is set on a weekly basis at intervals directed by the College Homework Timetable. 
Attainment is continually assessed through end of unit tests, Common Assessment Tasks (CATs) and formal examinations.

We believe that all students learn in different ways, at different paces and have different strengths and weakness. As a Department, we strive to create a learning environment which challenges and supports all our pupils. We will do this by providing opportunities for pupils to:

• Enjoy learning maths

• Develop self-belief and a desire to reach their full potential

• Experience a variety of learning activities

• Talk about/explain the maths they are learning

• Work with others in pair and group tasks

• Develop their mental maths capabilities.

• Use ICT to develop a fuller understanding of maths concepts

• Learn maths concepts in contexts relevant to their experience

• Transfer their learning in different contexts

• Develop their skills in Managing Information, Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Being Creative, Working with Others and Self-Management

• Become actively involved in and take responsibility for their own learning

• Experience success; and

• Learn how to reflect on and assess their own learning.




Pupils will be entered for the CCEA GCSE Examination at an appropriate level depending on the ability they have demonstrated throughout the two year course. This course consists of two external examinations: a module test (45%) and a final examination worth (55%). Pupils will sit the module test in June of Year 11 and the final completion examination at the end of Year 12. There is no controlled assessment for GCSE Mathematics.


Currently all students in Year 12 have the opportunity to avail of exam support workshops after school in preparation for their forthcoming GCSE examinations. They begin at 3.05pm and continue until 4.00pm.



Some students take up the opportunity to also complete OCN NI Essential Skills in Application of Number (at either Level 1 or Level 2). This is completed in Year 12 after discussion with the class teacher and Head of Department.

A Snapshot in Mathematics

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