Learning mathematics creates opportunities for and enriches the lives of all Australians. The Western Australian Curriculum: Mathematics provides students with essential mathematical skills and knowledge in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. It develops the numeracy capabilities that all students need in their personal, work and civic life, and provides the fundamentals on which mathematical specialties and professional applications of mathematics are built.
Aims of the Mathematics Learning Area
Year 7 to Year 10 Lower School Mathematics
The WA curriculum in Mathematics is divided into three major content strands, which are Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability.
Number and Algebra
Number and Algebra are developed together, as each enriches the study of the other. Students apply number sense and strategies for counting and representing numbers. They explore the magnitude and properties of numbers. They apply a range of strategies for computation and understand the connections between operations. They recognise patterns and understand the concepts of variable and function. They build on their understanding of the number system to describe relationships and formulate generalisations. They recognise equivalence and solve equations and inequalities. They apply their number and algebra skills to conduct investigations, solve problems and communicate their reasoning.
Measurement and Geometry
Measurement and Geometry are presented together to emphasise their relationship to each other, enhancing their practical relevance. Students develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of size, shape, relative position and movement of two-dimensional figures in the plane and three-dimensional objects in space. They investigate properties and apply their understanding of them to define, compare and construct figures and objects. They learn to develop geometric arguments. They make meaningful measurements of quantities, choosing appropriate metric units of measurement. They build an understanding of the connections between units and calculate derived measures such as area, speed and density.
Statistics and Probability
Statistics and Probability initially develop in parallel and the curriculum then progressively builds the links between them. Students recognise and analyse data and draw inferences. They represent, summarise and interpret data and undertake purposeful investigations involving the collection and interpretation of data. They assess likelihood and assign probabilities using experimental and theoretical approaches. They develop an increasingly sophisticated ability to critically evaluate chance and data concepts and make reasoned judgments and decisions, as well as building skills to critically evaluate statistical information and develop intuitions about data.
Years 11-12 Upper School Mathematics
There are four mathematics courses offered at Albany Senior High School: one General and three Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) courses. Each course is organised into four units. Units 1 and 2 are taken in Year 11. Units 3 and 4 are taken in Year 12. The Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) examination for each of the three ATAR courses is based on Units 3 and 4 only.
In Year 12 at Albany Senior High School, students study Mathematics Specialist (Units 3 and 4) through the School of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE).
The courses are differentiated, each focusing on a pathway that will meet the learning needs of a particular group of senior secondary students.
The Mathematics Essential General course focuses on using mathematics effectively, efficiently and critically to make informed decisions. It provides students with the mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding to solve problems in real contexts for a range of workplace, personal, further learning and community settings. This course provides the opportunity for students to prepare for post-school options of employment and further training.
This course focuses on the use of mathematics to solve problems in contexts that involve financial modelling, geometric and trigonometric analysis, graphical and network analysis, and growth and decay in sequences. It also provides opportunities for students to develop systematic strategies based on the statistical investigation process for answering statistical questions that involve analysing univariate and bivariate data, including time series data. The Mathematics Applications ATAR course is designed for students who want to extend their mathematical skills beyond Year 10 level, but whose future studies or employment pathways do not require knowledge of calculus. The course is designed for students who have a wide range of educational and employment aspirations, including continuing their studies at university or TAFE.
This course focuses on the use of calculus and statistical analysis. The study of calculus provides a basis for understanding rates of change in the physical world, and includes the use of functions, their derivatives and integrals, in modelling physical processes. The study of statistics develops students’ ability to describe and analyse phenomena that involve uncertainty and variation.
Mathematics Methods provides a foundation for further studies in disciplines in which mathematics and statistics have important roles. It is also advantageous for further studies in the health and social sciences. In summary, this course is designed for students whose future pathways may involve mathematics and statistics and their applications in a range of disciplines at the tertiary level.
This course provides opportunities, beyond those presented in the Mathematics Methods ATAR course, to develop rigorous mathematical arguments and proofs, and to use mathematical models more extensively. Mathematics Specialist contains topics in functions and calculus that build on and deepen the ideas presented in the Mathematics Methods course, as well as demonstrate their application in many areas. The Mathematics Specialist course also extends understanding and knowledge of statistics and introduces the topics of vectors, complex numbers and matrices. Mathematics Specialist is the only ATAR mathematics course that should not be taken as a stand-alone course and it is recommended to be studied in conjunction with the Mathematics Methods ATAR course as preparation for entry to specialised university courses such as engineering, physical sciences and mathematics.
For further information, follow the links below
School Curriculum and Standards Authority – K to Year 10:
School Curriculum and Standards Authority – Year 11 and Year 12: