Mathematics

Mathematics

Understanding why
Maths matters

We aim to make Mathematics more interesting and easier by showing students how they interact with Mathematics in almost all areas of their everyday lives.

Philosophy


Mathematics is a constant. It has been argued and counter-argued that it is the foundation of all things. For too long Mathematics has been plagued by the question, “Why are we doing this?”. It is the aim of the Mathematics Department to change that question to a statement along the lines of, “Oh! So that’s why we’re doing this”. The Mathematics Department is staffed by professional and highly educated teachers who spend each lesson trying to break down the myth that Mathematics is hard.

Each teacher takes the content and seeks to remove the smoke and mirrors which confuse. To engage each student in discovery and learning. To provide each student with a desire to learn more. To conquer their fears. To enjoy Mathematics for what it is; a beautiful foundation of all things

INNOVATIONS


At Peninsula Grammar the Mathematics department seeks to break down barriers. To do things differently. To break the cycle of doing what we’ve done before yet expecting different outcomes. A student who attends Peninsula Grammar will be immersed in a Targeted Teaching program which will provide an individualised learning program not constraining them to a particular year level of achievement. The Mathematics Department believes in teaching at the point of need. For those students who are in Year 7 but can cognitively operate at a Year 10 level, then we should do what we can to meet their needs and write a curriculum to stimulate and extend. For those who have found Mathematics more challenging and have gaps in their understanding, we should be seeking to fill those gaps for as long as it takes to ensure they are confident and have a good base for later life.

A student who joins Peninsula Grammar will see their growth in Mathematical studies rewarded. They will see their confidence boom.

Each teacher takes the content and seeks to remove the smoke and mirrors which confuse. To engage each student in discovery and learning. To provide each student with a desire to learn more. To conquer their fears. To enjoy Mathematics for what it is; a beautiful foundation of all things

EXPLORE OUR mathematics
CURRICULUM

Junior Years


The foundations of our Junior Years Mathematics program is based on providing learning opportunities that promote students’ conceptual understanding, fluency, problem solving and reasoning. Students are immersed in learning experiences that promote collaboration, real life connections and the use of concrete materials to conceptualise their understanding. The encouragement of hands on materials, technology and using the outside environment is a critical component to the Junior Years mathematics program. The development of Mathematical teaching and learning is based on the principles and teaching approach of George Booker. These are outlined in his book ‘Teaching Primary Mathematics.’

 

Crucial Elements to our Math Program:

Explicit Instruction
  • Teachers explicitly model strategies and concepts and scaffold students’ understanding.
  • Students are aware of what they are learning through the introduction of the learning intention.
  • Students are aware of what success looks like through the success criteria.
Differentiated Learning
  • Learning is differentiated based on pre-assessment data (George Booker Assessment/Essential Assessment).
  • Rotational frameworks are used to allow teachers to meet differentiated needs, helping to ensure that all students are progressing in their learning.
Mathematical Inquiry
  • Teachers promote a love and curiosity of mathematics through inquiry.
  • Teachers provide students with questions and engaging tasks to stimulate their thinking.
  • Teachers promote collaboration throughout mathematical inquiry.
  • Inquiries can be planned for as ‘structured’ or ‘open’ allowing for varying degrees of support.

Middle and Pre-Senior YEARS


Year 7, 8 and 9 students are fully immersed in the Targeted Teaching program and follow a series of modules, linked to the Victorian Curriculum, which seek to remove the ceiling from learning and allow students to flourish. Students are grouped by single gender and, for a period of weeks, will learn at a level where they have cognitive gaps. A process of pre- and post-testing is used to identify these gaps, create a module of work which will fill and extend, and provide an individualised learning plan. Students can, and will, at each year level extend outside of that which might be offered at other schools. They will not cover work they have already mastered, but learn new and interesting topics. They will be challenges and extended to be their very best.

A range of teaching styles will be used including explicit teaching, differentiated learning and group work. Week long “Real World Tasks” will be provided to stimulate mathematical inquiry. It is important for students to be life-long learners. To be independent in their approach to study and inquiry. This scheme is designed to help our students be 21st Century learners.

Senior YEARS


Students in Years 10, 11 and 12 start their journey towards a VCE in Mathematics. The pre-work completed in Years 7 to 9 will give students the best foundation for the level of Mathematics they will ultimately choose to follow. Year 10 will build on those skills but seek to spend a significant amount of time looking at algebra. This topic, above all else, is critical to ongoing success at VCE. Spending less time learning the algebra means more time can be spent on understanding and applying the Mathematics. The key to success at VCE is to understand the work and not seek to regurgitate it. Rote learning and revision the night before an examination will not lead to success at this level.

In Year 11, students will be asked to choose a stream of Mathematics from Further Mathematics, Mathematical Methods and Specialist Mathematics. These choices will be guided by their teachers and careers teachers to ensure they have flexibility and choice for University but also the best chance to succeed.

There are a number of misconceptions about the levels of Mathematics and it is important for all students to understand that the days of, top, middle and bottom are long gone. Further Mathematics is a much more practical and real world approach to Mathematics. It is a course designed for approximately 80% of the state. The Mathematics is fully supported with the use of a calculator and has much more relevance to the world we live in (for example looking at financial mathematics). Mathematical Methods is designed for approximately the top 20% of the state. It is a complex and algebra rich subject dealing with much more theoretical and conceptual Mathematics. Specialist Mathematics is designed for approximately the top 5% of the state. Specialist Mathematics is also complex and challenging. It is algebra rich but looks at much more interesting Mathematics. Specialist Mathematics is a subject for those who love Mathematics. Those who have a passion for understanding and want to go much deeper that Mathematical Methods will allow.

Our senior school teachers are seasoned and have taught each subject for many years. Some are VCAA examiners. This wealth of experience regularly sees students achieve perfect scores at the end of Year 12. The students in the Senior school are in the very best of hands.