Mathematics

 mercy college andy coombs

Mr Andy Coombs - Head of Learning Area

The Mathematics Learning Area aims to provide every student with the opportunity to work at their highest mathematical capability, whilst giving them the opportunity to soundly understand one level of mathematics before proceeding to the next. Students are encouraged to work logically and to become proficient at problem solving, reasoning, critical thinking and other process skills.

In Years Seven to Nine, students are encouraged to work mathematically in the three outcomes of Number and Algebra, Measurement, Geography and Statistics and Probability. In Years Ten to Twelve, the focus for students is to provide the optimum pathway that suits their abilities and their desired career.

Year Seven

The Year Seven Australian Curriculum in Mathematics builds on the students' prior knowledge and experience. Mathematics in Year Seven encourages students to build on their life skills which are promoted through investigating and solving 'real life' situations and problems. The importance of technology in Mathematics, such as the use of calculators, is acknowledged and its use endorsed. However, students are also expected to know their basic number facts (e.g. tables) and to use these skills in the Mathematical strands of Number, Measurement, Space, Algebra and Chance and Data.

Year Eight

The Year Eight Australian Curriculum in Mathematics builds on the students' prior knowledge and experience. Students are encouraged to work mathematically in the five outcomes of Number, Chance and Data, Space, Measurement and Algebra. The course provides learning experiences that give students the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of their mathematical skills. Learning experiences in problem-solving, reasoning, critical thinking and a systematic approach provide opportunities to build on these skills. The importance of technology in Mathematics, such as the use of calculators, is acknowledged and its use endorsed. However, students are also expected to know their basic number facts and to use these skills in their everyday life.

Year Nine

The Year Nine Australian Curriculum in Mathematics also builds on the students' prior knowledge and experience. Students are encouraged to work mathematically in the five outcomes of Number, Chance and Data, Space, Measurement and Algebra. The course provides learning experiences that give students the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of their mathematical skills. Learning experiences in problem-solving, reasoning, critical thinking and a systematic approach provide opportunities to build on these skills. In recognition of the various stages of development of students in their formative years, students in Years Nine are grouped according to their progress in the previous year.

Year Ten

The Mathematics subject is organised to give every student the opportunity to work at their highest mathematical capability, whilst also giving them the opportunity to soundly understand one level of mathematics before proceeding to the next. The courses are designed to prepare students for the pathways in Year Eleven and Twelve.

The ‘Methods’ class challenges students with a strong mathematical ability and background to enter tertiary studies that require higher mathematical skills. This pathway gives students the potential to study the ATAR courses Mathematics ‘Methods’ and/or Mathematics ‘Specialist’ in Year Eleven and Year Twelve.

The ‘Applications’ class offers a range of skills where students appreciate the power of Mathematics. This pathway gives students the potential to study the ATAR course Mathematics ‘Applications’ in Year Eleven and Year Twelve.

Mathematics ‘Essential’ and ‘Foundation’ classes have an emphasis on the mathematics required for everyday life. This pathway gives students the potential to study the non-ATAR courses Mathematics ‘Essential’, Mathematics ‘Foundation’ or Mathematics ‘Preliminary’ in Year Eleven and Year Twelve.

Year Eleven

In Year Eleven, students can study an appropriate Mathematics course(s) that reflect their ability and chosen career pathway. Some of these courses are prerequisites for university studies, while others may be required in some TAFE courses. Mathematics ‘Specialist’ Units One and Two and to a lesser degree, Mathematics ‘Methods’ Units One and Two are aimed at mathematically able students who require a high level of mathematical knowledge to progress in their chosen vocation. Mathematics ‘Applications’ Units One and Two is intended for students who wish to study mathematics in their final years at school and who are preparing for a tertiary course of study which does not have as strong a mathematical content as ‘Methods’ or ‘Specialist’. Students are permitted if they so wish to study the two ATAR Mathematics courses ‘Methods’ and ‘Applications’ simultaneously in Year Eleven (Units One and Two) and Year Twelve (Units Three and Four).

Students in the Mathematics ‘Essential’ Units One and Two class complete work that relates to real world physical contexts, whilst students in the Mathematics ‘Foundation’ or Mathematics ‘Preliminary’ classes complete projects throughout the Year that prepare them to use Mathematics in a real-life context after High School.

Year Twelve

The Year Twelve subjects consolidate the work completed in the previous year. Students are encouraged to review their performance in Year Eleven and may have to alter their chosen pathway for Year Twelve e.g. ‘Methods’ to ‘Applications’ or vice versa. Units Three and Four in Mathematics ‘Specialist’, Mathematics ‘Methods’ and Mathematics ‘Applications’ all follow on from the high-level Year Eleven Units One and Two courses, and are aimed at mathematically able students who require a high level of mathematical knowledge to progress in their chosen vocation.

The Mathematics ‘Essential’ Units Three and Four course is very similar in style to those in Year Eleven (Units One and Two), and involve the students completing various problem solving tasks that are set in a real-life context. The Mathematics ‘Foundation’ and ‘Preliminary’ classes continue to complete projects and tasks derived from the three major learning areas of Mathematics - Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.