Transcript of Unpacking the new Stage 6 mathematics standard syllabus

Mathematics – unpacking the standard course

Speaker: Ruth Glasgow

OK, so we're going to get started. I'll just repeat that, 'cause I don't know if you might have heard initially. So my name is Ruth Glasgow and I am the maths adviser. So I'll be doing the presentation today. I have Amy Birungi along with me who is working alongside me for Stage 6 officer for the mEsh project. So today we are going to be looking at unpacking the Standard syllabus, and we will have a question-and-answer at the end, so if you have any questions, you can put them in at the end and we will try and get them answered as best as we can. So if you're having any difficulties... Or I see some people have got their hand up. If you just write something into the chat we might be able to assist you along the way.

So just starting off, as we know, with our new Stage 6 courses next year, we are only looking at implementing the Life Skills, the Mathematics Standard and Standard 1. So we're implementing the Year 11 course for those in 2018 and we don't have the other ones coming through till 2019. So as I said, we're going to have a look at unpacking the syllabus and some of the coding and the different things to do with the new syllabus and the new layout. So the first thing is that with Mathematics Standard, the outcome coding. So we have 'MS' for the Standard course, '11' to say that it's in Year 11 and then the number for the outcome. So that is the same across all of the Stage 6 syllabuses. You'll notice also at the top of the presentation I also have the page number that it refers to in the syllabus. So if you are looking through the syllabus as we're going you'll know what page number to look at. So there is some new coding that's come into the Year 11 Standard course and one of the most important things to recognise is the rhombus. So the rhombus stands for the Year 11 Standard course. So we don't actually have a Year 11 Standard 1 course but you will notice that throughout the Year 11 content, anything that's marked is a rhombus.

NESA has stated that you would be doing that if you are continuing to Year 12 Standard 1 course, or you are trying to meet the Australian Core Skills Framework Level 3 in numeracy. So this does allow for a lot of flexibility in your programming. So what you can also note is that it does state in the syllabus that schools have the flexibility in providing alternate pathways and approaches to the Standard course in Year 11 to address the material essential for Mathematics Standard 1 in Year 12. So what that's saying is that as a school, you can program just the content in what we would know as the rhombus course and then that would allow the students to access the Year 12 Standard 1 course. It will not allow for students wanting to access the Standard 2 course 'cause they won't have completed all of the content. Another new code that is appearing in our syllabus is around the application and modelling. So as you would be aware from looking at the syllabus, the focus studies are no longer in the syllabus as their own stand-alone content. However, they have been, I guess, scattered throughout the other topic areas. So in the course, you will come across where you would be looking at doing some applications and modelling and that is denoted in your syllabus by the 'AAM'. So this will allow opportunities to involve a wide variety of approaches to your teaching and teachers should provide students with opportunities to make choices, state questions, assumptions and make generalisations.

So just having a look at the rationale of the Standard course. So the Mathematics Standard course is focused on enabling students to use their mathematics effectively, efficiently and critically to make informed decisions. So it's there to provide students with opportunities to develop an understanding of the competence in further aspects of mathematics through a variety of real-world applications. And that's where a lot of your application and modelling would come into it. So it's important to understand the rationale for Standard 1 as opposed to Standard 2.

So Standard 1 is designed to help students improve their numeracy by building their confidence and success in making mathematics meaningful. However, Standard 2 is designed for those students who want to extend their mathematical skills beyond Stage 5 and offer students an opportunity to prepare for a wide range of further educational and employment aspirations, including continuing on to tertiary studies. So with Mathematics in Stage 6, for the Standard course, there is three pathways that you could be looking for your students. So in the first box you will see there we have the Mathematics Standard with the little rhombus. So if you do that in Year 11... So it's worth two units and it's 120 indicative hours. That would lead them to be able to access the Mathematics Standard 1 course in Year 12. Whereas if they did the entire Standard Year 11 course then they would be able to access either the Standard 1 or the Standard 2 course in Year 12.

So this is where school-based decisions will come into how you best run and program that for your students. So just having a look at where the Standard course is placed in the syllabus from K-12. So if you look at... This diagram is quite important and quite useful for showing parents and students about what they are actually able to access with what they've done in Stage 5. So you can see a student who has accessed the 5.1 pathway really is going to struggle to be able to complete all of the Year 11 Mathematics Standard course. So that's where that rhombus course will come into play for those students. To be able to access the Year 11 Mathematics Standard course, we can see the students would have had to have completed some of the 5.2 pathway work also. And then the same leading into Year 12, having accessed part of the Year 11 Standard course which we would be thinking would be the rhombus part, they would be able to access the Mathematics Standard 1, whereas if they had exposure to the entire Standard course, they would then be able to continue on and complete Standard 2. So I do strongly recommend that you show this diagram to, obviously, all of your parents and also to the students so they're aware as to where their pathways may lead them.

