Traditionally mathematics has been viewed as a very logical and sequential area of learning. In the Primary Years the foundations are laid for a strong base in the understanding about the way numbers and other maths concepts work. Development of a deep understanding will provide individuals with the ability to approach mathematical problems in a creative way. It is essential that mathematics learning is connected to real world experiences. The ability to present understanding in the symbolic form must be extended to confidently estimate and make reasonable judgments.
Mathematics in the Primary School is founded on the Year 1-10 school-based programme and provides the basis of all numeracy learning. This programme reflects the Queensland Schools Authority syllabus materials and research from other states in Australia. We are currently exploring and mapping the Australain Curriculum documents and gradually adjusting our program as appropriate.
A team of teachers collaborate to research about best practice and this provides leadership and guidance in mathematical teaching and learning. Class teachers are committed to learning and attend a range of Professional Development programs to ensure their knowledge, understanding and skills are at the forefront of Mathematics teaching.
In Primary school programs, the focus is on the use of appropriate and relevant mathematical language, the acquisition of core concepts and strategies, the development of problem-solving skills and student involvement in practical, hands-on activities, that challenge and stimulate critical thinking. In the Early Years maths is approached through inquiry and the girls are encouraged to ask questions of themselves and each other. Task Centres and Think Tanks are used in Years 4-7. Investigations challenge thinking and the girls are required to use their basic understandings in practical situations. These experiences are very motivating for the students and have ensured the ideas they are working with are purposeful and relevant.
The use of the Interactive White Boards in classrooms has significantly influenced the way learning experiences have been delivered. There is an abundance of dynamic and engaging material that cements understanding about mathematics. The girls are involved in learning specific skills needed in the area of ICT at the same time as developing essential conceptual ideas.
Students in the upper classes have the opportunity to enhance their love of Mathematics and challenge themselves by entering external assessment activities and competitions. We regularly enter a Maths Masters team of students from Years 6 and 7 where the girls compete against other teams from the community to solve mathematical problems.
In the early years we have had several opportunities to interact with the boys from Moreton Bay Boys College. Inquiring into maths has been one of the positive experiences the girls have shared on these days and it has been wonderful to see the influence different minds have on the way we think about and approach maths.