Learning mathematics creates opportunities for and enriches the lives of all Australians. The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics provides students with essential mathematical skills and knowledge in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. It develops the numeracy capabilities that all students need in their personal, work and civic life, and provides the fundamentals on which mathematical specialties and professional applications of mathematics are built.
Mathematics has its own value and beauty and the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics aims to instil in students an appreciation of the elegance and power of mathematical reasoning. Mathematical ideas have evolved across all cultures over thousands of years, and are constantly developing. Digital technologies are facilitating this expansion of ideas and providing access to new tools for continuing mathematical exploration and invention. The curriculum focuses on developing increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, logical reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills. These capabilities enable students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations by employing mathematical strategies to make informed decisions and solve problems efficiently.
In Years 7 & 8, all students essentially receive a similar program. In Year 9, students are placed into one of three classes – the Extension Mathematics (EMITS) class, Pathway 1 or Pathway 2 class. In Year 10, there are four ability groupings – the Extension Mathematics (EMITS) class, Pathway 1, Pathway 2 and Pathway 3 classes.
The initial selection of students into the Extension Mathematics (EMITS) class is based on each student’s achievement standards of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics and teacher recommendations. Attainment of the achievement standards is determined by continuous assessment, both formative and summative.
Teachers create programmes of work to suit the ability level of the group so that opportunities in Year 11, Year 12 and beyond are optimised.
In Year 11 and in Year 12 from 2016, the Mathematics Department offers five mathematics courses, two General and three ATAR. Each course is organised into four units, with Unit 1 and Unit 2 being taken in Year 11 and Unit 3 and Unit 4 in Year 12. The WACE examination for each of the three ATAR courses is based on Unit 3 and Unit 4 only. The courses are differentiated, each focusing on a pathway that will meet the learning needs of a particular group of senior secondary students.
Mathematics Foundation is a General course which focuses on building the capacity, confidence and disposition to use mathematics to meet the numeracy standard for the WACE. It provides students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to solve problems across a range of contexts, including personal, community and workplace/employment. This course provides the opportunity for students to prepare for post-school options of employment and further training.
NOTE: This course designed for students who have not demonstrated the minimum standard in the numeracy component of the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA). Please follow this link to learn more about the OLNA – http://www.scsa.wa.edu.au/Senior_Secondary/OLNA.
Mathematics Essential is a General course which focuses on using mathematics effectively, efficiently and critically to make informed decisions. It provides students with the mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding to solve problems in real contexts for a range of workplace, personal, further learning and community settings. This course provides the opportunity for students to prepare for post-school options of employment and further training.
Mathematics Applications is an ATAR course which focuses on the use of mathematics to solve problems in contexts that involve financial modelling, geometric and trigonometric analysis, graphical and network analysis, and growth and decay in sequences. It also provides opportunities for students to develop systematic strategies based on the statistical investigation process for answering statistical questions that involve analysing univariate and bivariate data, including time series data.
Mathematics Methods is an ATAR course which focuses on the use of calculus and statistical analysis. The study of calculus provides a basis for understanding rates of change in the physical world, and includes the use of functions, their derivatives and integrals, in modelling physical processes. The study of statistics develops students’ ability to describe and analyse phenomena that involve uncertainty and variation.
Mathematics Specialist is an ATAR course which provides opportunities, beyond those presented in the Mathematics Methods ATAR course, to develop rigorous mathematical arguments and proofs, and to use mathematical models more extensively. The Mathematics Specialist ATAR course contains topics in functions and calculus that build on and deepen the ideas presented in the Mathematics Methods ATAR course as well as demonstrate their application in many areas. The Mathematics Specialist ATAR course also extends understanding and knowledge of statistics and introduces the topics of vectors, complex numbers and matrices. The Mathematics Specialist ATAR course is the only ATAR mathematics course that should not be taken as a stand-alone course.
Australian Mathematics Competition
Students from all years are encouraged to participate in the Australian Mathematics Competition which is held early in term three. A high percentage of students achieve Distinction and Credit certificates.