Mathematics

The Mathematics Faculty at Sylvania High School is a dynamic faculty which aims to foster the intellectual mathematical development of all students. It strives to do so by developing students’ mathematical thinking, competence, understanding, problem solving ability and application of the subject in everyday situations.

Teachers cater to individual’s strengths and interests and designates students into classes best suited to their needs. Parental feedback is always welcomed and valued to achieve the best possible learning and social experience for their child.

New technologies are embraced within the mathematical courses and this strengthens curriculum perspectives such as Literacy, Creative Thinking, Aboriginal Education, Environmental Education and Vocational Education.

Talented students are actively encouraged to undertake the harder curriculum options and to participate in competitions such as the Australasian Problem Solving Mathematical Olympiads and the Australian Mathematics Competition. They are extended with enrichment material, group work, class discussions and explore mathematical concepts in the real world with research work.

In Mathematics it is usual that homework is given every night to reinforce the mathematical concepts covered in class. Students are also encouraged to attempt challenging mathematical problems from a variety of sources where their skills across a number of subjects may be involved. Teachers in the Mathematics Faculty are enthusiastic about working with students on these challenges.

In Year 7-10, it is compulsory for all students to study mathematics. In Years 11 and 12, Mathematics is optional, but the majority of senior students undertake a mathematics course for the HSC.

Years 7 – 8 (Stage 4)

In Stage 4, students are actively involved in learning mathematical skills to solve problems. The six strands taught are Number, Patterns and Algebra, Space and Geometry, Measurement, Data and Problem Solving and the topics are:

Year 7

  • Whole Numbers and Maths Symbols
  • Place Value
  • Decimals
  • Number Theory
  • NAPLAN Preparation
  • Fractions
  • Directed Numbers and Number Plane
  • Algebra
  • Angles
  • Shapes and Solids
  • Perimeter, Area and Volume
  • Time
  • Percentages

Year 8

  • Percentages
  • Data Representation
  • Algebraic Techniques
  • Probability
  • Equations, Formulae and Inequations
  • Linear Relationships
  • Pythagoras’ Theorem
  • Area, Surface Area and Volume
  • Circles
  • Reasoning In Geometry
  • Ratio, Rates and Scale Drawing
  • Congruency and Similarity
  • Data Analysis and Evaluation

Years 9 – 10 (Stage 5)

At the beginning of Year 9, students are divided into three levels depending on their skill and achievement in Mathematics in Years 7 and 8, although students may change levels during Year 9 and, in exceptional cases, in Year 10.

The levels are:

Stage 5.3

This is the Advanced Course and the most challenging and abstract. It caters for students who excel in Mathematics and wish to undertake Mathematics in the Years 11 and 12 (Stage 6). The relevant Stage 6 courses leading from 5.3 are Mathematics, Mathematics Extension 1 or Mathematics Extension 2.

Stage 5.2

This is the Intermediate Course and a sound grasp of Stage 4 concepts and skills is needed. It extends the knowledge and skills achieved in Stage 5.1. This course is a good basis for Preliminary General Mathematics in Year 11 and 12.

Stage 5.1

This is the Standard Course and builds on knowledge and skills from Stage 4 and provides the opportunity for students to experience some of the applications of mathematics to their lives. Only very capable Stage 5.1 students could proceed to the Preliminary General Mathematics course in the  Years 11 and 12.

Years 11 – 12 (Stage 6)

Mathematics in the senior years is no longer compulsory but a large number of our students elect to study one of the mathematics courses below:

General Mathematics (2 Units)

This course builds on the content studied in the course of 5.1 (Standard) and 5.2 (Intermediate) in Years   9 and 10 (Stage 5). Students who are not strong at mathematics and do not wish to specialise in this discipline are advised to select this course. Areas of mathematics that have direct application to the broad range of human activity are covered and the course provides a strong foundation for students undertaking further training or entering the workforce.

Mathematics (2 Units)

This course is based on the assumption that students have studied the 5.3 (Advanced) course in Years 9 and 10 (Stage 5) and have demonstrated high competence in the skills of Stage 5. 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 and includes a comprehensive introduction to calculus.

Mathematics Extension 1 (1 unit studied with Mathematics 2 unit)

This course is intended for students who have demonstrated a mastery of the skills of Stage 5 and who have an interest to study further skills and ideas in mathematics. It is a difficult course and is a recommended minimum basis for further studies in mathematics as a major discipline at tertiary level. Students who possess outstanding mathematical ability in the Extension 1 course can consider undertaking the Extension 2 course in Year 12 (HSC level).

Mathematics Extension 2 (4 Unit)

This course is designed for students with a special interest and aptitude for the subject. It is a distinctly high level of mathematics that allows for suitable preparation for study of mathematics at tertiary level.

Extra Curricular Programs Linked to Mathematics

Competitions

Students have the opportunity to compete in the Australian Mathematics Competition and in the Australasian Problem Solving Mathematical Olympiads.

Number Crunchers

This city wide competition with 20 schools participating was originally designed and implemented by the mathematics staff of Sylvania High School. It caters for all Year 7 students who have the opportunity to become the school champion of mental calculations. The champion then battles it out in a Grand Final that is held at the Powerhouse Museum to find ‘Sydney’s Prime Mathematician’.

Excursions

The Stage 4 and Stage 5 courses (Years 7-10) are supplemented with various excursions or incursions that explore practical applications of mathematics, provide realistic connections of theory to real-life situations and help increase interest in the subject.