Maths GCSE

In Ballyclare High School all pupils in Years 11 and 12 study the CCEA GCSE Mathematics course. This is the Revised CCEA Specification, which was introduced in September 2017. The specification can be found at

Our GCSE course is designed to provide all pupils with the opportunity to fulfil their potential in the subject, whether that is attaining an A* grade or striving for a grade B. Pupils generally work at Higher Tier; however, there are different pathways within this and different combinations of modules which allow us to tailor the choice of papers to the ability and aspirations of each pupil. It can seem like a complicated system of modules, but parents will be consulted with regard to these choices and all decisions made will be to ensure each child has a positive experience of the subject while at the same time maximising their potential outcome.

All pupils in Year 11 sit an external module in the summer term; for some this will be the M4 module, while others will sit the M3 module. It is anticipated that the majority of pupils sitting M3 in Year 11 will have the opportunity to sit the M4 module in Year 12, to increase their chances of attaining a top grade. For those who find the subject more challenging, they can ‘bank’ their M3 result and focus just on the completion paper M7 in Year 12, with a maximum possible result of a grade B.

In Year 12, Further Maths classes will prepare for the M8 completion paper, while all other GCSE classes will work towards the M7 completion paper.

M3 and M4 are 2 hour-long papers, completed with a calculator. These modules make up 45% of the final qualification. M7 and M8 consist of two papers, each lasting 1 hour 15 minutes. Paper 1 is completed without a calculator and Paper 2 is completed with a calculator. These completion papers contribute 55% towards the final result.

There is no controlled assessment element of this course so it is entirely 100% exam based.


Useful Resources for Learning:

There is a wealth of practice questions, videos and practice papers available at

This includes a topic by topic approach, or a mixed topic approach with the 5-a-day worksheets.

Practice papers for the CCEA examination can be found at

Another useful site for extra practice and revision questions is:

This one is based on the English curriculum, however, so remember when it refers to Year 10 that is Year 11 in Northern Ireland, and so on.