Initiative Updates

1.0 New HSC mathematics course

NESA in collaboration with the department, has developed and is piloting a new HSC Mathematics course for students who have not typically chosen to study mathematics. It focuses on numeracy and practical applications for everyday life. The first pilot cohort of 50 schools has just completed the two-year course. The second cohort of 95 schools is underway and the third cohort of 158 schools started in 2021. [SU1]

2.0 Primary mathematics specialist teachers[KW2]

The department has commenced a two-year mathematics specialisation mentorship program with 36 primary teachers in 30 schools across the state in 2021. This is in addition to the appointment and ongoing mentorship of 33 new primary teachers who have completed a mathematics specialisation as part of their undergraduate degree.

3.0 teach.Maths.NOW scholarships

The department has offered 70 teach.MathsNOW scholarships across 2020 and 2021, targeting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) undergraduates and STEM industry professionals seeking a career change to teaching.

4.0 Higher education engagement

The department has engaged with all NSW universities in 2019 and 2020 and will continue this collaborative engagement in 2021. Projects within the NSW Mathematics Strategy will continue to build strong relationships with higher education providers to support better outcomes for students, teachers, and schools.

5.0 Ambassadors and mathematics perceptions

The department has launched the first phase of the maths campaign demonstrating how we all use mathematics every day, featuring mathematics ambassadors and a resource hub. A NSW first, the Everyday Maths Hub is aimed at involving parents and carers in their child's mathematics learning.

Phase 2 will see a second burst of the #MathsTrainsBrains campaign focused on improving perceptions of mathematics. Phase 2 will also be building on the mathematics ambassadors from phase1, and introducing content creators to encourage parents, carers and students to develop a love for mathematics.

6.0 Consolidated tools and procurement platform

The department is currently establishing an Online Learning Tools Panel to offer schools choice and support to meet the needs of learners across all stages and subject areas including mathematics.

The panel is being established to ensure schools have access to quality syllabus-aligned content that meets data, privacy and security requirements.

7.0 Evidence-based practice

The department has been using evidence-base to inform the professional learning created for teachers of mathematics in the NSW Mathematics Strategy. Term 1 2021 has seen the introduction of In conversation – a series of online lectures with academics who share their insights and research about the teaching of mathematics.

8.0 Mathematics professional learning[KW3]

The department is developing a range of professional learning to support teachers of mathematics to build on their teaching and learning of mathematics. To date this includes 'bite-sized' and on-demand professional learning pieces available for all schools across NSW. Two sustained professional learning courses for teachers of mathematics across K-8 called Starting Strong and Working with the big ideas have been developed and will include over 400 schools in 2021. Starting strong commenced in Term 1, 2021 and Working with the big ideas will commence in Term 2, 2021.

In addition, the provision of evidence-based teaching resources continues to be developed in collaboration with other teams within the department, for example, the Thinking Mathematically sites for primary teachers and the Interview of Student Reasoning and accompanying resources.

In 2020 the department trialled Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA), a spatial thinking program, developed by the STEM Education Research Centre (SERC) at the University of Canberra in 80 kindergarten classrooms across 34 public schools.

9.0 Initial teacher education

The department is supporting NESA in strengthening mathematics in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) including through the provision of rigorous mathematics specialisations in 12 separate primary teaching degrees across six universities.

10.0 Mathematics Growth Team

The department has launched the Mathematics Growth Team (MGT), aligned with the ‘Best in Class Teaching unit,’ amplifying the impact of expert mathematics teaching. The MGT has expanded to 10 expert mathematics teachers in 2021 to grow the network of schools from the 30 supported in 2020 to 50 in 2021

11.0 Evaluation

The department has undertaken interim evaluations of three of the program’s initiatives.


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