NSW Mathematics Strategy update September 2021

'In conversation' series continues – now on-demand! | Putting mathematics into practice at home | Hear from Mathematics Growth Team trainers first hand | On-demand professional learning explores important concepts | Positive feedback for professional learning courses | Stage 6 Numeracy syllabus now live | Resources to share the magic of mathematics | Putting a spotlight on the Mathematics Growth Team

22 December 2021


'In conversation' series continues – now on-demand!

Forget the latest streaming service, you can now catch-up on the NSW Mathematics Strategy Professional Learning Team’s ‘In conversation’ series where and when it suits you! In response to the current health restrictions impacting teachers, the remaining ‘In conversation’ sessions in 2021 will be released as recordings only and all previous sessions are now available to view.

Developed for all teachers of mathematics K-12, the sessions draw on current and established educational research. Each session allows teachers to hear from leading academics in education. The sessions can be viewed through the 'In conversation' channel in Microsoft Stream.

Sessions currently available to view on-demand:


Details of Term 4 will be announced in MyPL and in the Primary and Secondary Mathematics statewide staffrooms.

Putting mathematics into practice at home

The Everyday Maths Hub continues to be a popular destination for parents and carers looking to explore mathematics activities and resources at home.

More than 120,000 users visited the Hub during phase 2 of the #MathsTrainsBrains campaign, which ran during May and June this year. Visitors can access materials for children from Kindergarten to Year 10 as well as translated resources.

From angles to fractions, volume and capacity, to probability and more – there’s a range of topics covered by the Everyday Maths Hub.

Hear from Mathematics Growth Team trainers first hand

“It’s about being in a classroom and being with students but also having the opportunity to lead staff and to push boundaries and to do that in a way that is supported with evidence and good practice”.

For Jodie Hartmann from Bowraville Central School this is what makes being part of the Mathematics Growth Team (MGT) special. Other members of the MGT have also shared their reflections on what makes being part of the team such a positive experience. From a change of pace and complexity in their roles to wanting a different challenge, MGT members have shared their insights about their role in a new video published recently.

Thomas Pollard an MGT trainer based at Coolamon Central School, said “I enjoy being able to broaden the group of teachers and students I’ve worked with”.

The MGT is made up of expert mathematics teachers who are working with targeted schools to amplify the impact of expert mathematics teaching and is aligned with the Best In Class Teaching Unit. Their goal is to strengthen mathematics leaders and build a new generation of mathematics teachers across NSW public schools.

For more information about the MGT email nswms@det.edu.au.

On-demand professional learning explores important concepts

A series of short mathematics professional learning videos and resources available on MyPL is the perfect antidote for a time-poor diary.
Taking between 30 minutes and an hour to complete each topic, the series explores important mathematical concepts from
Kindergarten – Year 8.

Choose from the following topics:

Positive feedback for professional learning courses

The ‘Starting strong’ and ‘Working with the big ideas’ professional learning courses will be running in 2022 with information on registration available in Term 4.

More than 3,400 teachers of mathematics, Kindergarten to Year 8, have participated in these sustained professional learning courses this year.

Participant feedback received by the NSW Mathematics Strategy’s Professional Learning Team has been positive, with many acknowledging the flexibility of the program to adapt to teacher need during the current health restrictions. “Trust you are well and thank you to the team for 'Starting strong' with lots of great learning to challenge our thinking,” said one participant.

"I would also like to send a very big thank you to the maths team for all the wonderful online maths activities and resources. They have really helped me with my classroom teaching and learning program as I learn about this different way of teaching maths. I am now including some of these tasks in my learning from home program. It made programming much easier and it’s great to know my students will still be engaged in meaningful activities during this difficult time!" wrote another.

The ‘Working with the big ideas’ course has proven priceless for one participant, who noted "Yes I am loving it! ... I am learning about new gaps in my students' learning which I was unaware of, so the discussions are priceless! ... I have totally adapted my programming to include these very cool learning activities."

'Starting strong' is designed to explore big ideas and core concepts in mathematics in the early years, while 'Working with the big ideas' is focused on the middle years.

Information on 2022 courses will be made available on Staff Noticeboard.

Stage 6 Numeracy syllabus now live

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) has now released syllabus and support materials for a new Numeracy course for Year 11 and 12 students.

Starting for Year 11 students in 2022, the new syllabus will help students build practical numeracy and mathematics skills for everyday life and work in the 21st century.

Other key features of the new syllabus include: a focus on ‘depth’ of knowledge and skills studied rather than ‘breadth’ of topics covered a focus on problem solving applied to real-world contexts increased use and application of digital technologies.

Prior to its release, the course was piloted across 3,000 students over three years. An evaluation by the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) found the course increased student participation in Stage 6 mathematics, especially among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students in rural and remote areas and students studying Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses.

Resources to share the magic of mathematics

Looking for some fun mathematics tasks to use with your students? ‘Let’s get magical’ is one resource on the Thinking Mathematically site, created for Stages ES1 -3 by the NSW Mathematics Strategy Professional Learning and Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners Mathematics teams.

Try out ‘Let’s get magical’ below:

  • Choose a 3-digit number where each digit is smaller than the previous one (but they don’t have to be in order. For example, 982 or 531)
  • Then, reverse the digits and subtract the second number from the first one. So, if I had chosen 531, I would now work out 531 – 135. The answer is 396. (If you get 99, record your answer as 099).
  • Next, reverse your new number. For example, from 396 I can make 639.
  • Finally, add these last two numbers together. For example, 396 + 639.
  • Here comes the magic...


The answer is 1089!

Find more resources like this one on the Thinking Mathematically site.

Putting a spotlight on the Mathematics Growth Team


The work of the Mathematics Growth Team (MGT), embedded at Bowraville Central School, is highlighted in a case study now available on the NSW Mathematics Strategy’s Yammer Group (staff only).

Aligned with the Best In Class Teaching Unit, the MGT is made up of 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.

Head over to our Yammer Group (staff only) to find out how Bowraville Central School is challenging and improving mathematics teachers in primary and secondary contexts.


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