“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer”.

Albert Einstein


The mathematics department here at Bailieborough Community School has a strong commitment towards enabling every student to reach their full potential in terms of achievement in the subject.

The aim of our department is to enable our students to:

  • enjoy mathematics and develop a love, fascination and interest in the world of numbers
  • become confident and competent mathematics students
  • develop their use of mathematics as a tool for solving problems
  • become logical and articulate thinkers
  • become familiar with mathematics terminology and be able to use it in a clear and precise manner
  • achieve excellent results in their mathematics examinations and reach their full potential

The mathematics course aims to provide for an enhanced student learning experience and greater levels of achievement for all. Much greater emphasis is placed on student understanding of mathematical concepts, with increased use of real-world contexts and applications that will enable students to relate mathematics to everyday experience.

The mathematics syllabus contains the following strands:

Strand 1: Statistics & Probability

Strand 2: Geometry & Trigonometry

Strand 3: Algebra

Strand 4: Numbers

Strand 5: Functions

Within the mathematics classrooms at Bailieborough Community School the teachers create an environment of shared learning and student involvement, wherein questions are welcomed and encouraged. We promote student interaction in the classroom and discussion of the topics to achieve effective learning. A wide range of teaching methodologies are used including group work, ICT, AFL methodologies and differentiated material to ensure our lessons are varied and the students are interested, appropriately challenged and engaged at all times.

At Bailieborough Community School Leaving Certificate students receive six mathematics periods per week. Classes are separated into higher level and ordinary level in fifth year. The progress of students is monitored continuously and students are assessed on an ongoing basis through teacher observation of classwork and homework, regular class tests, assessment for learning methodologies, and house exams at Christmas and Summer time.

The above assessment methods continue until students sit mock examinations in February of their sixth year in preparation for sitting the Leaving Certificate Exam in June.

Higher level mathematics is considered a very time consuming subject so an additional 25 bonus points was introduced for students who take the higher level exam.

Leaving Certificate Mathematics Exam:

Higher level students take two papers, each lasting two and a half hours.

Ordinary level students take two papers, each lasting two and a half hours.

Paper 1 tests material from Strands 3, 4 and 5.

Paper 2 tests material from Strands 1, 2 and Section 3.4 from Strand 3.

  • Section A – Concepts and skills (6 questions) 150 marks
  • Section B – Contexts and applications (2, 3 or 4 questions) 150 marks

There is no consistency in what question any particular topic will appear. Often questions will test you on a few different topics from across the course. In terms of time management a good starting point is to spend 10 minutes at the start reading the paper and then spend 10 minutes each on the 25 mark questions in Section A, the time per question in Section B will depend on if your paper has 2, 3 or 4 questions.

The examination at Foundation Level will consist of one written paper, carrying 300 marks. The paper will test the material in all 5 strands. There will be two sections on the paper, as follows:

Section A: (8 questions) 200 marks

Section B: (2, 3 or 4 questions) 100 marks

Some tips for doing well in Leaving Certificate Mathematics:

Practice, Practice, Practice – Mathematics is a subject you need to constantly be practicing to do well. Pick a topic, study it and then take some past exam questions and try them, then check your answer against the marking scheme. Make sure you know how to use your calculator and always show your workings when writing your answer.

Future Careers with Leaving Certificate Mathematics

Mathematics is a requirement for entry into many third level courses. It is used throughout everyday life and is an important part of careers such as Business, Finance, Engineering, Science, Accounting, Statistics, Medicine, Teaching, Information Technology and Computing and many, many more.

We hope you enjoy studying Mathematics at Bailieborough Community School.

Some useful mathematics links:




Learn more


Learn more