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Mathematics at Senior Cycle builds on the learning at Junior Cycle and develops mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding needed for continuing education, life and work. Through their study of mathematics, students develop a flexible, disciplined way of thinking which enables them to solve problems in mathematical and real world contexts.

The objectives of Senior Cycle mathematics is that all students develop mathematical proficiency. Mathematical proficiency is more than just procedural fluency and is explicitly characterised in the syllabus as

  • 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 Senior Cycle Mathematics specification was introduced into schools in three phases as part of the Project Maths initiative beginning in September 2010.  

A research report is being commissioned to look at the impact of the Project Maths initiative on students’ experience of mathematics and will inform a review of the subject.

The Mathematics Development Group consists of the nominees from a range of education stakeholders including teacher and management bodies, Department of Education and Skills, and the State Examinations Commission.