Mathematics is deeply embedded in modern society – from the numeracy skills required to manage personal finances, to making sense of data in various forms, and leading-edge technologies in the sciences and engineering. Mathematics provides the framework for interpreting, analysing, and predicting, and the tools for effective participation in an increasingly complex world.
At St Clare’s, Mathematics is graded across all years and students are placed in a class reflective of their ability. This enables high-achieving students to be further challenged, while giving students that find mathematical concepts more difficult to master greater access to the necessary help required to further improve.
Stage 4 Mathematics, Years 7 and 8, provides students with knowledge, skills and understanding in number and algebra, measurement and geometry, and statistics and probability. It focuses on developing increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, communication, logical reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills. These capabilities enable students to employ strategies to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations and make informed decisions and solve problems relevant to their further education and everyday lives.
Stage 5 Mathematics, Years 9 and 10, provides different pathways for students to study and extend the knowledge and skills they have gained during Stage 4. To cater for the full range of learners, three specific pathways have been identified for Stage 5 Mathematics: Stage 5.3, Stage 5.2 and Stage 5.1.
The Stage 5.3 course is the most difficult and candidates must have achieved the syllabus outcomes, up to and including 5.1 and 5.2. Stage 5.3 includes the knowledge and skills from Stage 5.2, and Stage 5.2 includes the knowledge and skills from Stage 5.1.
Stage 6 offers courses in the preliminary and HSC year: Mathematics Standard, Mathematics Advanced and Mathematics Extension 1. During the HSC year, Mathematics Standard 1 (non-ATAR) is available to students who wish to follow a non-ATAR pathway, and Mathematics Extension 2 is available to Extension 1 students who are excelling in their course or have the desire to study mathematics at the highest level.
St Clare’s Mathematics department assesses students based on the collection and evaluation of evidence of their learning. This occurs through formal and informal activities. Assessment occurs as a regular part of teaching and learning. Students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in a variety of ways as outlined by NESA – assessment for learning, assessment as learning, and assessment of learning – which may include tests, assignments, projects, investigations, and open-ended challenges. The Years 7-10 syllabuses advocate assessment for learning, which gives students opportunities to produce work that leads to development of their knowledge, understanding and skills.
Formal assessment takes place each term with class tasks, common tests, and a course-specific examination.
Stage 4: Year 7 students are graded into streamed classes by Week 2, Term 1. This is based on the results achieved in a basic skills test completed in Week 2, which examines Stage 3 syllabus topics covered in primary school.
Stage 4: Year 8 students are graded according to their academic performance in the previous year.
Stage 5: Years 9 and 10 students are graded within 3 stages: 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3 according to their performance from Year 8 and reviewed as required.
Stage 6: The assessment of Years 11 and 12 students follows the HSC assessment guidelines for the individual Mathematics courses as specified by NESA.
At St Clare’s, we strive to offer students opportunities to enhance and enrich their education. In Mathematics, as part of this enrichment program, students can take part in a series of competitions and challenges. Many of our Mathematics students participate and compete annually in the University of NSW ICAS Mathematics Competition, the Australian Mathematics Challenge, the Australian Mathematics Competition, Enrichment Mathematics, and the Australian Intermediate Mathematics Olympiad. These competitions and challenges range in difficulty, providing an opportunity for all students seeking to improve their conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills.
- University of NSW ICAS Mathematics Competition(with online practice tests)
- The Australian Mathematics Trust Challenge and Enrichment
- The Australian Mathematics Trust Olympiad
Maths homework policy
It is the Mathematics faculty policy, in line with the school policy, that homework is given after each lesson. When a student revisits material presented in class a short time after the initial exposure to that concept, educational research shows they significantly increase their chance of understanding that concept and committing it to their long-term memory. If a student is struggling with either the understanding of, or the “time management” necessary, to complete set homework then they are advised to either discuss this with their teacher or attend the weekly Mathematics workshop to get support. Should a student be unable to complete set homework, for some unavoidable reason, it is expected they will provide a written note explaining this reason.
The following gives an indication of the time a student should be allocated to complete set homework:
- Year 7/8 20 mins
- Year 9/10 30 mins
- Year 11/12 40-60 mins
Should a student be unable, for some reason, to complete all the set homework in the time indicated above, then they should present to their teacher a written note explaining the reason. Otherwise, their teacher may instruct them to attend either the Mathematics workshop or the Homework Support Centre so their unfinished homework can be completed.
Textbooks – Years 7-12
Access is via the school’s site
Past Papers – use this resource to prepare for upcoming exams
Access is via the school’s site
Hotmaths (requires a username and password)
http://www.hotmaths.com.au/ This helps you practise the work you do in class.
Nelsonnet for Year 11 and 12 General courses – (requires a username and password).
NESA Syllabi – use this for reference, past HSC papers and formula sheets.
AAAMath.com – http://aaamath.com/
nlvm.usu.edu – http://nlvm.usu.edu/4r
Other resources you may find interesting or helpful
Each Wednesday at lunchtime, the Mathematics staff are available to help students who may need some assistance with their work. Students who have been absent and need to catch up work; students who have had difficulty understanding a concept, or students who just need some time and space to complete their Mathematics are invited to take advantage of this opportunity.
The workshop is not compulsory, but many students bring their lunch and friends. It is available to all classes and levels, and attendance is recorded. The room is often filled with a mixture of seniors and juniors, peer-assisting each other in a collegial and friendly manner.