The study of mathematics is mandatory from Kindergarten to Year 10.
By studying mathematics, students learn to work mathematically – developing fluency, understanding, problem-solving, reasoning and communication skills.
The syllabus consists of the following strands:
- number and algebra
- measurement and geometry
- statistics and probability.
In Year 11 and 12, the study of mathematics is optional. Courses offered include:
- Mathematics Extension 2 (Year 12 only)
- Mathematics Extension 1
- Mathematics Advanced
- Mathematics Standard 2
- Mathematics Standard 1 (Optional HSC examination)
- Mathematics Life Skills.
The aim of Mathematics at Casula High School is to promote students appreciation and application of Mathematics in their everyday lives. Students are encouraged to develop their mathematical thinking, understanding, confidence, and competence in solving mathematical problems.
Technology plays a big role in teaching and learning, reflecting a greater trend in society where core competencies don't just include arithmetic, but the ability to reason, problem solve, communicate and hypothesis mathematical relationships and to make meaning out of numbers. Students are required to become fluent in using software packages like Geogebra and spreadsheets and a number of iPad apps. Students are however also required to maintain strong number sense and this is continually reinforced.
Mathematics is a compulsory subject for all students in NSW from Years 7-10 (Optional in Years 11-12). The Mathematics syllabus recognises that students develop mathematical skills at different rates to those in any other subject. For this reason the Mathematics course is a continuum of learning that occurs from the beginning of Primary school to the completion of Year 10.
The faculty also offers a number of opportunities for gifted and talented students. The faculty provides opportunities for students from year 7 to learn how to code through the NCSS Python Challenge. The faculty also runs a maker space where students can apply their knowledge of Python coding using the Raspberry Pi computer. Students learn about how mathematics, technology, electronics and science come together by creating circuits powered by software code and use Python coding to create objects within Minecraft. The faculty also enters into the yearly maths ICAS exams for mathematics which are an extra challenge for students and also used to identify students excelling in mathematics above an expected level in order to continue to ensure those students are sufficiently challenged and achieving to their potential.
At Casula High the Mathematics Faculty fully supports the spirit of the learning continuum by offering both remedial and standard courses of study in Years 7 plus standard and extension courses in 8. In Years 9 and 10 two separate pathways of study (5.2, 5.3 courses) are offered to students dependant on their progress at the end of Stage 4.
All students in Years 7 and 8 study the same core course material. The aims of the Stage 4 course are to develop:
- an appreciation of mathematics as an essential and relevant part of life
- an understanding of working mathematically to communicate, problem solve, reason and reflect.
- knowledge and skills in Algebra
- knowledge and skills in Data
- knowledge and skills in Geometry
- knowledge and skills in Measurement
- knowledge and skills in Number
Students will enter Year 7 with a wide range of skills and knowledge. Students experiencing difficulty may be placed in the remedial year 7 class where they will receive extra support.
Students entering Year 8 and have the capacity to be extended may be offered a place in the extension 8M1 class. The Mathematics Faculty will offer these students a differentiated Stage 4 curriculum to meet their advanced needs.
Some students will achieve Stage 4 outcomes during Year 7, while the majority will achieve them by the end of Year 8. Other students might not develop the same understanding until Year 9 or later. Consequently, two specific endpoints and pathways (5.2 and 5.3) have been identified for Stage 5. Other endpoints and pathways are also possible in Stage 5; for example, some students may achieve all the 5.2 outcomes and a selection of some of the 5.3 outcomes.
In order to meet students' vocational and other learning needs beyond the compulsory years, a variety of mathematical learning experiences are required in Years 9 and 10. The arrangement of content in Stage 5 acknowledges the wide range of achievement of students in Mathematics as they enter the last two years of their compulsory years of schooling.
Stage 5.2 content builds on and includes the content of Stage 5.1 and is designed for students who have achieved Stage 4 content generally by the end of Year 8 or early in Year 9.
Stage 5.3 content includes the content for 5.1 and 5.2 and is designed for students who have achieved Stage 4 outcomes probably before the end of Year 8.
The Mathematics Faculty offers the full range of Board of Studies developed Mathematics courses to prepare students for the NSW Higher School Certificate.
Applied Mathematics (2 Unit)
The Applied Mathematics Course is designed to promote the of knowledge, skills and understanding in areas of mathematics that have direct application to the broad range of human activity, including a range of post school pathways requiring a variety of mathematical and statistical techniques.
Students will learn to use a range of techniques and tools, including relevant technologies, in order to develop solutions to a wide variety of problems relating to their present and future needs and aspirations. This course does not have an BOS HSC Examination but is examined by the school and cannot be included in calculation of the UAC ATAR score.
General Mathematics (2 Unit)
The aim of the General Mathematics course is to promote the development of skills, knowledge and understanding in a range of areas that have direct application to everyday life. The General Mathematics course aims to develop:
- an appreciation of the relevance of mathematics in everyday life
- the ability to apply mathematical skills and techniques to practical situations
- the ability to communicate mathematically in written and/or verbal form
- skills, knowledge and understanding in financial mathematics
- skills, knowledge and understanding in data analysis
- skills, knowledge and understanding in measurement
- skills, knowledge and understanding in probability
- skills, knowledge and understanding in algebraic modeling
The General Mathematics course assumes that students have a reasonable level of understanding of the Stage 5 course outcomes. Generally students who have struggled with the content of the Stage 5.1 course experience a high level of difficulty with the General Mathematics Course.