So whereabouts does this course fit in the building-on from our Stage 5 learning? Now, I do apologise that the slide has maybe gone off the page a little bit. So I do apologise for that. So whereabouts is it placed? So the outcomes and content for the Stage 6 Mathematics Standard syllabus are written with the assumption that students have studied the course of 5.1 and have engaged with the substrands there in 5.2. So they would have completed all of the 5.1 substrands and the 5.2 substrands around financial mathematics, linear relationships, nonlinear relationships, tight-angled trigonometry, in terms of... sorry, right-angled triangles, turn to trigonometry, and single variable data analysis and probability. So it's important that we as teachers are aware of what the expectation is.

Now, it does say that they have engaged with all of the substrands. It obviously doesn't mean they have to have completed them successfully to a value of 100%, but they need to have had some engagement with it. So consequently, the content in the New South Wales K-10 syllabus up to and including this level is also implicit in this syllabus. So in a number of cases where content from Stage 5 is included, it is in context of review for clarity and competence, OK? So you will see throughout your syllabus that the word 'review' is there of a lot of our Stage 5 content.

So what has happened with this new syllabus is that a lot of the repetition has been taken out from what we previously had, repeating some of our Stage 5 work into our Stage 6 courses. So what is the aim of this new Standard course? So the study of Mathematics Standard in Stage 6 enables students to develop their knowledge and understanding of what it means to work mathematically, improve their skills to solve problems relating to their present and future needs and aspirations and improves their understanding of how to communicate in a concise and systematic manner.

So as teachers, it's important that we know what the rationale and the aim of our syllabus is in terms of when we are out there delivering the content to our students. So we have our objectives split up into two sections. So we have knowledge, understanding and skills. So we're looking at developing the ability to apply reasoning and use their appropriate language to evaluate, construct arguments, interpret and use models based on mathematic concepts, develop the ability to use their concepts and apply techniques to the solution of problems in algebra and modelling, measurement, financial mathematics, data and statistics, probability and networks, develop the ability to use mathematical skills and techniques including the use of technology, organising information and interpret practical situations and develop the ability to interpret and communicate mathematics in a variety of written and verbal forms, including diagrams and graphs. So they are our objectives which sit under the knowledge and understanding and skills.

And then we have our objectives of values and attitudes. So the students will value and appreciate mathematics as an essential and relevant part of life, recognising that its development and use have been largely in response to human needs and the importance of resilience in undertaking mathematical challenges, taking responsibility for their own learning and evaluating their development. So within our objectives, the outcomes sit underneath those and what we need to be very aware of in our new syllabus is that Working Mathematically has been included in our outcomes.

So unlike our Stage 4 and 5 syllabus, where they have their own code with a 'WM' on them, it isn't the case in the Standard course. They are, however, outcomes 9 and 10 in both Year 11 and Year 12. So when you are looking at it you will notice when you look through the content that outcomes 9 and 10 will appear in multiple areas throughout there. And they are an integral part to our outcomes and our syllabus. So a few things around the course structure. It's now called Year 11 and Year 12, so no longer will you see it referred to as the Preliminary and the HSC course. So it's called Year 11 and it's Year 12. Both courses are 120 indicative hours each.

We no longer have indicative hours for each topic. We just have the indicative hours for the entire course for Year 11 and then again for Year 12. So each of the courses are divided up into topics and then the topics are divided again into subtopics. So it's important that we understand and use the new terminology - so we have topics and then subtopics within them. So for example, in Year 11 we have Algebra and then two subtopics within that of Formulae and Equations and Linear Relationships. Then when we go into Year 12 in our topic of Algebra, our next topic in Standard 1 you'll notice now has MS-A3. So in Year 11 it had the A1 and 2. We've got A3, which is Types of Relationships and then in Standard 2 we have A4, which is Types of Relationships. So the numbering stays throughout the Year 11 then into Year 12 Standard 1 and into Standard 2. So it is important that all of our teachers out there are aware of just the small change of it being called Year 11 and Year 12 and that we're now looking at topics and subtopics, so that we are no longer using the term 'strand' in Year 11 and 12.

So assessment and reporting. So there is some information around assessment and reporting in the syllabus, however, NESA has put out Assessment and Reporting in Mathematics Standard Stage 6 and I do recommend that you all read that because it does give you a lot of information around the assessment and reporting procedures, especially around school-based assessment requirements and the mandatory components and weightings that are around the school-based assessment. So just in terms of the content - as you may know, we're not going into the content changes today.

We have another Adobe next week which will go into looking at some of the new content. But within our syllabus... So the content defines what students are expected to know and do as they work through the syllabus. Teachers will make decisions about content regarding the sequence, emphasis and any adjustments required based on the needs, interests, abilities and prior learning of students. So it's really important that you do make those decisions locally based on what's best for your students. The outcomes and content in the Mathematics Standard course provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills and they are aligned with the Level 3 of the Australian Core Skills Framework, which is what the minimum standard for HSC in numeracy now is. So just looking at the organisation of our content. So we have our Working Mathematically in the centre of our content.

