The purpose of mathematics in the Australian education system
If you’re looking to support your child with numeracy, it’s a good idea to come to know the Australian mathematics syllabus for primary school students. With these aims and objectives in mind, you will be better enabled to aid your child with their numeracy skills.
Let’s explore the NSW mathematics education standards.
Put simply, The Education Standards Authority NSW reports that the aim of mathematics (in K-10) is for students to:
- be confident, creative users and communicators of mathematics
- develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of mathematical concepts and fluency with mathematical processes
- be able to pose and solve problems and reason in Number, Algebra, Measurement, Geometry, Statistics and Probability
- recognise connections between the areas of mathematics and other disciplines
These aims are quite broad and high-level. Of course, the syllabus details more specific objectives and learning outcomes. There are sets of skills, knowledge and understanding which are to be cultivated under the NSW mathematics syllabus. Let’s delve into them now.
The key learning areas
Again, according to The Education Standards Authority NSW, there are four areas of knowledge captured in the key objectives. These learning strands are as follows:
This refers to developing a fluency in mathematics generally. To cultivate this understanding, students will be required to explore and connect mathematical concepts. They will need to apply problem-solving techniques (in addition to communication and reasoning) to solve these kinds of problems.
This involves using efficient strategies for numerical calculation, and applying algebraic techniques. Children should be able to recognise patterns and describe relationships. It includes substrands such as whole numbers, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions and decimals, patterns and algebra.
The refers to the ability to “identify, visualise and quantify measures and the attributes of shapes and objects”. In attaining this key learning outcome, students will apply formulas in order to solve geometric problems. It includes substrands such as length, area, volume and capacity, mass, time, 3D space, 2D space, angles and position.
This area involves collecting, representing, analysing, interpreting and evaluating data, as well as using probability and making judgments.
Learning across stages
The above learnings strands are consistent across all stages of the syllabus. However, the level of aptitude expected from your child will be tailored to their stage.
The NSW education standards website details learning outcomes by stage, ranging from Early Stage 1, through to Stage 5.
The syllabus is designed for flexibility. The staged learning ensures that each child works towards outcomes which are appropriate for them.
According to the NSW education standards, “teachers will make decisions about the sequence, the emphasis to be given to particular areas of content, and any adjustments required based on the needs, interests and abilities of their students.”
This tailored approach is also inbuilt into the syllabus. Did you know, students in the same year may study different stages? For example, a student in Year 5 may achieve Stage 3 outcomes, while others may be working toward Stage 2 outcomes. This ensures that every child is presented with appropriate outcomes for their ability.
How to support your child with mathematical development
There is a plethora of resources available to assist your child with numeracy skills, including mathematics books. Many of these tools are tailored to address the Australian curriculum. These resources can provide meaningful mathematical practice in an engaging way.
Every child is different. That’s why it’s fantastic to have such a diverse range of products available. You can choose to support your child with products which will appeal to their traits.
Take Osmo resources, for example. Osmo is an iPad gaming accessory which has different games relevant for K-6 students. One such game is Osmo Maths Wizard and the Secrets of The Dragon. The game supports skills in measurement and estimation and well as critical thinking and creativity. This game is also highly engaging. Children will learn, while also enjoying a game where they discover rare dragons, care for them, and watch them grow.
We stock a range of Osmo games, with themes ranging from wizards to airships and enchanted worlds! Explore the Osmo range online.
The Teachers 4 Teachers Maths Box range is another fantastic product to support mathematical development in primary school children. These have been written to address the Australian curriculum, and are a multi-levelled to match each stage. These are often implemented as a tool in schools throughout Australia. They are designed to enhance mathematical skills, strategies, knowledge, and reasoning and problem-solving abilities.
School resources aside, there are, of course, more resources which parents can supply. Our mathematics workbooks are a great tool to extend student learning. Again, many primary school maths workbooks are organised by level, so as you can pick a product which is appropriate for your child’s stage in the Australian curriculum. For example, Oxford’s Advanced Primary Maths is an accelerated maths text for students who are proficient, and are looking to be challenged.
Now, to mathematics books. Our mentals and problem solving workbooks are a great way to provide extra help with mathematical comprehension. They break maths problems into manageable sections, which are easier for children to approach and understand. In this way, they help students develop the skills and confidence to perform mental computations efficiently.
Overall, there is a huge range of numeracy products and mathematics books available from our website. Choose tools which are appropriate for your child’s learning style and stage, and watch them develop the confidence and set to progress through the Australian curriculum.