Departmental Aims

Dominican College Mathematics teachers aim to instil within children a love for Mathematics.

We work continuously with our pupils to help them develop an understanding and appreciation of this fantastic subject that enables them to excel both in their school and future careers.  We aim to help the girls identify cross curricular links with maths and other subjects and encourage them to acknowledge the importance and relevance of maths with regard to real life situations.  The girls participate in a number of different activities, which enable them to learn maths both as a body of knowledge and as a mode of enquiry.  The content and the methods with which they are taught aim to empower the girls to achieve their potential and to make informed and responsible choices throughout their lives.


Mrs M Buick (Head of Senior Mathematics)

Mrs G Morrison (Head of Junior Mathematics)

Mr S Hughes

Mr S Mailey

Miss S McDonnell

Mrs M Monaghan

Mrs A Toal

Pupils working in groups to solve problems

The Junior Mathematics Department

Throughout the key stages there are a variety of support classes offered.  Junior Maths Mentoring sessions are hosted by A-Level pupils and staff lead revision classes to equip the girls with the confidence they need to flourish within this diverse subject.

Dominican College look for opportunities to extend and challenge our Gifted and Talented pupils and so have been involved in the nationwide Junior Mathematics Challenge for several years.  We have very high expectations of all of our girls and always aim to create a positive learning environment where the girls’ achievements are recognised and celebrated.


We encourage and promote problem solving skills at all levels and across the range of mathematical topics.  Within the junior school pupils work in groups to solve real life problems, which require them to investigate and explore all possible solutions to the task before making a solid conclusion based on their findings.

Within Dominican College the importance of excellent maths skills is promoted at all times, not just inside the buzz of the classroom.

Financial Capability Event

Each year the girls participate in our finance event where they are tasked with managing their own household budget.  The girls are assigned jobs and given a salary from which they must deduct bills such as their mortgage or rent, heating, electricity, media packages, car payments, holidays etc.  They are given a shopping list and must make decisions about where they can shop and what they can buy based on their income.  They discuss tips from Martin Lewis about how to create a budget plan and start to realise that although Christmas comes but once a year, it needs to be in the budget every month.  They are taught about inflation and how the economy reacts to over and under spending and by the end of the event have an appreciation for the importance of managing money carefully.  The girls thoroughly enjoy the tasks and learn a lot of key skills from them.

Links with the Primary Sector

Dominican College recognise the importance of making the transition for pupils into the post primary sector as smooth as possible.  For many years now our Mathematics department have worked closely with teachers in our primary schools, sharing ideas, resources and training to provide a consistent approach to how we all teach Mathematics.  We have also enjoyed pupils getting involved in the collaborative work and have delighted in the opportunity to visit each other’s school.

We love having pupils from the primary sector in Dominican College for the annual ‘Fun with Maths and Literacy Day’.  The numeracy activities focus on common mistakes that are made with worded problems and explore Shape, Space and Measure.  This day is always a lot of fun and gives the pupils and insight into a post primary school.

In Year 8 pupils are supported through the transition from primary to secondary school maths by their teachers and by the senior pupils.  They sit a baseline test called PTM, (Progress Test in Mathematics’).  The data collected from PTM facilitates us as a department and a school to assess where the girls are in their understanding of Mathematics and support them accordingly to ensure they reach their full potential.  Teachers set individual targets with the girls based on this information and monitor their progress throughout the year by means of both formative and common summative assessments.  The Year 8 course focusses on ensuring all pupils have a solid foundation in Mathematics.  As they move through Key Stage 3, their notebooks, exercises and investigations consolidate what they have learned in primary school and build upon that knowledge to help them master the key areas of Mathematics; Number, Algebra, Shape & Space and Handling Data.

In Year 10 the girls are then streamed into classes that best suit their ability.  This is to ensure that each child is provided with an environment conducive to their learning.  It is during Year 10 that we start to introduce and prepare the girls for their GCSE examination in Mathematics.

The Senior Mathematics Department

The study of Mathematics helps us think analytically and have better reasoning abilities.  These skills are essential as they help us solve problems and look for solutions.  Mathematics also crosses into many other subjects in the curriculum.


As our pupils enter Year 11 they are placed in a Maths class which most suits their level of ability.  The decision about which Maths class they go into is based upon their performance in Maths at KS3.  The Mathematics department aims for high standards through clear academic and personal targets, careful monitoring of our pupils’ progress and using assessment for learning.  We endeavour to make our pupils independent and achieve success by focusing on their individual needs.  The department encourages pupil’s learning at home and parents’ involvement.


All pupils follow the CCEA modular GCSE specification in Mathematics.  The following combinations of modules are offered:


Modules                     Highest grade available

M3 & M6/M7              B

M4 & M7                    A

M4 & M8                    A*


Currently, pupils have the opportunity to sit GCSE Mathematics modules in summer of year 11 and also January and summer of year 12.


Those pupils who excel in Mathematics and have a keen interest in the subject will take GCSE Further Mathematics in year 12.


This is comprised of three units:


Unit 1              Pure Mathematics (50%)

Unit 2             Mechanics       (25%)

Unit 3             Statistics          (25%)


GCSE Further Mathematics takes the study of Mathematics beyond the content of GCSE Higher Tier.  It introduces some of the mechanics and statistics topics that pupils encounter in AS Mathematics and acts as a ‘stepping stone’ between GCSE and GCE.  The study of GCSE Further Mathematics is compulsory for those pupils intending to take GCE Mathematics.

GCE (AS/A2 level) Mathematics

Mathematics is an interesting and challenging course.  Pupils taking either AS or A2 Mathematics should have a keen interest in the subject and an enthusiasm for their work.  Success in this subject requires an enquiring mind and the ability to reason concisely and logically.


All pupils follow the CCEA modular GCE (2018) specification in Mathematics.

At AS and A2 level, pupils study Pure Mathematics along with Mechanics and Statistics.



Full specifications and support materials for GCSE and GCE Mathematics are available at:


Mathematics skills are viewed highly by employers.  Grade A*-C in GCSE Mathematics is required for almost every avenue of further study and career.  Most universities and colleges require at least grade ‘C’ in GCSE Mathematics for entry to any of their courses and a considerable number of courses now require a ‘B’.


Good numeracy skills are highly valued by employers and graduates with mathematical subjects and good communication skills are in demand either as specialists or in a wide range of commercial activities.

Online Learning

At Dominican College we use Microsoft Teams.  Every pupil from years 8-14 are members of their class Team.  The mathematics teachers use this online platform to provide extra material to support learning both in and out of school.



Dominican College take part in the Villiers Park Inspiring Excellence Programme.  Each year an A Level Mathematics pupil is nominated to apply by their teacher as a result of their consistently high level of academic attainment as well as their exceptional dedication, commitment and interest in Mathematics.  This gives them the opportunity to attend the Mathematics Chaos or Clear-Cut course, where they consider the nature of proof and the extent to which Mathematics can provide clear cut answers to nature, the universe and life.


38 Fortwilliam Park,


County Antrim

BT15 4AQ