Junior Cycle Mathematics in St Angela’s College
1st Year: Students remain in their base class for Maths, and follow a Common Core Curriculum.
2nd and 3rd Year: There is 1 Ordinary Level Class. The Higher Level students from the 3 base classes are mixed together to form 3 Higher Level classes. These classes are not streamed. Students remain in their assigned class for 2nd and 3rd year, with the exception of those students who wish to move to the Ordinary Level class.
Teaching & Learning:
Teachers make use of a wide range of resources including IT, web-based activities, textbooks, workbooks, e-books and hands-on learning resources. Every student is asked to purchase a Maths kit that the school orders in for each 1st Year student. It contains a Whiteboard, Eraser, Whiteboard Marker, Casio Calculator, A4 Maths boxed copy, Protractor, Ruler and Compass. The students write their answers on to their board and hold them up. This allows the teacher to view all students’ answers simultaneously, without embarrassment.
External Competitions: Pupils are encouraged to take part in extra-curricular mathematics activities such as the International Mathematics Olympiad and the IMTA annual quiz. A team of pupils from 3rd Year compete in the Pi Quiz, which is a national competition held in regional centres.
Maths Enrichment in UCC: Teachers who identify gifted students will encourage them to attend Junior Maths Enrichment in UCC. A set of free, weekly maths classes run on Saturday mornings at 10-11:30 for 2nd – 3rd year students, and occasionally 1st year students with advanced mathematical abilities. Programme information, schedules and registration are available on the UCC Maths Enrichment Page.
Maths Week: We have a school-wide focus on the subject during Maths Week when groups of pupils participate in maths-related events such as treasure hunts, puzzles, Maths Eyes etc. run by teachers and TY students.
1st Year: Students have a mixture of Formative and Summative Assessment throughout the year. This comprises of homework checks, project work, presentations, written exams etc.
2nd Year: Students have a mixture of Formative and Summative Assessment throughout the year. Students must undertake a Classroom Based Assessment (CBA 1) in 2nd Year. Currently the Department of Education has specified that this is a Problem-Solving Task. Pupils must engage in a mathematical investigation using the problem-solving cycle. They are prepared for and guided through the completion of this task in class over a period of three weeks.
3rd Year: Students have a mixture of Formative and Summative Assessment throughout the year. Students are required to undertake a second Classroom Based Assessment (CBA 2). This has been specified as a Statistics Investigation. Pupils must engage in a mathematical investigation using the statistical enquiry cycle. At the end of the Junior Cycle pupils undertake one two-hour examination in mathematics.
Awarding of Grades in Junior Cycle Maths
After each CBA, teachers will award a provisional descriptor based on the Features of Quality as set out in the Assessment Guidelines. There are four level descriptors of achievement in each Classroom-Based Assessment: Exceptional, Above expectations, In line with expectations, and Yet to meet expectations.
Teachers will engage in a Subject Learning and Assessment Review (SLAR) meeting to share and discuss samples of their assessments of student work and build a common understanding about the quality of student learning. Descriptors are communicated to parents using the school’s reporting system and are recorded for entry on the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA).
An Assessment Task (AT) takes place in third year. The AT is specified by the NCCA and is related to the learning outcomes on which CBA2 is based. The content and format of the AT may vary from year to year. The AT is sent to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) along with the Final Examination for correction. The AT accounts for 10% of the Final Examination mark.
Results of the CBAs and the SEC result are recorded on the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA).
General Information About Junior Cycle Maths
Junior Cycle Mathematics aims to encourage students in their:
- Conceptual understanding – comprehension of mathematical concepts, operations and relations
- Procedural fluency – skill in carrying out procedures, flexibly, accurately, efficiently and appropriately
- Strategic competence – ability to formulate, represent and solve mathematical problems in both familiar and unfamiliar contexts
- Adaptive reasoning – capacity for logical thought, reflection, explanation, justification and communication
- Productive disposition—habitual inclination to see mathematics as sensible, useful, and worthwhile, coupled with a belief in diligence, perseverance and one’s own efficacy
The specification for junior cycle mathematics focuses on developing students’ ability to think logically, strategically, critically, and creatively through the Unifying Strand and the four Contextual Strands: Number; Geometry and Trigonometry; Algebra and Functions; and Statistics and Probability.
The Unifying Strand lays the foundations for the contextual strands to be discussed. The 6 main elements of the Unifying Strand are
- Building blocks
- Generalization and Proof
The Number Strand discusses various aspects of numbers, preparing for the transition from arithmetic to algebra.
The Geometry and Trigonometry Strand explores the features and properties of geometric forms in two and three dimensions.
The Algebra and Functions Strand is concerned with describing and analysing numerical patterns and relationships.
The Statistics and Probability Strand is concerned with evaluating the probability of random events as well as producing and analysing data.