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 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 to 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 to use appropriate technology as an effective support for mathematical activity.
The Mathematics Life Skills course focuses on developing fundamental mathematics skills for life and applying these effectively in meaningful contexts. Students engage with numbers to develop number sense and basic numeracy skills, which they can use to solve problems in a range of contexts. The course allows students to further develop and apply their knowledge, skills and understanding in real-life situations, further increasing the relevance of the course for students in everyday life and post-school.
The Mathematics Standard courses are focused on enabling students to use mathematics effectively, efficiently and critically to make informed decisions in their daily lives. They provide students with the opportunities to develop an understanding of, and competence in, further aspects of mathematics through a large variety of real-world applications for a range of concurrent HSC subjects.
Mathematics Standard 1 is designed to help students improve their numeracy by building their confidence and success in making mathematics meaningful. Numeracy is more than being able to operate with numbers. It requires mathematical knowledge and understanding, mathematical problem-solving skills and literacy skills, as well as positive attitudes. When students become numerate they are able to manage a situation or solve a problem in real contexts, such as everyday life, work or further learning. This course offers students the opportunity to prepare for post-school options of employment or further training.
Mathematics Standard 2 is designed for those students who want to extend their mathematical skills beyond Stage 5 but are not seeking the in-depth knowledge of higher mathematics that the study of calculus would provide. This course offers students the opportunity to prepare for a wide range of educational and employment aspirations, including continuing their studies at a tertiary level.