Mathematics is important in our everyday life. It equips us with the skills we need to interpret and analyse information, simplify and solve problems, assess risk and make informed decisions.

At Clifton Hall School, we strive to meet the mathematical needs of all pupils by keeping our class sizes small so that each pupil receives as much individual attention as possible to develop his or her skills.  Our aim is to ensure that each pupil leaves the school, having had their mathematical ability stretched and developed as far as possible, giving them the skills to succeed beyond school.

We deliver a common course to Senior 1 and 2 that aims to consolidate and develop skills from primary school. From Senior 3, classes may be set according to pace and ability and most pupils aim to sit National 5 Mathematics at the end of Senior 4. Following this, pupils may sit Higher.  Pupils who excel at higher in S5 have the option of taking the Advanced Higher course, which introduces concepts which pupils can encounter at university level mathematics.  We currently offer both the Advanced Higher Mathematics course and Advanced Higher Mechanics for pupils looking to go into a more applied field of study.

Pupils participate in competitions throughout the year including the UK Maths Challenge in which they have been awarded gold, silver and bronze certificates.  We enter teams in both the junior and senior team events, competing against schools from all over Edinburgh.


S1 and 2

The broad course at S1 and S2 allows us to cover materials which aim to develop pupil’s numeracy and algebra skills, whilst also covering a variety of topics ranging from shapes to money, from probability to data handling.  The broad variety of topics allows us to collaborate with other departments in the school and pupils enjoy working on projects that use their knowledge from and work in partnership with Science, Geography, History, IT and languages.  The pupils have access to an online computer programme called SUMDOG.  This allows them to take concepts and materials beyond the classroom and compete against students from all over the world in a variety of challenges, games and tasks all based around the materials they cover in lessons.


National 5

The national 5 course aims to build on pupils’ understanding and knowledge from S1 and 2, pushing them into new topics and materials.  The level has two branches which the students can pursue, mathematics or applications of mathematics.  Mathematics covers topics including vectors, trigonometry, 3D bearings and geometry.  Applications of mathematics focuses more on uses of mathematical concepts, including statistics, money management, shape and space and probability.  Both courses share a common core group of subjects, so all pupils will begin covering the same course materials.  In both courses, pupils’ understanding is tested and pushed as they are required to relate mathematics to more abstract contexts and use the results of calculations in decision making more readily.  The overall exam consists of 2 papers, a non-calculator version lasting 1 hour 15 minutes and a calculator paper lasting 1 hour 50 minutes for mathematics, and 2 papers, a non-calculator version lasting 1 hour 5 minutes and a calculator paper lasting 2 hours for applications of mathematics.


Higher Maths

The higher mathematics course enables learners to select and apply mathematical techniques in a variety of mathematical situations.  Learners interpret, communicate and manage information in mathematical form.  The course covers three areas of mathematics:  Expressions and Functions, Relationships and Calculus and Applications of Mathematics.

Higher Mathematics will build on your previous mathematical experience in the areas of algebra, geometry and trigonometry and introduces you to more advanced calculus.  The course is tested by 2 exam papers; a non-calculator paper which is 1 hour and 10 minutes long and worth 60 marks and a calculator paper lasting 1 hour 30 minutes, worth 70 marks.


Advanced Higher Mathematics

The Advanced Higher Course extends learners’ mathematical knowledge in algebra, geometry and calculus. It includes matrix algebra, complex numbers and vectors, and formalises the concept of mathematical proof.

Advanced Higher Mathematics emphasises the need for candidates to undertake extended thinking and decision making, to solve problems and integrate mathematical knowledge. The course offers candidates, in an interesting and enjoyable manner, an enhanced awareness of the range and power of mathematics.

The course consists of 3 units: Methods in Algebra and Calculus; Applications in Algebra and Calculus; and Geometry, Proof and Systems of Equations. The course is tested by an exam paper, which is 3 hours long and worth 100 marks.


Advanced Higher Mechanics

The aims of this course is to build upon and extend candidates’ mathematical learning in the areas of mechanics, geometry and calculus. The units, Mechanics 1 (AH), Mechanics 2 (AH) and Mathematics for Applied Mathematicians (AH) are progressive and continue the development of mechanics, geometry and calculus from Higher. The course is aimed to continue the mathematical interest of pupils seeking a field in mechanics, engineering, physics or some other branch of applied mathematics.

The course is divided into three units of work.  Mechanics 1 focusses on motion in a straight line, position, velocity and acceleration, projectile motion in planes, forces and Newton’s laws of motion.  Mechanics 2 extends this into harmonic motion, circular motion using angular velocity, principles of momentum, impulse, power and energy and motion in a straight line.  There is also a third unit which focusses on the mathematical techniques required in order to effectively achieve the mechanics course.  The course is tested by an exam paper, which is 3 hours long and worth 100 marks.

Throughout our teaching at all levels in mathematics, we aim to produce young adults who are confident individuals, successful learners, responsible citizens and effective contributors and who can use their skills to solve problems independently in further education or in the workplace.