The 2022 Year 12 Mathematics cohort achieved some of the strongest HSC results seen at Warners Bay High School in recent years. The Mathematics department helped students to achieve to their potential throughout the year with:
- two (2) students in Extension 2 achieving the highest possible Band, a Band E4, and one (1) student achieving a Band E3.
- four (4) students in Extension 1 achieving the highest possible Band, a Band E4, and one (1) student achieving a Band E3.
- two (2) students in Advanced Mathematics achieving a Band 6 (as well as three (3) of the Extension 2 students receiving a notional Band 6, meaning that if they had sat the Advanced exam, they would have achieved a Band 6). A further six (6) students achieved a Band 5 in the Advanced course.
- four (4) students in Standard 2 achieving a Band 6 and eleven (11) students achieving a Band 5.
- one (1) student in Standard 1 achieving a Band 6 and three (3) students achieving a Band 5.
These are truly inspiring results. All of these students embodied the spirit of a mathematician. They embraced the challenges of mathematics and worked hard to understand how mathematics connects everything around us through creative and critical thinking and problem solving. Above all, these students sought to understand why things work the way they do, which allowed for a deeper understanding of the mathematical concepts.
The Mathematics faculty have continued to explore the best ways for students to demonstrate understanding at all levels of high school Mathematics. The Portfolio assessment tasks designed in 2021 were reviewed and refined to ensure all students had opportunities to demonstrate their understanding. Students were continually assessed throughout the year and given significant feedback to support them to make improvements. This allowed students opportunities to demonstrate success in a format other than traditional examinations.
Week of Inspirational Maths
To begin their journey through high school Mathematics, we encourage Year 7 to approach maths with a growth mindset. Time was taken at the start of the year to impress on students that '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 encouraged positive self-talk about maths and promoted having a go. A growth mindset is vital to learning anything to the best of your ability. The Week of Inspirational Maths program was a favourite of both teachers and students.
The Mathematics staff have continued to refine the problem-solving strategy CUBES. This numeracy initiative was rolled out in 2021 and has grown across the whole school to ensure a consistent and explicit approach to teaching numeracy. All Stage 4 classes participated in one dedicated CUBES lesson per week. This was coupled with a team-teaching approach and a structured withdrawal program with one of our Deputy Principals. During our CUBES lessons, students focused on NAPLAN-style questions, with a focus on multi-step, worded questions which can be difficult for some students to tackle. The CUBES scaffold gives students a place from which they can start to attack the problem.