The Mathematics syllabus at St Joseph’s is streamed into three courses, each with modified outcomes geared to students’ varying ability levels.
All programs target specific outcomes, with syllabus points broken down to address certain skills, helping students achieve the necessary academic outcomes.
The incorporation of the TEEEC (topic, elaboration, elaboration, elaboration, closing) structure into lessons and assessment tasks and the introduction of the ‘read, what, how, do, write’ approach to numeracy is improving student outcomes at St Joseph’s.
To facilitate their learning, students at St Joseph’s are encouraged to prepare a summary of each topic, which is collected and marked by teachers and can be used in exams for students in Years 7-9. Students in Years 10 and 11 are supplied with a formula sheet constructed to reflect the result they will receive in the HSC, preparing them for higher education.
Catering for all
To help students improve their mathematical outcomes, research and assignment projects are included in the assessment program, to assist those students who may not perform well under test conditions. This approach gives all students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to achieve the outcomes at a higher level.
The assessment tasks are structured to identify student results at an A, B, C, D or E level, with a high percentage of St Joseph’s students achieving C level or above, indicating the majority are not only meeting the outcomes but meeting them at a high level.
Students are also given a formative task for each topic to provide constructive feedback prior to an assessment task. The tasks may include a practice test, mini assignment, regular quizzes or challenge activities.
St Joseph’s runs a numeracy program targeting three groups: students who are struggling to meet the minimum standard, students who sit around the middle of their cohort but demonstrate potential to achieve at a higher level and students who have yet to meet the numeracy requirements for the HSC. The groups meet with a Mathematics teacher to participate in a program designed to meet their specific needs.
A 21st century approach
The St Joseph’s Mathematic faculty provides students with a 21st century learning environment by utilising electronic textbooks for home and school use, as well as OneNote and ‘flipped classroom’ methods, giving greater consistency between classes.
Students also have access to programs such as MathsOnline at a discounted rate, giving students extra questions to help them further improve their skills at their convenience.
Staff also have access to school resources, programs and markbooks at school and home through Sharepoint, allowing them to prepare work at any time.
Top students from each year are given the opportunity to compete in the annual Australasian Mathematics Competition, with St Joseph’s students regularly receiving credits, distinctions and high distinctions for their performances.
Year 8 students also attend the Inquisitive Minds Roadshow each year, which offers a ‘hands on’ style of competition for students with a variety of challenging activities tailored to their ability level.