And then in Year 11, our content is split up into Algebra, Measurement, Financial Mathematics and Statistical Analysis, and in Year 12, we have Algebra, Measurement, Financial Mathematics, Statistical Analysis and then our new topic of Networks. So just looking at the Working Mathematically in a little bit more detail, because we do now have six elements in the Working Mathematically as opposed to the five that we have in our K-10 syllabus. So the five in the K-10 syllabus are still here except we just have an additional one, which is Justification.

So the six aspects of Working Mathematically are embedded across the range of syllabus objectives, outcomes and topics. And the two key components for assessment which are our... Understanding, Fluency and Communicating is one aspect. And then we have the other one of Problem Solving, Reasoning and Justification come out of our Working Mathematically framework. So we are all used to using our Working Mathematically in 7-10, so we've now just extended that in to our 11 and 12 courses. The other thing that has appeared the same as our K-10 are our Learning Across the Curriculum. So our Learning Across the Curriculum definitions are the same. So you will see those same icons for our cross-curricular priorities, general capabilities and then our other learning across the curriculum areas within our syllabus.

So it's important that we take note of those when we are programming and planning our activities to make sure that we are hitting those Learning Across the Curriculum capabilities. So just a little bit about assessment. So assessment, as we know, is the process of gathering valid and useful information and making judgements about student achievements for a variety of purposes. So in Stage 6, these purposes include assessing students' learning, evaluating and improving teaching and learning, providing our evidence of students' achievement and course completions in Year 11 and 12 courses and providing data for the end of school credentials, so whether that be the RoSA or the HSC. So in our Stage 6 syllabus we have reference to Assessment for, as and of Learning as we do in our K-10 syllabus. So when we're looking at our school-based assessment in Stage 6, there is informal assessment and formal assessment.

With your school-based formal assessment, in Year 11, the components and weightings are as follows. So you can see Understanding, Fluency and Communicating is 50% and Problem Solving, Reasoning and Justification needs to make up 50% of your school-based assessment. So here are some of the changes. So in Year 11, we are capped at having three assessment tasks. The minimum weighting of any individual task is 20% and the maximum weighting of any individual task is 40%. One task must be an assignment or investigation-style with a weighting of 20-30%. So when we're looking at our assignments or investigation, the length and scheduling of these is at the discretion of the school. The task should provide opportunities to gather evidence about achievement of a range of outcomes, the applications of Working Mathematically components and demonstration of knowledge and skills in different ways to the HSC examination. And I think that's probably an important one, that it should be in a different way to that of the HSC.

So the task provides application and modelling opportunities. So the outcomes that will go along with that are the ones I was talking about previously in the Working Mathematically, outcomes 9 and 10. And there's a few examples for approaches to the task. So an investigative project or assignment, an independently chosen project, scaffolded learning task culminating in an open-ended or modelling style problem and a guided investigation or research. And that information I've just taken straight from the document on assessment that NESA has released.

So when we get into Year 12, the components and weighting for our school-based assessment are the same, so we still have a 50-50 split between Understanding, Fluency and Communicating and Problem Solving, Reasoning and Justification. A few differences, however, in the school-based assessment. So we now have a maximum of four assessment tasks with minimum weighting of 10% and a maximum weighting of 40%. One task may be a formal written exam with a maximum weighting of 30%, and one task must be an assignment or investigation-style task with a weighting of 15-30%. So a difference between Year 11 and Year 12 is in Year 12, one task may be a formal written examination.

And just to clarify, you can only have one task. You can't have two formal written examinations. So they would be tasks similar to that of your trial HSC or your mid-year examination or a yearly examination. You could only have one of those which was counting towards their school-based assessment mark that you would be providing to NESA at their completion of their HSC year. So once again, around the assignment or investigation-style task, that doesn't change from Year 11 to 12. So it's still at the school's discretion as to how that's scheduled, the length of it. It still needs to be about providing evidence and giving opportunities around the same...exact same areas as it did in Year 11. And same with the outcomes.

So in Standard 1 and in Standard 2, outcomes 9 and 10 are the same ones that you would be using your assignment or investigation-style task. And the same examples are provided there also. So that brings us to the end of our session on unpacking the syllabus. I'm just going to change over to a different pod and you will see that I have a question-and-answer down the bottom. If you have any questions that you would like to put in there, then feel free to type them in and we will try to answer them. We will be around for the next little while if they have any questions. So thank you for being part of today's session.

The session has been recorded and it will be made available on the curriculum website very soon. And we do have some further Adobe sessions if you are interested in them. So all of them run from 3:30 to 4:00. So Thursday we'll have one around the new content in Mathematics Standard. So we'll have a look at what's new in the course. And then on 20 June, we're going to have a look at how to monitor our assignments and investigation-style tasks, obviously being a very new concept for some of us in mathematics, and especially in the senior years. And our last one will be around what are networks? So being our new topic, we'll be looking at what networks are. So I just want to thank you all for joining the session today, and you can continue to post your questions and we will endeavour to answer them.

End of transcript

Return to top of page Back to top