Mathematics Learning Area

Lower School Mathematics (Years 7, 8, 9 and 10)

All Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 students study the new Australian Curriculum. There are three content strands in the Australian Mathematics curriculum, which are as follows:

Number and algebra: In this content strand the concentration will be on number and algebra. Recent research has emphasised the connections between these. An algebraic perspective can enrich the teaching of number and the integration of number and algebra, especially representations of relationships, can give more meaning to the study of algebra in the upper secondary years. This combination incorporates pattern and/or structure and includes functions, sets and logic.

Measurement and geometry: While there are some aspects of geometry that have limited connection to measurement, and vice versa, there are also topics in both for which there is substantial overlap, including newer topics such as networks. In many curricula the term space is used to cover mathematical concepts of shape and location. Yet many aspects of location, for example maps, scales and bearings, are aligned with measurement, and the term geometry is more descriptive for the study of properties of shapes, and also gives prominence to logical definitions and justification.

Statistics and probability: Although students are familiar with the terms data and chance, statistics and probability more adequately describe the nature of the learning goals and types of student activity. For example, it is not enough to construct or summarise data — it is important to represent, interpret and analyse it. Likewise, probability communicates that this study is more than the chance that something will happen. The terms provide for the continuity of content to the end of the secondary years and acknowledge the increasing importance and emphasis of these areas at all levels of study.

Mathematics Extension Program

Rossmoyne also offers an advanced Academic Extension program in mathematics, which begins in Term 2 in Year 7 and continues throughout Years 8, 9 and 10. Students are accelerated one year in advance and take part in our Smart Maths program which is run jointly with Curtin University. The program involves extension students attending lectures at Curtin, followed by tutorials at school. The emphasis is on number theory and problem solving skills. This program is run during school hours and does not impinge on students learning time in other areas.


Senior School Mathematics (Year 11 and 12)

Year 11 Mathematics

There are four mathematics courses offered at Rossmoyne Senior High School: one General course and three Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) courses.  Each course is organised into four units. Units 1 and Units 2 are taken in Year 11.  Units 3 and Units 4 will be offered in Year 12 for the first time in 2016.  The Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) examination for each of the three ATAR courses is based on Units 3 and Units 4 only.

The courses are differentiated, each focusing on a pathway that will meet the learning needs of a particular group of senior secondary students.

Mathematics Essential is a General course which focuses on using mathematics effectively, efficiently and critically to make informed decisions. It provides students with the mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding to solve problems in real contexts for a range of workplace, personal, further learning and community settings. This course provides the opportunity for students to prepare for post-school options of employment and further training.

Mathematics Applications is an ATAR course which focuses on the use of mathematics to solve problems in contexts that involve financial modelling, geometric and trigonometric analysis, graphical and network analysis, and growth and decay in sequences. It also provides opportunities for students to develop systematic strategies based on the statistical investigation process for answering questions that involve analysing univariate and bivariate data, including time series data.

Mathematics Methods is an ATAR course which focuses on the use of calculus and statistical analysis. The study of calculus provides a basis for understanding rates of change in the physical world, and includes the use of functions, their derivatives and integrals, in modelling physical processes. The study of statistics develops students’ ability to describe and analyse phenomena that  involve  uncertainty and variation.

Mathematics Specialist is an ATAR course which provides opportunities, beyond those presented in the Mathematics Methods ATAR course, to develop rigorous mathematical arguments and proofs, and to use mathematical models more extensively. The Mathematics Specialist ATAR course contains topics in functions and calculus that build on and deepen the ideas presented in the Mathematics Methods ATAR course, as well as demonstrate their application in many areas. This course also extends understanding and knowledge of statistics and introduces the topics of vectors, complex numbers and matrices. The Mathematics Specialist ATAR course is the only ATAR mathematics course that should not be taken as a stand-alone course.

Year 12 Mathematics

Our Year 12 students undertake Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) courses of study. 2015 is the last time these courses will be offered in Western Australia.  The two courses offered in mathematics are Mathematics and Mathematics Specialist.

Mathematics (MAT) at Stages 2AB, 2CD, 3AB and 3CD
The Mathematics course has been created to offer all senior secondary students the opportunity to advance their mathematical skills, to build and use mathematical models, to solve problems, to learn how to conjecture and to reason logically, and to gain an appreciation of the elegance, beauty and creative nature of mathematics. Students use numbers and symbols to represent many situations in the world around them. They examine how mathematical methods associated with number, algebra and calculus allow for precise, strong conclusions to be reached, providing a form of argument not available to other disciplines.

The Mathematics course allows for multiple entry points to accommodate the diversity of students’ mathematics development at the point of entry into senior school as well as the diversity of post school destinations.

Students can choose units based on their particular need: to develop their general mathematical skills for further training or employment, to enable university entry where further mathematics may not be essential, to prepare them for university courses where further mathematics studies is required or for preparation for higher level training in technical areas.

Mathematics Specialist (MAS) at Stages 3AB and 3CD 
The Mathematics Specialist course provides a solid foundation for the many students who will continue their study of mathematics beyond the compulsory years of schooling. It has an emphasis on mathematical reasoning, modelling, recursion and the use of technology, in keeping with recent trends in mathematics education, and in response to the growing impact of computers and the internet. Students engage in posing and solving problems within mathematics itself, and thus appreciate mathematics as a creative endeavour.

This course is for university entry to specialist courses such as engineering, physical sciences and mathematics and is usually studied in conjunction with the Mathematics course.


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