Learning mathematics creates opportunities for and enriches the lives of all Australians. Mathematics provides students with essential mathematical skills, develops the numeracy capabilities that all students need in their personal, work and civic life, and provides the fundamentals on which mathematical specialties and professional applications of mathematics are built.

IEPS 227

Mathematics is organised around the interaction of three content strands and four proficiency strands. The content strands are Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. They describe what is to be taught and learnt.

The proficiency strands are Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving, and Reasoning. They describe how content is explored or developed, that is, the thinking and doing of mathematics. They provide the language to build in the developmental aspects of the learning of mathematics and have been incorporated into the content descriptions of the three content strands described above. This approach has been adopted to ensure students’ proficiency in mathematical skills develops throughout the curriculum and becomes increasingly sophisticated over the levels of schooling.

At Ivanhoe East Primary School Mathematics is a school priority and students participate in daily numeracy sessions that emphasise understanding of concepts, connecting mathematical ideas, using hands-on materials and articulating understandings.

Foundation to Level 2

These levels lay the foundation for learning mathematics. Students at this level can access powerful mathematical ideas relevant to their current lives and learn the language of mathematics, which is vital to future progression. Students have the opportunity to access mathematical ideas by developing a sense of number, order, sequence and pattern, by understanding quantities and their representations, by learning about attributes of objects and collections, position, movement and direction, and by developing an awareness of the collection, presentation and variation of data and a capacity to make predictions about chance events.

IEPS 185

Understanding and experiencing these concepts in the early levels provides a foundation for algebraic, statistical and numerical thinking that will develop in subsequent levels. These foundations also enable students to pose basic mathematical questions about their world, to identify simple strategies to investigate solutions, and to strengthen their reasoning to solve personally meaningful problems.

Levels 3-6

These levels emphasise the importance of students studying coherent, meaningful and purposeful mathematics that is relevant to their lives. Students still require active experiences that allow them to construct key mathematical ideas, but also gradually move to using models, pictures and symbols to represent these ideas.

IEPS 181

The curriculum develops key understandings by extending the number, measurement, geometric and statistical learning from the early levels, by building foundations for future studies through an emphasis on patterns that lead to generalisations, by describing relationships from data collected and represented, by making predictions and by introducing topics that represent a key challenge in these levels, such as fractions and decimals.

In these levels of schooling, it is particularly important for students to develop a deep understanding of whole numbers to build reasoning in fractions and decimals and to develop a conceptual understanding of place value. These concepts allow students to develop proportional reasoning and flexibility with number through mental computation skills, and to extend their number sense and statistical fluency.