Mathematics Learning Area

Year 7 to Year 10 Lower School Mathematics

These years of school mark a shift in mathematics learning to more abstract ideas. Through key activities such as the exploration, recognition and application of patterns, the capacity for abstract thought can be developed and the ways of thinking associated with abstract ideas can be illustrated.

During these years, students need to be able to represent numbers in a variety of ways; to develop an understanding of the benefits of algebra, through building algebraic models and applications and the various applications of geometry; to estimate and select appropriate units of measure; to explore ways of working with data to allow a variety of representations; and to make predictions about events based on their observations.

The intent of our curriculum is to encourage the development of important ideas in more depth, and to promote the interconnectedness of mathematical concepts. An obvious concern is the preparation of students intending to continue studying mathematics in the senior secondary years. We have created the Maths Extension pathway and our Maths Specialist (Honours) program, to extend the more mathematically able students by using appropriate challenges and extensions within available topics. In Year 10 in these pathways we start Upper School content in Methods (Units 1&2) and Maths Specialist (Unit 1), thus giving these students a head start before starting Year 11.

The WA curriculum in Mathematics is divided into three major strands, Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, Statistics and Probability.

Number and Algebra

Students observe the use of number within their daily life. They begin to respond to numbers in everyday experiences. Students demonstrate awareness of counting by responding to number rhymes, songs, stories and finger games. They experience and respond to “one for you, one for me”, “gone”, “no more left” and “give me more”. Students participate in making piles, groups or bundles of familiar everyday objects and respond to objects being put together and taken apart.

Measurement and Geometry

Students observe and explore objects within daily life. They react and respond to objects and experience measurement attributes in practical situations. Students explore objects of varying weights, lengths, capacities and materials. They show an awareness of time and daily routine by responding to a signal from the teacher, and items being brought out or removed. Students respond to a signal from a timer, used to indicate the end of an activity. Students explore and respond to objects of varying textures, colours, sizes and shapes. Students explore space by moving and changing position and location, and respond to changes in position.

Statistics and Probability

Students observe objects and events within their daily life. Students begin to display a similar and predictable reaction to regular events. They respond to major changes to regular games and activities associated with chance, surprise and predictability, such as hitting a switch to activate a toy.

Years 11-12 Upper School Mathematics

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

The Mathematics Essential General course 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

This course 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 statistical questions that involve analysing univariate and bivariate data, including time series data. The Mathematics Applications ATAR course is designed for students who want to extend their mathematical skills beyond Year 10 level, but whose future studies or employment pathways do not require knowledge of calculus. The course is designed for students who have a wide range of educational and employment aspirations, including continuing their studies at university or TAFE.

Mathematics Methods

This course 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 Methods provides a foundation for further studies in disciplines in which mathematics and statistics have important roles. It is also advantageous for further studies in the health and social sciences. In summary, this course is designed for students whose future pathways may involve mathematics and statistics and their applications in a range of disciplines at the tertiary level.

Mathematics Specialist

This course 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. Mathematics Specialist contains topics in functions and calculus that build on and deepen the ideas presented in the Mathematics Methods course, as well as demonstrate their application in many areas. The Mathematics Specialist course also extends understanding and knowledge of statistics and introduces the topics of vectors, complex numbers and matrices. Mathematics Specialist is the only ATAR mathematics course that should not be taken as a stand-alone course and it is recommended to be studied in conjunction with the Mathematics Methods ATAR course as preparation for entry to specialised university courses such as engineering, physical sciences and mathematics.

For further information

School Curriculum and Standards Authority – K to Year 10:


School Curriculum and Standards Authority – Year 11 and Year 12: