For mathematics, subject content is presented at Ordinary and Higher levels under the headings:
The Leaving Certificate Mathematics syllabus comprises five strands:
- Statistics and Probability
The aim of the probability unit is two-fold: it provides certain understandings intrinsic to problem solving and it underpins the statistics unit. It is expected that the conduct of experiments (including simulations), both individually and in groups, will form the primary vehicle through which the knowledge, understanding and skills in probability are developed. References should be made to appropriate contexts and applications of probability.
- Geometry and Trigonometry
The synthetic geometry covered at Leaving Certificate is a continuation of that studied at junior cycle. It is based on the Geometry for Post-primary School Mathematics, including terms, definitions, axioms, propositions, theorems, converses and corollaries.
Strand 3 further develops the proficiency learners have gained through their study of strand 3 at junior cycle. Learners continue to make meaning of the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole and rational numbers and extend this sense-making to complex numbers.
This strand builds on the relations-based approach of junior cycle where the five main objectives were :
- to make use of letter symbols for numeric quantities.
- to emphasise relationship based algebra .
- to connect graphical and symbolic representations of algebraic concepts .
- to use real life problems as vehicles to motivate the use of algebra and algebraic thinking .
- to use appropriate graphing technologies (graphing calculators, computer software) throughout the strand activities.
This strand builds on the learners’ experience in junior cycle where they were formally introduced to the concept of a function as that which involves a set of inputs, a set of possible outputs and a rule that assigns one output to each input.
The relationship between functions and algebra is further emphasised and learners continue to connect graphical and symbolic representations of functions. They are introduced to calculus as the study of how things change and use derivatives to solve various kinds of real-world problems. They learn how to go from the derivative of a function back to the function itself and use such methods to solve various geometric problems, such as computation of areas of specified regions.