Mathematics Course (2 Unit)
The Mathematics Course is designed for students who have demonstrated an aptitude in Years 7-10 for mathematical thinking and processes. Generally students who have not completed the Stage 5.3 course at the School Certificate will experience difficulty with the 2 Unit Mathematics Course.
Mathematics is a calculus based course designed to prepare students for further study of Mathematics at a tertiary level. The course has general educational merit and is also useful for concurrent studies in science and commerce. It is a sufficient basis for further studies in mathematics as a minor discipline at tertiary level in support of courses such as the life sciences or commerce. Students who require substantial mathematics at a tertiary level supporting the physical sciences, computer science or engineering should undertake the 3 or 4 Unit courses.
The aims of the course are:
- to give an understanding of mathematical ideas such as variable, function, limit etc, and to introduce students to mathematical techniques which are relevant to the real world.
- to understand the need to prove results, to appreciate the role of deductive reasoning in establishing proofs, and to develop the ability to construct such proofs.
- to enhance those mathematical skills required for further studies in mathematics, the physical sciences and the technological sciences.
- to develop an understanding of algebra, number, geometry, functions, trigonometry and differential and integral calculus.
Mathematics Course – Extension 1 (1 Unit)
The content of this course, which includes the whole of the 2 Unit Mathematics course, is intended for students who have demonstrated a mastery of the skills included in the School Certificate Mathematics course and who are interested in the study of further skills and ideas in mathematics.
The Extension 1 course is intended to give these students a thorough understanding of and competence in, aspects of mathematics including many which are applicable to the real world. The course includes more challenging applications of the 2 Unit Mathematics course together with additional study in the areas of Circle geometry, Trigonometric identities and equations, Mathematical induction, Parametric representation, and further applications of calculus in the physical world.
The course has general educational merit and is also useful for concurrent studies of science, industrial arts and commerce. It is a recommended minimum basis for further studies in mathematics as a major discipline at a tertiary level, and for the study of mathematics in support of the physical and engineering sciences. Although the 3 Unit course is sufficient for these purposes, it is recommended that students of outstanding mathematical ability should consider undertaking the Extension 2 course in Year 12.
Mathematics Course – Extension 2 (1 Unit)
Extension 2 Mathematics is offered as a subject of study in Year 12 only. Students undertaking this course commence study in Term 4 of Year 11. Extension 2 students are assumed to have mastery of the 2 Unit Mathematics course and are thus NOT required to sit for the 2 Unit HSC Examination.
The Mathematics Extension 2 course is defined in the same terms as the 3 Unit Course in other subjects. Thus it offers a suitable preparation for study of the subject at tertiary level, as well as a deeper and more extensive treatment of certain topics than is offered in other Mathematics courses.
This course is designed for students with a special interest in mathematics who have shown that they possess special aptitude for the subject. It represents a distinctly high level in school mathematics involving the development of considerable manipulative skill and a high degree of understanding of the fundamental ideas of algebra and calculus. These topics are treated in some depth. Thus the course provides a sufficient basis for a wide range of useful applications of mathematics as well as an adequate foundation for the further study of the subject.
The general aim is to present mathematics as a living art which is intellectually exciting, aesthetically satisfying, and relevant to a great variety of practical situations.
Specific aims of the course are:
- To offer a program that will be of interest and value to students with the highest levels of mathematical ability at the stage of the Higher School Certificate and which will present some challenge to such students.
- To study useful and important mathematical ideas and techniques appropriate to these levels of ability.
- To develop both an understanding of these ideas and techniques and an ability to apply them to the study and solution of a wide variety of problems.
- To provide the mathematical background necessary for further studies in mathematics, and useful for concurrent study of subjects such as science, economics and industrial arts.
Fees and Costs
All Mathematics courses are offered free of cost to all students but students are required to provide their own stationary (grid books) calculator, geometry set or other requirements as advised by their teacher. Mathematics excursions may be held from time to time and fees are payable to attend.
The Mathematics faculty is staffed by highly experienced and qualified staff who are implementing quality teaching and learning strategies. The mixture of experienced and emerging staff ensures the delivery of high quality and innovative teaching and learning practices.
Staff are trained in curriculum differentiation and ensure that lessons cater for the needs of not only students who find mathematics difficult but also gifted and talented students, offering opportunities for continuous development and improvement.
Hints for effective study
Students develop skills in mathematics through "doing" not "looking". In other words, mathematics is a participator sport not a spectator sport.
- In order to learn to the best of their ability students must abide by the teachers' classroom rules.
- Students are encouraged to keep a summary book that contains a brief summary of important information including formulas that may be used in a topic.
- Students are encouraged to review the work from each day at the end of the day and make summary notes from that lesson into a summary book
- Students are encouraged to complete all set class and homework and check their answers referenced to the solution page in their text book.
- In preparation for assessment tasks students are encouraged to "DO" a wide range of problems from a variety of sources. The student textbook should be supplemented with worksheets, assignments, study guides, prior examination papers, and class notes.
Australian Mathematics Competition
Casula High School Mathematics Faculty has a long and proud history of participation in the Australian Mathematics Competition. All students in the "top" class in each year group are expected to participate in this competition and all other mathematics students are also encouraged to enter.
The school has achieved many excellent results in this challenging competition over many years.
Challenging problems are presented in each school news letter with reward vouchers for the winner.
A Math's excursion to Luna Park with the Math's Association of NSW.