At Mary MacKillop Catholic College we believe in the right of all students to grow and develop to their full potential. It is our aim to give students the confidence and skills required to become successful Mathematics students and to recognize the beauty and usefulness of Mathematics in their daily lives.
In Years 7 to 10 Mathematics is a compulsory subject set by the Board of Studies. All topics are assigned to one of three content strands:
- Number and Algebra
- Measurement and Geometry
- Statistics and Probability
Students are assessed and reported on at the end of each semester based on these strands. There is a process strand called Working Mathematically that is embedded in the three content strands.
Scientific calculators are used in the classroom from Year 7 however students are discouraged from becoming over-reliant on them. We believe that it is important for students to maintain their mental arithmetic skills. They are also taught to develop their estimation skills and ability to critically evaluate answers received on a calculator. In this way students are more effectively prepared for the NAPLAN testing and for real life situations.
In Years 9 and 10 students follow one of three Pathways based on their ability. The highest level is called Stage 5.3 and is for students who have demonstrated full understanding and competence in the Stage 4 (Year 7 & 8) coursework. This Pathway leads to further study of Mathematics at the Higher School Certificate level and may lead to Tertiary study of Mathematics. Students studying the Stage 5.2 Mathematics Pathway have demonstrated a fair understanding of most topics in Stage 4. They benefit from the slightly slower pacing of the 5.2 course and if they demonstrate competence at this level will usually go on to study General Mathematics for the Higher School Certificate. Students who are placed in the Stage 5.1 Pathway typically struggle with most mathematical concepts and are given the opportunity to re-learn them in this course at a pace that is more suitable. By the end of Year 10 students in the 5.1 Pathway will have had the opportunity to learn the Mathematics that relates to daily life.
In Year 11 students may choose to study Mathematics for the Higher School Certificate. The Board of Studies approved courses include Mathematics General 1 and 2, Mathematics and Extension 1 Mathematics. In Year 12 students who have demonstrated outstanding ability in the Extension 1 course may be invited to study Extension 2 Mathematics.
Mathematics General 1 and 2
The Mathematics General 1 and 2 courses are Board of Studies developed and have a common Yr 11 pattern of study. In Yr 12 students follow one of two pathways. General 2 is a Board Developed Course, which has a HSC exam and can be counted in the 10 units required for an ATAR. General 1 is a Content Endorsed Course, which does not have a final HSC exam and cannot be counted in the 10 units required for an ATAR. General 2 is a moderately difficult course designed for students who have achieved a reasonable grade for their School Certificate but do NOT wish to specialize in Mathematics at University level. General 1 is somewhat easier and suitable for students who wish to study Maths but who have experienced difficulties in the subject in the past. The topics covered in both courses are designed to be interesting and challenging and relevant to everyday life experiences. These courses help students to develop skills that are applicable to a variety of career paths.
Mathematics (2 Unit)
The HSC Mathematics course is a Board of Studies developed course that is the minimum level of study required to study Mathematics at University. It is a challenging and stimulating course designed for students who have achieved a very high grade for their School Certificate and enjoy studying Mathematics. Students are expected to be highly competent in all of the topics from the Year 10 Stage 5.2 or Stage 5.3 Pathways. The assessment tasks are typically tests and the final HSC exam is 3 hours in length. This course develops students’ logical, analytical and higher order thinking skills and introduces them to some of the more theoretical aspects of Mathematics.
Extension 1 Mathematics
The Extension 1 Mathematics Course is designed for students who have demonstrated outstanding ability in the Year 10 Mathematics Stage 5.3 Pathway. Students in this course will complete all of the Mathematics (2 Unit) course as well as the Extension topics. They will have more Mathematics lessons per week and will engage with highly theoretical concepts. This course is good preparation for students who wish to study Mathematics at University.
Extension 2 Mathematics
This is a one year HSC course designed to challenge the best Mathematics students in the school. Admission to this course at Mary MacKillop Catholic College is by invitation of the Extension 1 Mathematics teacher at the end of the Preliminary (Year 11) course. It is the most challenging Mathematics course for the HSC and contains topics at the University level of difficulty. This course is designed to further stimulate students’ interest and knowledge of Mathematics.
Enrichment Activities and support in Mathematics at MMCC
Students are supported and extended in their Mathematics at MMCC in a variety of ways.
These include the celebration of local, national and international activities such as World Maths Day, International Pi Day, the Australian Mathematics Competition, National Literacy & Numeracy Week, Minds on Maths Challenge and inter-school competitions with local schools.
Students are also grouped flexibly in Years 7 to 10 to allow students to be taught at the appropriate pace, complexity and depth. Not only do we offer Structured, Core and Newman classes for Mathematics but also Foundational classes for those students who enter the College and who for a variety of reasons are not ready to study Stage 4 curriculum. Students are offered many different Mathematical study pathways throughout their years at MMCC all of which allow for the possibility of selecting one of The Stage 6 Maths courses on offer.
Students are also well supported with Textbooks that are available both in hard copy and electronic form and by having full access to two very good Mathematical Resources, mymathsonline and IXL Maths. These websites offer tutorial assistance to students covering the entire K to 12 Mathematics curriculum. Students are able to use them for remediation or extension purposes. They are available for use wherever and whenever the student has internet access and provide valuable feedback to students, teachers and parents.