High School Curriculum: Mathematics
Aims and philosophy
The ultimate aim of the Mathematics Department is to maximize the mathematical potential
of each student, regardless of ability. The department strives to make teaching
informative, interesting and inspiring. Specifically, we aim to strengthen and develop
mathematical knowledge and skills, develop the ability to think logically, help
to understand the relevance and application of mathematics in a real-world context,
and help appreciate the power and beauty of mathematics. Equally important is to
enable the acquisition of a suitable foundation in the subject in order to facilitate
further study in mathematics or related subjects.
Curriculum by year-group
Grades 7 – 9:
In grade 7, basic skills are reviewed and consolidated, and students are thereby
encouraged to develop their understanding of the principles involved and their appreciation
of patterns and relationships in mathematics. During grade 8 and into grade 9, students
are set into ability groups. Familiar topics are explored more deeply and new concepts
are introduced. Emphasis is placed on developing a feel for ‘number' and interpreting
the reasonableness of results obtained in calculations. At all times, ways of applying
mathematics to everyday situations are investigated, as well as the role of mathematics
in the world in general. As grade 9 progresses, more abstract areas are explored
more fully, especially Algebra.
At the conclusion of these three years, students will hopefully have built a strong
foundation in the major areas of Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Statistics and Probability.
Grades 10 and 11: Edexcel IGCSE Mathematics (4400)
All EIS-J students follow the Edexcel IGCSE syllabus which is offered at both Higher
and Foundation levels. The ability range is wide, and following the same setting
principle as in grades 8 and 9, students are set into four Higher groups and two
Foundation groups in each grade. It is expected that the most able students, especially
those in the two top groups, will be able to achieve excellent or very good grades,
and they consistently meet these expectations. Proportionally very few Higher students
attain less than a ‘C' grade (grading is A* to D), and this grade is also attainable
by some Foundation students (grading for this level is C to G).
IGCSE Mathematics can be broadly divided into four main distinct, but at times inter-related,
areas of study: Number, Algebra, Shape and Space, and Data Handling. The aims and
objectives for each level are similar, although the Higher level syllabus is technically
more demanding, especially in the use of Algebra as a tool in solving a wide variety
of problems. In both courses, the skills of interpreting the question and making
the correct decision about which method of solution is applicable, receive particular
attention. There is no coursework component on this course and it is fully expected
that students make appropriate use of a scientific calculator throughout.
Grades 12 and 13: IBDP Mathematics Higher Level, Mathematics Standard
Level, or Mathematical Studies Standard Level
These grades follow the IB diploma programme in Mathematics which includes study
at one of three levels: Mathematics Higher Level, Mathematics Standard Level, or
Mathematical Studies Standard Level. The three levels accommodate different levels
of ability, previous exam success and importantly, whether mathematics will play
a significant role, or not, in any future higher education course undertaken by
The Mathematics Higher Level course is very demanding and suitable only for the
very best students of this subject. It facilitates entry into courses with a high
mathematical content. To add to the depth of study at this level, the group of core
topics studied is supplemented by an option topic selected from a list of four advanced
and interesting areas of work.
Students on the Mathematics Standard Level course are mathematically competent,
previously demonstrating good skills and achieving good results. They study the
same core topics as on the Higher Level course but not to the same depth. On both
of these courses students must submit a portfolio for internal assessment, consisting
of two pieces of work representing two different types of task.
The Mathematical Studies Standard Level course offers a less demanding study of
the subject and is suitable for students who have previously struggled with mathematics
and/or for those whose may not be required to study the subject at such an intense
level. However, it is challenging in its own right, and should certainly not be
considered as an easy option. It includes useful practical applications, and students
must submit a project for internal assessment.
Outside the classroom
Students participate in the Mathematical Olympiad.
Further information is available from:
Deputy Principal – Curriculum, Mr. David Hicks
(Tel: +971 4-3489804 Ext. 290 or Email: