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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, 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 Stage 6 mathematics courses, in particular Mathematics Advanced, Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2, 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 introductory 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.

Mathematics Extension 1 is focused on enabling students to develop a thorough understanding of and competence in further aspects of mathematics. The course provides opportunities to develop rigorous mathematical arguments and proofs, and to use mathematical models more extensively. Students of Mathematics Extension 1 will be able to develop an appreciation of the interconnected nature of mathematics, its beauty and its functionality.

Mathematics Extension 1 provides a basis for progression to further study in mathematics or related disciplines in which mathematics has a vital role at a tertiary level. An understanding and exploration of Mathematics Extension 1 is also advantageous for further studies in such areas as science, engineering, finance and economics.