Programme Structure

The Leaving Certificate Mathematics syllabus comprises five strands:

  1. Statistics and Probability
  2. Geometry and Trigonometry
  3. Number
  4. Algebra
  5. Functions

The strand structure of the syllabus should not be taken to imply that topics are to be studied in isolation. Where appropriate, connections are made within and across the strands and with other areas of learning. In each strand of this syllabus, learning outcomes specific to that strand are listed. The Ordinary level and Higher level outcomes and are listed separately. The learning outcomes specified at Ordinary level are a subset of the learning outcomes for those studying at Higher level. At Ordinary level and Higher level, knowledge of the content and learning outcomes at the corresponding level in the Junior Certificate Mathematics syllabus is assumed. 

The Leaving Certificate Mathematics syllabus is designed as a 180–hour course of study. There are five key skills identified as central to teaching and learning across the curriculum at senior cycle. These are information processing, being personally effective, communicating, critical and creative thinking and working with others. These key skills are important for all learners to reach their full potential – both during their time in school and in the future – and to participate fully in society, including family life, the world of work and lifelong learning. By engaging with key skills learners enhance their ability to learn, broaden the scope of their learning and increase their capacity for learning.

Subject Planning for a Culturally Diverse Society 

The universal nature of Mathematics means that there is perhaps less difficulty in this area than in other subjects. For students with little or no English, however, it can be much more difficult to keep up in class. Teachers recognise this and make provision to give extra help to students in this category. 

Year Allocation Timetabling:

Junior Cycle:

5 x 40 minute periods

Senior Cycle: 

5 x 40 minute periods

Grouping of Pupils

First Year:

All first year classes are mixed ability classes. Students with difficulties in this subject are identified at the start of the year and given special help. Common first year exams are held at October, Christmas and at the end of First Year. These, together with their performance during first year, are used to reorganise the classes. 

Second Year:

The Higher Level option is offered in second year. Classes are usually parallel and this facilitates the movement of students, thus providing Higher Level and Ordinary Level classes.  

Third Year:

Classes continue as in 2nd year. 

Transition Year:

There is one class of transition year students following a single programme. Student undertake a TY Maths module in fourth year

Fifth and Sixth Year:

While students are encouraged to consider Higher Level, historically there has been usually only one Higher Level class with the majority of students opting to take Ordinary Level. However, with the introduction of the ‘Project Maths ‘syllabi for both Junior and Leaving Certificate Mathematics the numbers doing higher level is envisaged to rise dramatically. Paralleled classes allow for the movement of pupils between Higher Level and Ordinary Level. Classes are not usually allocated for Foundation Level, but students are facilitated in pursuing this course if the need arises. 

Additional Classes:

Extra Mathematics classes are also provided by the staff on a goodwill basis.


  • There is no streaming in 1st Year 
  • During 2nd year students are divided into Mathematics classes 
  • Senior classes are also streamed per preferences and/or ability 

Student Access to Subject/Level

All students have access to all levels in Mathematics. Students are encouraged to achieve their full potential.

Assessment (School Policy)

Term 1 – Summer – Halloween

Students should have an exam at the end of this term. This test is worth 40% of the Christmas result. This test should include the use of Digital Technology. 

Term 2 – Halloween – Christmas:

In-House exams at Christmas worth 60%

The Halloween and Christmas exams are combined and sent home to parents.

Term 3 – January to midterm break

Students should have an exam at the end of this term. This test is worth 20% of the Summer result. 

Term 4- February Midterm- Easter:

Students should have an exam at the end of this term. This test is worth 20% of the Summer result. 

Summer exam:

In-House exams at Summer worth 60%

The February Midterm and Easter exam results are combined and sent home to parents.

 ** Note School Assessment Policy to be reviewed following our in-service on “Reporting and Assessment” on 17th September 2019.