Welcome to Mathematics
We want everyone at Larbert High to become confident with mathematics. We hope that the resources on these pages will help you with your studies in the subject.
Mathematics is used everywhere. You'll use it in your job when you leave school, you'll use it when you go shopping or want to work out a budget to organise your finances. Maybe one day you will use mathematics to help build a bridge or develop a new scientific theory ... the sky is your limit!
Mathematics is all about problem solving, and being able to solve lots of different types of problems will help you in many different areas of your life.
Teachers of Mathematics
C McDougall (PT)
S Thomson (PT)
1. Why do I get maths homework?
ANSWER: After most maths lessons you will get some homework to do in your own time. Practising the maths you have learned in class in your own time will help you to improve your maths skills.
2. What is the difference between 'formal' homework and 'informal' homework?
ANSWER: At the end of each topic you study in maths you will be issued a 'formal' homework. This should be done in your Homework Jotter, should be signed by your parents / guardians, and needs to handed in to your teacher on or before the deadline set. Your teacher will give you written feedback on your work to help you improve your maths skills.
'Informal' homework will usually consist of exercises from class that you should finish at home for the next day that the class meets. You should do informal homework in your classwork jotter. This extra practice will help you soak up what you have learned in class and help you to improve your maths skills.
3. 'I'm really stuck, I don't understand the maths we're doing in class. What can I do?'
ANSWER: Tell the teacher next time in your class that you are having some difficulties. They may help you during classtime, or may be able to arrange a time with you to help you get your problems sorted out. Your maths teacher WANTS to help you ... ask away!
4. What equipment do I need to bring to maths classes?
ANSWER: Come prepared with several sharpened pencils, a ruler, an eraser, your calculator, your jotters and textbook. Other equipment which might be useful in class: a protractor and compass for drawing circles.
5. Do I always need to do the homework?
If you do not do formal homework this will be noted in maths department records and you will be automatically referred to the Principal Teacher of Mathematics who will take appropriate action.
Teachers constantly monitor the completion of informal homework. Not completing homework is likely to lead to disciplinary action. If you get stuck, try your best and write down what you can. Tell your teacher the next time the class meets that you had difficulties and they will arrange help for you.
Everyone has busy lives ... make your homework a priority - it will help you learn to meet deadlines, and will also improve your maths skills.
6. But when am I ever going to use this maths I'm learning in real life?
ANSWER: All the maths that is taught in Secondary School is used in some area of the real world. Algebra and equations are used all the time by engineers, economists and scientists. If you go on to study any of these subjects at college or university you will find that your school maths will be your foundation for learning even more complex mathematics which is used in the real world.
However, one of the most important skills that maths teaches you is problem solving. If you develop skills which help you understand and then solve a problem, you will use these skills in lots of different areas of your life.
Of course, everyone needs to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide to get by in the real world. The more confident you are at arithmetic, the easier your life will be!
7. Why do I need to 'show all my working' when I can do it in my head?
ANSWER: Unless your teacher tells you that you are doing mental maths, you should show all the working for your answers.
A well laid out answer can be read and understood by another person. This is an important skill to learn for the real world, not just for maths exams!
So don't just write down numbers! Use words to explain the steps in your answers.
In the SQA exams you will only get full marks if you show full workings. Even if you make a mistake in an answer you may still get some marks for other parts of your answer. So it's always best to show a full working.