Mathematics is important in our everyday life, allowing us to make sense of the world around us and to manage our lives. Using mathematics enables us to model real-life situations and make connections and informed predictions. It equips us with the skills we need to interpret and analyse information, simplify and solve problems, assess risk and make informed decisions.

Mathematics plays an important role in areas such as science or technologies, and is vital to research and development in fields such as engineering, computing science, medicine and finance. Learning mathematics gives children and young people access to the wider curriculum and the opportunity to pursue further studies and interests.

Because mathematics is rich and stimulating, it engages and fascinates learners of all ages, interests and abilities. Learning mathematics develops logical reasoning, analysis, problem-solving skills, creativity and the ability to think in abstract ways. It uses a universal language of numbers and symbols which allows us to communicate ideas in a concise, unambiguous and rigorous way.


Pupils in S1, S2 and S3 follow a course of study which allows various opportunity to progress through the Curriculum for Excellence Numeracy and Mathematics experiences and outcomes of Broad General Education.

At this level learning in mathematics enables young people to:

– develop a secure understanding of the concepts, principles and processes of mathematics and apply these in different contexts, including the world of work

– engage with more abstract mathematical concepts and develop important new kinds of thinking

– understand the application of mathematics, its impact on our society past and present, and its potential for the future

– develop essential numeracy skills which will allow them to participate fully in society

– establish firm foundations for further specialist learning

– understand that successful independent living requires financial awareness, effective money management, using schedules and other related skills

– interpret numerical information appropriately and use it to draw conclusions, assess risk, and make reasoned evaluations and informed decisions

– apply skills and understanding creatively and logically to solve problems, within a variety of contexts

– appreciate how the imaginative and effective use of technologies can enhance the development of skills and concepts.




Senior Phase

The Senior Phase will be the period when young people take qualifications. The number and range of qualifications undertaken is a matter for the young person together with their parents and teachers to decide. The key message for learners and their parents is that subject choice at all stages needs to be clearly linked to future career plans and should be guided by support available through the school. In the Senior Phase, schools have more flexibility to meet the needs of all their learners, through:

✽ the length of learning programmes

✽ the number, range and level of qualifications

✽ decisions about level of qualifications, for example National 4 or 5, Higher or Advanced Higher

Learners may study subjects over one or two years and they could mix and match a range of qualifications at different levels across the three years of their Senior Phase of learning. For example, during S4, learners may be studying some subjects for which they will be presented for examination at the end of S4. However, they may also continue studying some subjects until the end of S5 before being presented for the examination. This may also happen across S5 and S6. Some learners will also take college courses as well as school courses within their Senior Phase as part of their normal timetable. The guiding principle is that qualifications are taken at the appropriate stage for the individual young person.