There is a high achieving class in Years 7-10. These classes cater for students through acceleration, the development of higher order thinking skills and problem solving. The other classes in Year 7 and Year 8 are mixed ability. Teachers differentiate the curriculum to cater for all students abilities within their class.
In Year 9 and 10, students study a level of mathematics based on their demonstrated ability from Year 7 and Year 8. There are two specific endpoints or pathways that a student may follow. These are the 5.3 (Advanced) and 5.2 (Intermediate) pathways. These are offered to cater for the full range of learners in Mathematics. Students wishing to study higher level Mathematics in Year 11 and 12 are advised to study the Stage 5.3 course. The Stage 5.2 courses best prepare students for the Stage 6 General Mathematics course.
The courses offered in Year 11 are General Mathematics, Mathematics, and Extension 1. The courses in Year 12 are and General Mathematics 2, Mathematics, Extensions 1 and 2.
Australian Mathematics Competition
The Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) was introduced in Australia in 1978 as the first Australia-wide mathematics competition for students. Since then it has served almost all Australian secondary schools and many primary schools, providing feedback and enrichment to schools and students. It has become the largest single event on the Australian education calendar, allowing students to attempt the same tasks on the same day in over 30 countries around the globe. By 2015, the AMC has attracted more than 14.5 million entries.
The AMC is for students of all standards. Students are asked to solve 30 problems in 60 minutes (Years 3 – 6) or 75 minutes (Years 7–12). Students mark their responses on a mark-sense sheet and these are processed by computer. The earliest problems are very easy. All students should be able to attempt them. The problems get progressively more difficult until the end, when they are challenging to the most gifted student. Students of all standards will make progress and find a point of challenge.
There are five papers: Middle Primary (Years 3–4), Upper Primary (Years 5–6), Junior (Years 7– 8), Intermediate (Years 9–10) and Senior (Years 11–12).
The International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS)
The International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) Mathematics assess students’ skills and knowledge across five strands:
- Algebra and Patterns– Involves patterns of numbers, relationships between numbers and the use of symbols to stand for unknown or variable numbers.
- Chance and Data– Involves mathematical treatment of data and statistics.
- Measures and Units– Involves properties of the physical world that can be measured, the units used to measure them and the process of measurement.
- Number and Arithmetic– Involves types of numbers, their properties and number operations. The strand has strong links with Measures and Units, Algebra and Patterns and Chance and Data. It also has some links with Space and Geometry.
- Space and Geometry– Involves the properties of two-dimensional and three-dimensional space.
- gathers performance information through a 30-60 minute supervised in-school test
- enables the progress of each student to be mapped in each skill against their previous performance, demonstrating personal improvement no matter the starting point
- provides an excellent preparation for national testing
- enables students at all levels of ability to participate; ICAS contains questions designed to specifically explore the abilities of students of all standards – this includes those of both lower and higher levels of achievement
- medals are awarded to the top students in each subject in each school year in each state
Assessments – Written exams, projects and assignments
The faculty has two formal types of assessments for all high school years – written assessment tasks (Terms 1, 2 and 4) and a project/ assignment in Term 3.
Quizzes are conducted for all years in Mathematics on a weekly basis to test and further reinforce the students’ understanding of the concept and skills on a more frequent basis.
Topic tests are also conducted on completion of each topic to further provide feedback to the teachers on their students understanding of the skills and concepts taught in each topic and help provide remedial lessons to make improvements.
During Numeracy week, the Mathematics Faculty organises activities for the Year 7 to10 students. These activities include Luna Park excursion where students get to involve and experience the thrills of different rides as well as complete worksheets either individually or as a group related to the Mathematics involved at the Park and the rides. The Year 8-10 students usually have an incursion where students immerse into mathematical and logical thinking problems whereby they utilise their foundational and advanced problem solving skills and strategies. They also participate in interactive lessons on problem solving strategies while working together on a diverse range of original hands-on problems.