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NSW Syllabuses

Mathematics K–10 - Stage 3 - Measurement and Geometry Position


A student:

  • MA3-1WM

    describes and represents mathematical situations in a variety of ways using mathematical terminology and some conventions

  • MA3-17MG

    locates and describes position on maps using a grid-reference system


  • Students:
  • Use a grid-reference system to describe locations (ACMMG113)
  • find locations on maps, including maps with legends, given their grid references L
  • describe particular locations on grid-referenced maps, including maps with a legend, eg 'The post office is at E4'
  • Describe routes using landmarks and directional language (ACMMG113)
  • find a location on a map that is in a given direction from a town or landmark, eg locate a town that is north-east of Broken Hill L
  • describe the direction of one location relative to another, eg 'Darwin is north-west of Sydney' L
  • follow a sequence of two or more directions, including compass directions, to find and identify a particular location on a map L
  • use a given map to plan and show a route from one location to another, eg draw a possible route to the local park or use an Aboriginal land map to plan a route LAHC
  • use a street directory or online map to find the route to a given location (Problem Solving) LICT
  • describe a route taken on a map using landmarks and directional language, including compass directions, eg 'Start at the post office, go west to the supermarket and then go south-west to the park' L

Background Information

In Stage 2, students were introduced to the compass directions north, east, south and west, and north-east, south-east, south-west and north-west. In Stage 3, students are expected to use these compass directions when describing routes between locations on maps.

By convention when using grid-reference systems, the horizontal component of direction is named first, followed by the vertical component. This connects with plotting points on the Cartesian plane in Stage 3 Patterns and Algebra, where the horizontal coordinate is recorded first, followed by the vertical coordinate.


Students should be able to communicate using the following language: position, location, map, plan, street directory, route, grid, grid reference, legend, key, scale, directions, compass, north, east, south, west, north-east, south-east, south-west, north-west.

National Numeracy Learning Progression links to this Mathematics outcome

When working towards the outcome MA3‑17MG the sub-elements (and levels) of Positioning and locating (PoL4-PoL5) describe observable behaviours that can aid teachers in making evidence-based decisions about student development and future learning.

The progression sub-elements and indicators can be viewed by accessing the National Numeracy Learning Progression.