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St Mary's High School Downpatrick

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Welcome to the Maths Department

GCSE Mathematics

GCSE Mathematics is a modular exam which is examined through the CCEA Examinations Board.

This course requires more problem-solving and applying mathematics than previous specifications

and introduces functional elements in mathematics.

The course gives students opportunities:

  • to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts
  • to acquire and use problem-solving strategies
  • to select and apply mathematical techniques and methods in mathematical, everyday and real-world situations
  • to reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences, and draw conclusions
  • to interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms
  • for progression, including progression to further study of mathematics at AS/A2 level.

The units all provide opportunities for students to develop and apply their mathematical skills to real-life contexts.  Pupils choose one unit in Year 11 and one unit in Year 12.  The grades that students can achieve depend on the units that they sit for assessment.

In Year 11 pupils choose one unit from:

  • Unit T1 or T2 Foundation Tier
  • Unit T3 or T4 Higher Tier 
Year 11   Foundation Unit T1 or T2   45%

T1 Grades Available E, F & G.


  • Whole number calculation, Fractions, Decimals, Percentages, Money
  • Simplifying expressions, Solving equations, Sequences, Co-ordinates
  • Angles, Polygons, Nets, Circle, Measurements, Scale drawings, Volume
  • Data handling cycle, Constructing and Interpreting Graphs, Diagrams and Tables, Averages and range

T2 Grades Available C, D & E. 


  • Calculations with Fractions, Decimals and Percentages
  • Rules of Indices, Trial and Improvement, Factorising, Sequences – Finding the nth term, Setting up and Solving Equations
  • Pythagoras, Circumference and area of a circle, Volumes of a prism, Mid point of a line, Bearings, Congruent and similar Polygons
  • Bias, Questionnaires, Averages and range of grouped data, Constructing and Interpreting scattergraphs, flowcharts and frequency polygons

Written Paper x 1 hour 30 minutes in the form of a single question and answer booklet that includes a formula sheet.


Year 11   Higher Unit T3 or T4   45%

T3 Grades Available A, B, C & D.


  • Upper and lower bounds, Compound interest
  • Factorising quadratic expressions, Simplifying expressions, Solving quadratic equations, Straight line graphs
  • Pythagoras, Perimeter and area, Trigonometric ratios
  • Averages and quartiles of ungrouped/grouped data, Construction and Interpretation of cumulative frequency tables/curves, Stem and leaf diagrams

T4 Grades Available A*, A & B.


  • Fractional/Negative indices, Proportion
  • Simultaneous equations, Solving quadratics using formula, Gradient of lines
  • Sine/Cosine Rules, Area of a triangle formula, Circle theorems
  • Sampling, Histograms

Written Paper x 2 hours 30 minutes in the form of a single question and answer booklet that includes a formula sheet.

In Year 12 pupils sit one unit.

Year 12  Foundation Unit T5 55%

T5 grades Available C, D, E, F & G. 


  • Accuracy, BODMAS, Ratio, Calculate with money
  • Substitution, Change subject of a formula, Plotting quadratic curves
  • Transformations, Compound Measures, Constructions, Perimeter, Area, Loci
  • Probability, Equally likely outcomes, Mutually exclusive events

Written papers 2 x 1 hour in the form of a question and answer booklet that includes a formula sheet.


Year 12   Higher Unit T6 55%

T6 grades Available A*, A, B, C & D.


  • Surds, Indices, Standard form
  • Substitution, Linear inequalities, Solving simultaneous equations graphically and involving quadratics, Curve sketching, Loci, Growth and decay graphs
  • Transformations, Area and volume
  • Probability using and/or, Tree diagrams

Written papers 2 x 1 hour 15 minutes in the form of a question and answer booklet that includes a formula sheet.