Highlights from 2021 were:
Year 12 2021 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:
- 8 students in Advanced Maths achieving a Band 5 (as well as 2 of our extension 2 students receiving a notional Band 5, meaning that if they sat the Advanced Maths exam, they would have achieved a Band 5).
- 3 students in Mathematics Standard 2 receiving a Band 6.
- 1 student in Mathematics Standard 1 receiving a Band 6.
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.
New assessment styles
The Mathematics staff looked to introduce new ideas for assessing students’ progress in the Year 9 and Year 10 5.1 Mathematics classes. The Portfolio Assessment Task encouraged students to explore and demonstrate their learning through various means instead of just a traditional test. Students could make resources, posters, worksheets, quizzes or presentations. This style of assessment not only demonstrates a student's understanding but also deepens and strengthens the knowledge they already have. We look forward to refining these tasks next year.
Week of inspirational maths
To begin their journey through high school Mathematics, we encourage Year 7 to approach maths with a growth mindset. Time is taken at the start of the year to give students messages about 'You can exercise your brain', 'No one is a maths or non-maths person', 'Speed is not important in maths', 'Struggle and mistakes are important in maths, you learn more from them' and 'Everyone can learn maths to high levels'. These messages encourage positive self-talk about maths and promote having a go. A growth mindset is vital to learning anything to the best of your ability.
This year the WBHS Mathematics Faculty sponsored interested students in testing their metal against the Australian Mathematics Competition. The results this year were truly fantastic. Among them we recorded 12 Distinctions and 10 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 distinctions were an impressive improvement on last year’s number of 3. 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.
KLA Maths buddy help
The Mathematics Faculty are always looking for more ways to improve numeracy across the school. As part of the numeracy initiatives in the school the Mathematics staff volunteered to be a numeracy support to the various other faculties across the school. This support could be as simple as providing a worked solution to a problem for a numeracy lesson in another KLA or clarifying the concepts behind question or stepping through the CUBES problem solving structure. Any and all support was offered – whatever was needed to support the teaching of numeracy skills across the school.
D11 room design
With funding from the Future Focus Learning team, the Mathematics Faculty have designed a unique learning space in D11. The furniture allows for students to learn in a more flexible and visually appealing space as it is mobile and can be configured to best suit the lesson.
The wheely chairs have drastically reduced the number of students swinging on chairs but we’ve seen a large increase in spinning related dizziness!
Another numeracy initiative is the CUBES problem solving structure that has been adopted across the school. This scaffold gives students prompting words on how to start or approach an unfamiliar problems. In mathematics lessons this year, Year 8 (for terms 2, 3 and 4) and 9 (for term 1) were given a lesson per week on the structure and NAPLAN style questions to practice on. These questions are often multi-step, worded questions which can be tricky for some students. Having a prompt gives all students a place to start.