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Mathematics at St Columba’s seeks to give students opportunities to use maths in real world contexts.

This is achieved through providing hands on experiences and materials, games to develop number sense and mental computation skills, and engaging in mathematical investigations and problem solving activities. Students work individually and in small cooperative groups, to find solutions to everyday problems.

Students are encouraged to:

  • question,
  • seek better methods for answering questions,
  • use concrete materials first before formulating abstract ways of recording, and over time,
  • develop generalisations leading to learning set formulaic methods.

Students have many opportunities to develop sophisticated and refined mathematical thinking skills; this includes regular opportunities to reflect on their learning and discover their own errors.

The Victorian Curriculum forms the basis of the Mathematics program, as well the strategies developed through the Early Years’ Numeracy Research Project (ENRP).

Teachers regularly use the pre and post assessment to ascertain how students are going in all strands of mathematics and plan their programs accordingly.

Numeracy Assessment and Reporting
Formal and informal assessments are key to assisting students make progress with their learning.
Prep – Year 2 use the ENRP Mathematics Interview at the beginning of the year to assess understanding of number concepts. Teachers engage regular pre and post assessment and record keeping to track the progress of student knowledge in each strand of Mathematics.

At Years 3-6 teachers use formal Numeracy assessments and pre and post unit assessments throughout the year to inform their teaching and build their knowledge of student achievements. Also, the NAPLAN (National tests) at Year 3 and Year 5 provide further data. This information is reported to parents through informal chats, formal parent/teacher interviews and the written report.

Numeracy Intervention and Extension
Regular monitoring of each student through pre and post assessment allows small group intervention and extension to occur where necessary. Groups are fluid and flexible, and change depending on the concept being explored. These small groups are based on regular record keeping and close observation of the child’s performance in explicit sessions and individual work. To support this, we have Differentiation Support Teachers who work in classrooms during Maths times providing targeted small group instruction.

For students who are experiencing difficulty in learning Mathematics in the early years we utilise the Extending Mathematics Understanding (EMU) program. This program offers intensive, targeted mathematical learning opportunities designed to improve student’s knowledge and confidence with mathematics.

At St Columba’s we encourage students to participate in a variety of mathematical and STEM programs. Students in Years 3-6 have the opportunity to participate in the Australian Mathematics Competition each year and/ or the Mathematical Olympiad Competition.

We have seen wonderful individual achievements.

Australian Mathematics Competition
2017: 1 Distinction and 7 Credits (24 participants)

Mathematical Olympiad
2016: 2 students achieving results in the top 10% of all competitors (7 participants)
2017: 1 student achieved results in the top 10% of all competitors (13 participants)

BEBRAS Computational Thinking Challenge
2016: 2 students achieving results in the top 50 students in Victoria (7 participants)
2017: 22 students achieving a score of credit, 4 students achieving a score of distinctions (80 students participated)