Subject Team

Mrs N Dawson (Head of Department)
Mrs V Todd
Mrs D Kane
Mrs A McAllister
Mrs C McGuinness
Mr R Hunter

The Maths department is a dedicated, experienced and enthusiastic team of teachers who have a wealth of experience in examining at all levels of this subject.

Staff ensure a welcoming and effective learning environment, where students are expected to work hard and develop their skills in this subject.  In turn they can expect to be fully supported at each stage of their study.

Department Aims

Mathematics has been described as the art of calculation, a language and a science.  Mathematicians do not simply perform calculations or solve equations but seek to find the answers to unanswered questions.  Mathematics is also viewed as a way of thinking, with an emphasis on the ability to reason logically and use Mathematics as an effective means of communication.

Students will have the opportunity to further develop their knowledge; model and solve real life problems; begin to appreciate the relationships between different areas of Mathematics and realise the relevance to other subjects and areas of work.

We aim to ensure each student:

  • enjoys Mathematics
  • can apply Mathematics to everyday situations
  • develops their self-esteem in this subject
  • develops their skills of logical thinking, problem solving, working independently, teamwork and self-discipline
  • achieves their highest potential in Mathematics
  • is encouraged, where appropriate, to extend their studies to ‘A’ Level Mathematics or Further Mathematics
  • gains the necessary qualifications for their chosen career path


GCSE Mathematics

Examination  Board:  CCEA

What is GCSE Mathematics about?

This is a core subject which enables students to use mathematics as a tool for learning across the curriculum. Students will develop the knowledge and skills necessary for the application of concepts in a practical context. They will use their skills of logic and reason to  solve problems.

What will I study?

Content Assessment Weighting
Unit M3 or Unit M4 Written Examination (with calculator) 45%
Unit M5 or Unit M6 Written Examination ( one paper without calculator and one with calculator) 55%


Each unit contains elements of Number and Algebra, Geometry and Measures and Handling Data.

What can this subject lead to?

This subject is a necessary numeracy qualification for all students.

A grade C or above will be an essential requirement for entry to further courses of study and future employment. A number of A Level courses will require a grade B and if a student obtains an A grade they may proceed to study A Level Mathematics.



There is no controlled assessment for GCSE Mathematics.

Full details of the specification can be found at


GCSE Further Mathematics

Examination Board: CCEA

What is Further Mathematics about?

This is a subject developed for high-attaining students who wish to broaden their mathematical experience.  The course provides the essential foundation for study of A Level Mathematics and is also a very useful subject for those students wishing to study A Level Physics.

What will I study?

Content Assessment Weighting
Unit : 1 Pure Mathematics

–          algebra, trigonometry, logarithms, matrices and calculus

Written Examination 50%
Unit 2 : Applications

–          kinematics, vectors, forces, moments, averages, probability distributions, bivariate analysis

Written Examination 50%

What can this subject lead to?

Further Mathematics allows students to access the knowledge and develop the skills for the study of subjects such as sciences, geography, business, economics and technology. This will lead many of them to careers in science, engineering, finance and accounting.


Full details of the specification can be found at


A Level


AS Mathematics follows on from the work covered in GCSE Further Mathematics – many topics will be familiar, but are now considered in greater detail.

In order to progress to AS Mathematics, students should have achieved a B grade in GCSE Further Mathematics.

If a student has not studied GCSE Further Mathematics then a Grade A in GCSE Mathematics is required and it is essential that Modules T4 and T6 have been completed.

Students follow the CCEA specification.

At AS level the following 3 modules are taken:
Core 1 – Indices, surds, quadratic algebra, graphs and their transformations, coordinate geometry of the straight line, basic differentiation

Core 2 – Coordinate geometry of the circle, sequences, trigonometry, logarithms, basic  integration

Mechanics 1 –  Equations of motion, Newton’s laws, friction, equilibrium, moments, impulse and  momentum

Each module is examined by a 1 ½ hour paper and is worth  % of the final AS grade

A similar format is completed at A2 level with students taking:

Core 3 – Rational functions, further graph transformations, trigonometric identities, parametric  and Cartesian forms of curves, exponential functions, further differentiation, numerical methods.

Core 4 – Functions, further trigonometry, differential equations, techniques of integration,vector algebra 

Mechanics 2 – Vectors and mechanics, vector calculus, variable acceleration, projectiles, circular motion, work, energy and power.

Full details of the specification can be found at

Further Mathematics

This allows students to take a second Mathematics A level. The course is an extension of the material covered in AS and A2 Mathematics and is particularly suited to able mathematicians who wish to become highly proficient in this subject. Further Mathematics provides an excellent background for further study in Mathematics, Physics and Engineering. It is also designated as a “desirable” subject for some highly competitive university courses in Economics.

Students complete their AS in Year 13 by taking the following modules:

Further Pure Mathematics 1 – Matrices, groups, coordinate geometry of circle, complex numbers

Statistics1 – Collection and presentation of data, measures of average and dispersion, probability, discrete and continuous probability functions, binomial, Poisson and normal distributions

Mechanics 3 – Centres of mass, relative velocity, elastic strings, simple harmonic motion and further work, power and energy

In Year 14, there are a further 3 modules to be completed:

Further Pure Mathematics 2- Series, induction, coordinate geometry of parabola and ellipse,  further complex numbers, differential equations

Further Pure Mathematics 3 – Further integration, hyperbolic functions, vector geometry

Mechanics 4- Further centres of mass, systems of forces, frameworks, dimensions, universal law of gravitation, further circular motion, Newton’s law of restitution.

