In 2020, the Warners Bay High School Mathematics Department enthusiastically welcomed change and sought opportunities to connect with students and help them achieve their best.
Our top highlights were:
Year 12 2020 were another great example of the impressive cohorts of students seen at Warners Bay High School. The mathematics department helped students achieve their absolute best throughout the year with:
- 2 students in Advanced maths achieving a band 6 (as well as 2 of our extension 2 students receiving a notional band 6, meaning that if they sat the advanced test, they would have achieved a band 6).
- 4 students In Mathematics Standard 2 receiving a band 6.
- 1 student in Extension 1 received an E4 – which is quite the feat (better than 90/100 in the extension course!). In addition, 4 students received an E3.
- 1 student received 1 E3 and 2 E2 in our most difficult course, Extension 2.
All of these students embodied the spirit of a mathematician – they loved problem solving, challenges and are seeking to understand how mathematics connects our world. They worked hard and often and they asked good questions.
In 2020 the Mathematics staff implemented the Maths Pathway program for Year 7 – a highly individualised and differentiated learning platform where students ‘learn the maths that’s right for them’. This means that students who have gaps in their knowledge base are given time to work on these gaps and those students who demonstrate high potential for mathematical study can be accelerated.
Being our first year of the program there was obviously a lot to learn but we were excited and encouraged by the results of the students. On average, students grew by 1.17 year levels from the start of the year and some students even grew by 2 whole year levels! This is most impressive when the disruptions throughout the year are taken into account. The work presented to the students was quite different to a traditional format with varying levels of content from remedial maths and basic skills to Year 9 and 10 advanced mathematics. This was all determined by diagnostic tests and students’ levels of effort, accuracy and growth throughout the year.
Whilst it was quite a challenging year in all facets of life – the education show must go on! The mathematics staff were ready and able to switch their teaching practices to suit the needs of students working at home. Content was created from scratch or found on Mathspace or Edrollo to keep the students working mathematically through it all. Engaging with the students in the online learning environment was a very different experience for us as teachers but we rose to the challenge and even had a bit of fun with it. Despite this, we were very glad to have everyone back at school!
Top performing students from 7-10 were sponsored by the WBHS Mathematics Faculty to participate in the Australian Mathematics Competition at the end of August. We recently received their results and have given the student their certificates in class. Among the results we recorded 3 Distinctions and 17 Credits which place those students in the top 20% and top 55% respectively of all students across the world who participated in the competition. The students enjoyed the challenge of the competition and it is such a good opportunity for them to demonstrate their developing problem solving skills. We look forward to giving the students the chance to enter again next year.
Digital work – using onenote
The maths staff are always looking for more ways to improve teaching and learning. This years circumstances have had us looking at the online learning space and in particular the use of OneNote. This has allowed teachers to keep all board notes and complete solutions at the students’ fingertips. This has developed into a partly flipped classroom in some Year 12 classes where students are reading and writing notes at home and coming ready to tackle the challenging content in HSC Mathematics Advanced.