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.

Mathematics has its own value and beauty and the Western Australian Curriculum: Mathematics aims to instil in students an appreciation of the elegance and power of mathematical reasoning. Mathematical ideas have evolved across all cultures over thousands of years, and are constantly developing. Digital technologies are facilitating this expansion of ideas and providing access to new tools for continuing mathematical exploration and invention. The curriculum focuses on developing increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, logical reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills. These capabilities enable students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations by employing mathematical strategies to make informed decisions and solve problems efficiently.

The Western Australian Curriculum: Mathematics ensures that the links between the various components of mathematics, as well as the relationship between mathematics and other disciplines, are made clear. Mathematics is composed of multiple but interrelated and interdependent concepts and systems which students apply beyond the mathematics classroom. In science, for example, understanding sources of error and their impact on the confidence of conclusions is vital, as is the use of mathematical models in other disciplines. In geography, interpretation of data underpins the study of human populations and their physical environments; in Humanities and Social Sciences, students need to be able to imagine timelines and time frames to reconcile related events; and in English, deriving quantitative and spatial information is an important aspect of making meaning of texts.

The curriculum anticipates that schools will ensure all students benefit from access to the power of mathematical reasoning and learn to apply their mathematical understanding creatively and efficiently. The mathematics curriculum provides students with carefully paced, in-depth study of critical skills and concepts. It encourages teachers to help students become self-motivated, confident learners through inquiry and active participation in challenging and engaging experiences.

The Western Australian Curriculum: Mathematics aims to ensure that students:

  • are confident, creative users and communicators of mathematics, able to investigate, represent and interpret situations in their personal and work lives and as active citizens
  • develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of mathematical concepts and fluency with processes, and are able to pose and solve problems and reason in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability
  • recognise connections between the areas of mathematics and other disciplines and appreciate mathematics as an accessible and enjoyable discipline to study.

Students in Year 7 will be immersed in the West Australian Curriculum which provides learners with essential mathematical skills and knowledge in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. This curriculum develops the numeracy capabilities that all students need in their personal, work and civic life.  There is a focus on developing increasingly sophisticated mathematical reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills. Student learning is supported by use of appropriate texts, technology and manipulatives. Year 7 students will become familiar with the capabilities and use of their scientific calculator.

Students in Year 8 will be immersed in the West Australian Curriculum which provides learners with essential mathematical skills and knowledge in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. This curriculum develops the numeracy capabilities that all students need in their personal, work and civic life.  There is a focus on developing increasingly sophisticated mathematical reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills. Student learning is supported by use of appropriate texts, technology and manipulatives.  Year 8 students will also become familiar with the capabilities and use of their scientific calculator. Students will be grouped according to ability and progress demonstrated in Year 7.  There will be three pathways with Pathway 1 and 2 courses essentially covering the same content with opportunity for challenge and acceleration being provided to the mathematically able.  Students in Pathway 3 will be provided a curriculum with appropriate support tasks and pacing of content to continue the development of their mathematical skills and understandings.

Students in Year 9 will continue to explore the content areas of Number and Algebra; Measurement and Geometry; and Statistics and Probability that are described in the Western Australian Mathematics Curriculum.

In 2019, there will be three pathways in Year 9.  Students will be placed in a Year 9 Maths class based on their ability and their achievement demonstrated in Year 8.   Pathway 1 and 2 will essentially cover the same content with Pathway 1 providing extra challenge and acceleration for mathematically able students.  Students in Pathway 3 will be provided a curriculum with appropriate support tasks and pacing of content to continue the development of their mathematical skills and understandings.

All students will work mathematically to acquire knowledge, skills and understandings that will underpin future success in this learning area.

Mathematics in Year 10 prepares students for the post-compulsory Courses of Study. Students will be counselled toward one of the following pathways based on Year 9 performance.

Mathematics Pathway 1

A course designed to prepare students for the rigours of the ATAR Mathematics Courses – Applications, Methods or Specialist Mathematics. Students continue to work mathematically and investigate Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. Students use mathematical thinking processes and skills in interpreting   and dealing with high level mathematical situations.

Pathway 1 students will also become familiar with the capabilities of their graphics calculator in preparation for enhanced use of this tool in Year 11 ATAR courses.

Mathematics Pathway 2

A course designed to prepare students for the study of some Mathematics in Senior School. It will provide adequate background for entrance into the ATAR Applications Course or the General (non-ATAR) Essentials Course. It also gives a strong grounding necessary to succeed in TAFE and Trades. Students work mathematically and investigate Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. Students use mathematical thinking processes and skills to interpret and solve mathematical problems.

Mathematics Pathway 3

A course designed for students who intend to study a General (non-ATAR) Mathematics Course in Year 11, undertake TAFE courses or entry into the work force. This course focuses on developing functional numeracy and is designed to improve students’ ability and confidence in applying mathematics in real contexts.

Mathematics Methods ATAR

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.

Mathematics Specialist ATAR

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.

Mathematics Applications ATAR

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.

Mathematics Essential General

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.

Mathematics Foundation

The Mathematics Foundation course focuses on building the capacity, confidence and disposition to use mathematics to meet the numeracy standard for the WACE. This course is for students who have not demonstrated the numeracy standard in the OLNA. It provides students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to solve problems across a range of contexts including personal, community and workplace/employment. This course provides the opportunity for students to prepare for post-school options of employment and further training.

Mathematics Methods ATAR                                                                                           

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. 

Mathematics Specialist ATAR

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.

Mathematics Applications ATAR

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.

Mathematics Essential General

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.

Mathematics Foundation

The Mathematics Foundation course focuses on building the capacity, confidence and disposition to use mathematics to meet the numeracy standard for the WACE. This course is for students who have not demonstrated the numeracy standard in the OLNA. It provides students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to solve problems across a range of contexts including personal, community and workplace/employment. This course provides the opportunity for students to prepare for post-school options of employment and further training.