Maths: what your child will learn

Your child will draw on the wide range of numeracy skills they learn throughout the Kindergarten to Year 10 mathematics syllabus.

This information is subject to change as the NSW Government reforms the curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 12 so every student is prepared and ready for their future. Learn more about the NSW Curriculum reform.

Whether calculating change, understanding graphs in the media or comparing interest rates for mortgages, your child will draw on the wide range of numeracy skills they learn throughout their Kindergarten to Year 10 mathematics syllabus. Mastering mathematical concepts and how to apply them will provide your child with important skills for life and support their learning in other subjects, such as science and PDHPE.

In high school, students learn mathematics across mainstream, selective and support classes.

Skills your child will learn in mathematics

The aim is to develop your child’s knowledge and abilities across every maths topic using five key learning approaches.

1. Fluency: Your child will be supported to:

  • Learn, understand and recall definitions and facts to calculate answers and find solutions
  • Choose and carry out the most appropriate procedure, method or strategy to solve different problems.

2. Understanding: Your child will be supported to:

  • Learn, explore and adapt and transfer a range of different mathematical strategies.
  • Connect different mathematical concepts.
  • Apply mathematics to the classroom, life situations and the world around them.

3. Communicating: Your child will be supported to:

  • Describe, represent and explain mathematical situations, concepts, methods and solutions.
  • Use a variety of representations to express mathematical ideas, such as writing them down, talking about them and recording them in graphical forms.

4. Problem solving: Your child will be supported to:

  • Solve new and unfamiliar problems.
  • Investigate different strategies and plan an approach.
  • Work through problems to arrive at solutions and answers.
  • Check that calculations are correct and conclusions are reasonable.

5. Reasoning: Your child will be supported to:

  • Explain their thinking.
  • Analyse, evaluate, prove, infer and generalise and predict results
  • Justify their use of a strategy and conclusion reached.

Kindergarten to Year 10 mathematics

The K-10 mathematics syllabus is designed to:

  • Progressively build on your child’s knowledge of mathematics.
  • Provide opportunities for your child to develop an understanding of mathematical concepts and use mathematical processes to solve practical, theoretical and abstract problems.
  • Allow flexibility for your child to learn at the right level by organising content into stages with a variety of end points.
  • Deepen your child’s understanding of how and why mathematical concepts work
  • Help your child appreciate why mathematics is important
  • Encourage your child to work mathematically in a variety of situations by developing their fluency and understanding, communication, reasoning and problem-solving skills.
  • Provide a foundation and pathway to careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) industries. If your child is interested, they can choose to study STEM elective subjects from year 9.

High school mathematics

Stages, strands and substrands

During years 7 to 10 at high school your child will cover two different stages of mathematics:

Stage 4: Years: 7 – 8
Stage 5: Years 9 – 10

Both Stages 4 and 5 of high school mathematics feature three strands (see strands below).

After successfully completing Stages 4 and 5 in Years 7-10, your child will receive a mathematics grade to be included in their Record of School Achievement (RoSA). These grades range from A10 – E2.

1. Number and algebra

Students explore the many properties and uses of numbers, including making correct calculations using positive, negative and irrational numbers. They learn how to understand, create and use algebraic equations, where letters and symbols are used to represent sets of numbers, their values and their relationships to each other (for example, Pythagoras’ theorem, c2 = a2 + b2.)

2. Measurement and geometry

Students delve more deeply into aspects of geometry including size, shape and three-dimensional objects in space. Using these principles, they engage in activities such as making figures and objects.

They learn about different types of measurement, including metric units, length, area, volume, capacity, and mass.

Students develop skills in collecting, organising, displaying and analysing data. They learn to construct and read a variety of graphs and tables, look at patterns in data (for example health statistics) and analyse their meaning and form their conclusions.

Students also develop their understanding of chance situations to link concepts to numerical probabilities, using experimental and theoretical approaches.

Within these three different strands, high school mathematics classes cover a range of substrands or topics, including:

  • fractions, decimals and percentages
  • computation with integers
  • financial mathematics
  • ratios and rates
  • length and perimeter
  • right-angled triangles
  • angle relationships
  • algebraic techniques
  • equations
  • linear and non-linear relationships
  • area, surface area and volume
  • properties of geometrical figures
  • trigonometry
  • data collection, representation and analysis
  • probability.

The teaching of mathematics

High school mathematics teachers create a rich learning environment designed to stimulate your child’s interest, enjoyment and engagement. The curriculum is flexible to allow the school and teacher to choose the strategies and learning styles they feel will be most effective.

To do this your child’s maths teacher may use:

  • demonstration or modelling of an approach
  • guided practice
  • independent practice
  • different types of information delivery, such as mathematical modelling tasks with and without digital technology, open investigations, explorations, problem-based learning, integrated learning and games.

Meeting every child’s needs

The high school syllabus takes an inclusive approach to ensure the learning needs of every student are addressed, including children with:

  • a physical or intellectual disability
  • English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D)
  • other special needs
  • no special needs.

Teachers and parents in partnership

If you have any questions or concerns relating to your child’s mathematics learning, contact their teacher. Meanwhile, to support your child’s mathematics learning at home, encourage them to engage in activities like measuring ingredients for a cake, doing Sudoku puzzles and adding up items as you shop at the supermarket.

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