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NSW Syllabuses

Rationale

Mathematics is the study of order, relation, pattern, uncertainty and generality and is underpinned by observation, logical reasoning and deduction. From its origin in counting and measuring, its development throughout history has been catalysed by its utility in explaining real-world phenomena and its inherent beauty. It has evolved in highly sophisticated ways to become the language now used to describe many aspects of the modern world.

Mathematics is an interconnected subject that involves understanding and reasoning about concepts and the relationships between those concepts. It provides a framework for thinking and a means of communication that is powerful, logical, concise and precise.

The Mathematics Stage 6 syllabuses are designed to offer opportunities for students to think mathematically. Mathematical thinking is supported by an atmosphere of questioning, communicating, reasoning and reflecting and is engendered by opportunities to generalise, challenge, identify or find connections and think critically and creatively.

All Mathematics Stage 6 syllabuses provide opportunities for students to develop 21st-century knowledge, skills, understanding, values and attitudes. As part of this, in all courses students are encouraged to learn with the use of appropriate technology and make appropriate choices when selecting technologies as a support for mathematical activity.

The Mathematics Advanced, Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2 courses form a continuum to provide opportunities at progressively higher levels for students to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to concepts within the area of mathematics that have applications in an increasing number of contexts. These concepts and applications are appropriate to the students’ continued experience of mathematics as a coherent, interrelated, interesting and intrinsically valuable study that forms the basis for future learning. The concepts and techniques of differential and integral calculus form a strong basis of the courses, and are developed and utilised across the courses, through a range of applications and in increasing complexity.

The Mathematics Advanced course is focused on enabling students to appreciate that mathematics is a unique and powerful way of viewing the world to investigate patterns, order, generality and uncertainty. The course provides students with the opportunity to develop ways of thinking in which problems are explored through observation, reflection and reasoning.

The Mathematics Advanced course provides a basis for further studies in disciplines in which mathematics and the skills that constitute thinking mathematically have an important role. It is designed for those students whose future pathways may involve mathematics and its applications in a range of disciplines at the tertiary level.