Where potential soars

Mathematics

INTRODUCTION

Mathematics is the study of function and pattern in number, logic, space and structure. It provides both a framework for thinking and a means of symbolic communication that is powerful, logical, concise and precise. It also provides a means by which people can understand and manage their environment. Essential mathematical activities include calculating and computing, abstracting, conjecturing, proving, applying, investigating, modelling, and problem posing and solving.

Duration      Whole year

Purpose

The mathematics curriculum is based on a comprehensive development of mathematics from the following areas of study: Space, Number, Measurement, Chance and Data, Algebra, Working Mathematically.

An activity based approach with a significant use of concrete materials leading to the development of more abstract ideas is emphasised.  Each year level has particular overall themes, within which the purposes of the course are to present a range of concepts, skills and processes.

Goals

Students will work towards the following goals:

  • Acquire mathematical skills and knowledge so they can deal confidently and competently with daily life
  • Develop knowledge and skills in using mathematics for employment, further study and interest
  • Be able to interpret and communicate quantitative and logical ideas accurately
  • Recognise the fundamental importance of mathematics to the functioning of society
  • Understand and appreciate the nature of mathematical thinking, the processes by which mathematics changes and its cultural role
  • Understand the dynamic role of mathematics in social and technological change
  • Use CAS technology appropriately and effectively to support the learning of mathematics, and in carrying out mathematical activities in context.

Working mathematically
Fulfilment of these goals requires that Mathematics is a positive experience in which students develop confidence and a sense of achievement from what they learn.  Learning involves mastery of several components:  knowing mathematical facts (such as the multiplication tables, the distributive law or the meaning of polygon), being able to carry out mathematical procedures (such as adding numbers or drawing a graph) and being able to use mathematics and its technologies in solving problems and describing and understanding the world. 

For this reason, students engage in activities that develop:

  • Knowledge of facts and technical skills
  • Depth of conceptual understanding
  • Ability to communicate using clear and precise mathematical language
  • Ability to tackle non-routine problems systematically
  • Ability to apply what has been learned to solve real problems
  • Ability to conduct investigations using mathematics
  • Logical reasoning and a conception of the nature of proof
  • Practical ability in measuring, estimating and making sensible use of calculators and computers.

 All students benefit from exposure to the full range of these activities. 

Competitions
All students participate in the ICAS Mathematics Competition.  This is an intensive and rigorous examination that is conducted in Term 3 of each year.  The Maths Challenge problem solving Competition is open to students in the Extension group or to those who feel they are able to carry out its requirements.  Other competitions exist that students may be invited to participate in, such as the AMT Enrichment Program.

Topics studied this year

  • Algebra
  • Linear Graphs
  • Surds
  • Scientific Notation
  • Exponentials
  • Trigonometry
  • Statistics
  • Probability
  • Quadratics

Assessment

The following assessment tasks are used to give an indication of student performance across a wide range of areas.

These include:

  • Topic tests
  • Work book
  • Summary notes
  • Problem solving tasks
  • Assignments
  • Journals
  • Larger style projects
  • Models
  • Use of technology
  • End of Semester examinations

Technology
All students are required to purchase the Texas Instruments ‘Nspire’ CAS Calculator, available at a special price through the College at the start of the year.  Forms to parents will be distributed in early Term 1.  This calculator is required for Years 10, 11 and 12. And forms the major technology for all Mathematics classes, providing support for all ability levels.

Class Groupings
Students may be grouped in Mathematics classes by ability level and/or career pathway.  This is based on several factors including student performance, level of engagement and VCE subject requirements.