The method of assessment will be by a 1 ½ hour written examination in each of the modules, each of which will be equally weighted.

Full details of the specification can be found at

Department News / Events

Students are encouraged to participate in Mathematical activities outside of the examination curriculum. They can enter a range of individual or team competitions which are organised on a local and national basis.

Intermediate Maths Challenge 2017

Intermediate Maths Challenge 2017

Over 250 000 students from more than 3000 schools from across the UK took part in the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge in February.  The top 7% were awarded Gold certificates, the next 13% Silver and another 20% Bronze.

Over 100 Year 11 and Year 12 Portadown College students entered this year’s competition.

Gold certificates were awarded to:
Matthew Vennard & Davan McCann who were also selected to compete in the follow-on round.

The Silver certificate winners were:
Sarah Nelson
Amy McClatchey
Peter Douglas
Lucy McKimm
Alex Wallace
Amy Proctor
Harry Owen
Alex Bleakney
Lucy Topley
Adam Hamilton
Jay Weathered
Josh Newell
Jay McPolin
Ryan Neill
Nuno Ribeiro

Competition Round-up November – December 2016

Senior Maths Challenge

A group of 77 Year 13 and 14 students entered this year’s UKMT Senior Maths Challenge. Approximately 80,000 students from across the UK take part each year, with the top 10% receiving a Gold certificate, the next 20% Silver and the next 30% bronze.

The Silver Certificate winners are:

Bethany Proctor – also awarded Best in School Stewart Hodgen Ivan Ribeiro Hannah Meredith Chloe Jenkins Robert Cornett – also awarded Best in Year 13 Sam Mullen Brett Smyth Kiara McClelland


A further 26 students were awarded Bronze certificates – these will be given out in class. Well done to all who took part.

Senior Maths Team Challenge

Stewart Hodgen, Ivan Ribeiro, Faith Jenkinson and Katie Neill competed in the Senior Team Challenge Regional Final and were awarded 3rd place in Northern Ireland. Well done to this team.


QUB Maths Competition

Manus Wong, James Carrick, Robert Cornett and Sam Mullen took part in the QUB Maths Challenge and although they were not placed in the top 3, a challenging day was enjoyed by all.


UKMT Mathematics Olympiad for Girls

Faith Jenkinson and Katie Neill were the first PC students to complete the Maths Olympiad for Girls and are awarded Certificates of Participation. Well done for completing a very challenging task!


QUB Mathematics Competition – December 2015

Students taking part in the QUB Mathematics competition last Friday in the Great Hall.
maths challenge

Intermediate Mathematics Challenge – February 2015
A group of 101 students from Years 11 and 12 entered this year’s UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge.

The Gold certificate winners were:
Faith Jenkinson – also awarded Best in School
Ivan Ribeiro – also awarded Best in Year 12
Rachel Griffin

All three of the Gold winners qualified for the follow-on round, with Ivan Ribeiro subsequently being awarded a Merit Certificate.

The Silver certificate winners were:
Ross Capper; Stewart Hodgen; Andrew May; Levi Forbes; Callum Boyd; Hannah Meredith; Samuel Mullen, Robert Cornett; Harry Black; Fausta Urbietyte; Kiara McClelland and David Beacham.

A further 24 students were awarded Bronze certificates.

Senior Mathematics Challenge – November 2014
This competition is organised by the UK Mathematics Trust. A group of 42 students from Years 13 and 14 entered this year’s UKMT Senior Maths Challenge. Over 81,000 students from across the UK took part, with the top 10% receiving a Gold certificate, the next 20% Silver and the next 30% bronze.

The Gold certificate winners from Portadown College were:
Andrew Carrick – also awarded Best in School and qualified for the follow-up round
Josh Ruddell – also qualified for the follow-up round
Jordon Montgomery

The Silver Certificate winners were:
Philip McKinley; Mary Jenkinson; Charlotte McClelland (also awarded Best in Year 13); Matthew Haugh; Sam Shepherd; Beth McCready; Jacob Bleakley and Ryan Davison.
A further 17 students were awarded Bronze certificates.

Full details can be found at

Educational Visits / Trips

QUB Team Challenge – December 2014
This competition is organised by the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen’s University Belfast.  Each year a team of two Year 12 and two Year 13 students participate. This year Holly Millar, Jordan Montgomery, Charlotte McClelland and Jacob Bleakley were entered and enjoyed a challenging day in the Great Hall at QUB. They were suitably rewarded by achieving 2nd place.

In February 2014, Yishen Wang, Thomas Trouton, Andrew Carrick and Josh Ruddell travelled to London to compete in the national finals of the UKMT Senior Team Challenge.


A level Mathematics provides the basis for study of the following courses at degree level:

Mathematics; Physics;  Engineering; Business; Accountancy;  Finance; Economics; Computer Software Design.

Further Mathematics provides a distinct advantage in first year university study of Mathematics, Physics and Engineering courses and is advisable if applying for these subjects to Oxbridge, Warwick, Durham etc.

Some useful websites to consider are: