NSW Mathematics Strategy makes an impact
Mentoring primary mathematics specialist teachers | Easier access to digital teaching and learning resources | Coming soon: phase 2 of the perception change campaign | New professional learning opportunities | Growing the Mathematics Growth Team
21 May 2021
NSW Mathematics Strategy
Bringing together diverse resources, campaigns and programs to lift mathematics outcomes
Last October at the Maths Campaign launch the NSW Education Minister, Sarah Mitchell, unveiled the NSW Mathematics Strategy publication. The strategy strengthens the focus on mathematics in our education system to give our younger generation the foundations they need to succeed in an evolving world.
In the five months since the Maths Campaign launched, we have made great progress. So far, we have released diverse resources, campaigns and programs, all designed to support teaching and learning so that together we can lift mathematics outcomes for our students.
And there is much more to come. Read on to find out what we are already doing to boost our students’ mathematics performance so they are set up for a successful future.
Mentoring primary mathematics specialist teachers
We want to create sustained, continued improvement in mathematics outcomes across NSW. The way to do this is to focus on lifting the capability of our teachers of mathematics. The department has commenced a two-year mathematics specialisation mentorship program with 36 primary teachers in 30 NSW public schools across the state in 2021.
Easier access to digital teaching and learning resources
Our teachers need access to digital teaching and learning resources that are research-based, high-quality, and aligned to the syllabus and curriculum. As part of meeting this need, we are currently establishing an online learning tools panel that supports schools 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.
Coming soon: phase 2 of the perception change campaign
Last year we launched the first phase of a campaign and Everyday Maths Hub that demonstrate how we all use mathematics every day. Featuring mathematics ambassadors Kellie Hush, Steve Solomon, Alice Zaslavsky and Eddie Woo, EducationLIVE and a resource hub, the campaign has been designed to change the way parents and carers see mathematics and how they help their children learn. Phase 2 of this campaign will see a second burst of the #MathsTrainsBrains campaign focused on further improving perceptions of mathematics.
This second phase will also build on the mathematics ambassadors from Phase 1, and will introduce content creators to encourage parents, carers and students to develop a love for mathematics. We encourage you to promote the Everyday Maths Hub in your schools using resources that can be found within teaching and learning.
New professional learning opportunities
Our teaching staff are at the heart of our efforts to lift mathematics performance. We are supporting them to support our students. An important part of this strategy is creating more professional learning opportunities in the area of teaching 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, evidence-based teaching resources continue to be developed in collaboration with other teams within the department, Thinking Mathematically sites for primary teachers and the Interview of Student Reasoning and accompanying resources.
Growing the Mathematics Growth Team
We are excited to have expanded the Mathematics Growth Team. Aligned with the Best In Class Teaching Unit, the team has grown to 10 expert mathematics teachers who are working with targeted schools to amplify the impact of expert mathematics teaching. Their goal is to strengthen mathematics leaders and build a new generation of mathematics teachers across NSW public schools. They are doing this by supporting the use of evidence-based, best-practice assessment and teaching practices among mathematics educators. In 2021 they will grow the network of supported schools from the 30 to 50.
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- Strategy and planning