Broad General Education

From S1 through to S3, all Mearns Academy pupils will participate in a Broad General Education (BGE) curriculum designed to consolidate their learning from Primary school and introduce them to new concepts and skills which will be needed as they enter S4 and their certificate level courses. An ongoing focus on developing numeracy skills is underpinned by regular classroom use of the Numeracy Ninjas programme.

While S1 classes begin as mixed ability, after focussing on several topics, such as numeracy skills and Algebra, the classes are moved into ability groups that allow the students to work within peer groups who progress at the same rate. All S1-3 classes learn the same topics throughout their time in the BGE course and movement between classes is possible. Regular assessments are conducted throughout each school year, usually after one to two topics have been covered.

The BGE course covers topics which include basic numeracy skills, properties of shapes and angles, basic statistical concepts, probability, sequences and patterns, right angled triangles, and of course, Algebra.

National 5

The National 5 Mathematics course is divided into three units:

  • Expressions & Formulae
  • Relationships
  • Applications

Each student is provided with a Consolidated Learning Booklet, a solutions booklet, and an examples booklet for each unit, as well as a homework booklet. This allows our students to begin revision early in the course and to revise often. All units are assessed with a formal Unit Assessment and regular progress checks are done to ensure that pupils are aware of how well they are progressing and where additional work may be needed. The final grade received by each student will be determined solely by their performance in the final SQA exam.


The Higher Mathematics course is designed to help hone students’ mathematical skills, to enhance their understanding of the relationships between the different mathematical disciplines, to deepen their understanding and use of mathematical language and their appreciation of the precision and rigour the subject requires. This rigour necessitates that students have achieved an acceptable level of success in the National 5 course before they begin their Higher studies.

The course concentrates on Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometry and Geometry. Each candidate in the Higher course will receive a Consolidated Learning Booklet and a solutions booklet for every unit of the course. Candidates are assessed regularly throughout the course to allow them to track their own progression. The final grade received by each student will be determined solely by their performance in the final SQA exam.

Advanced Higher

The Advanced Higher Mathematics Course is the most rigorous course offered at Mearns Academy. Students who anticipate working in a field which relies heavily on their mathematical skills are encouraged to participate in the Advanced Higher course contingent upon their performance in the Higher Course. The Advanced Higher course weaves together the separate strands of mathematical disciplines and introduces new, sometimes very esoteric, concepts to the students. Students should expect to find areas which challenge and surprise them within this course.

The course includes, but is not limited to, Calculus, Algebra, Proof and Number Theory, Matrices, Vectors and Complex Numbers. As with the other certificate level courses, students are provided with additional study materials in the form of Consolidated Learning booklets are regularly assessed throughout the course to allow them to track their progression. The final grade received by each student will be solely determined by their performance in their final SQA assessment.