S1 – S3 BGE

Curriculum for Excellence Courses

Core Skills
Each course gives all learners a variety of skills that will be useful in mathematics and beyond

  • Complete core skills in numeracy Work on non-calculator work with fractions, decimals, percentages and estimating and rounding
  • Critical Thinking and Interpreting Data We believe that it is crutial for learners to understand their learning and to apply their knowledge in context. In particular with the work on graphs and statistics, we encourage all students to regonise the ‘why’ not just ‘how’ and justify why they have come to decisions.
  • Practical Skills We find that maths lessons fit into so many other areas of the curriculum, and emphasis the learning within the department as a skill that could be applied in other settings. This is evident with all the work on length and measurement, which might require the use of scale drawings, or measuring accurately, or even changing from mm to cm and m.

Course Content


Following on from a strong link with our cluster primary schools, each learner in S1 is put into an appropriate maths class as soon as they join DGS. The maths setting that we use aims to get as many learners through as many experiences as is appropriate for them. We are as aspirational as possible, but always aware of the needs and confidence levels of the individual learners.

The setting system that we use is as fluid as possible, and is regularly reviewed throughout S1 – S3. Class changes may take place as a result of learner effort, motivation and maturity. Each class covers the same topics, but at varying degrees of challenge and depth. It is hoped that each learner in this way experiences the same breadth of learning as all their peers, and ensures that transitions between classes are as seamless as possible.

We think that our robust setting ensures that there is an appropriate course for all learners, and we encourage dialogue about this whenever desired.


In S2, learners continue to work in set classes. As with S1, these classes follow the same breadth of topics, but to varying degrees of complexity. In using open ended questions in class, we enable each learner to reach as high as possible. Within class sets, differentiation of work is required, but we feel that keeping all learners on the same theme of work is beneficial to the motivation of all.


Our S3 courses follow on from the work in S1 and S2. Clearly, the courses involve developing numeracy skills, which will of course continue to thread through the work throughout the school, and extend the non-calculator work of S1 & S2.

We also will work on algebra, statistics, probability, graphs, patterns and shape and space, and much more.

As with classes in S1 and S2, we continue to use setting to the benefit of all learners. However, as the learners progress further through the S1 – S3 curriculum, it does become more difficult to keep the themes of learning consistent, and therefore we have created 2 more distinct courses.

S3 Upper Course breakdown (Document to follow after updates)

  • The aim of our upper course is to cover much of the work expected at Level 4 during S3, with the intention of aiming towards National 5 in S4.

S3 Middle Course breakdown 2013 (Document to follow after updates)

  • Our middle course is mainly designed to cover work at Level 4 this year, whilst dipping into National 5 outcomes in S4 as appropriate. Learners exposed to this course are aiming for National 5 Maths before the end of S5, which for some will involve securing National 4 in S4, while others might manage to achieve National 5 in S4.


Success in S3 will determine the level of study next year. This will either be at National 5 (equivalent to Credit or Intermediate 2 standard) or National 4 Maths (equivalent to General or Intermediate 1 standard).


Assessment as part of Curriculum for Excellence will take a variety of forms. During lessons, there will be a lot of formative assessment in line with of Assessment for Learning strategies which give instant feedback. This might include the use of ‘show me’ boards, learning diaries and lots of different questioning techniques. There will also be a selection of  summative assessments in the form of Unit Assessments for those following the National 3 (previously Access 3) course, Internal Core and extension class tests, and various evidence gathering projects. These might include projects similar to the Easter Egg project in S2 and show an individual’s depth of understanding and application of the skills learnt. Some of these projects will be individually, but others might include collaboration with peers. We will also continue to use home learning tasks as a way of monitoring progress.

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