Primary Years Program and Victorian Curriculum
At Kingston Heath Primary School, our Maths program follows the Victorian Curriculum and links directly with our Units of Inquiry, enabling students to make authentic connections. Students are taught fundamental maths skills through explicit teaching and are presented with inquiry-based maths problems to build their problem solving skills. Our teachers use diagnostic testing to identify each student’s individual needs and track their growth to inform teaching.
Maths provides students with access to important ideas, knowledge and skills that they will draw on in their personal and work lives. The curriculum also provides students, as lifelong learners, with the foundation on which further study and research in maths and many other fields are built.
Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability are common aspects of most people’s maths experience in everyday personal, study and work situations. Skills learnt through maths, such as patterns, logic and working mathematically, play an important role in our ability to appreciate the natural world and our interactions with it.
The Mathematics curriculum focuses on students developing increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, reasoning, modelling and problem-solving skills. These capabilities enable students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations by employing maths to make informed decisions and solve problems efficiently.
The Victorian Curriculum proficiencies of Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning are fundamental to learning maths and working mathematically, and are applied across all three strands: Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.
Understanding refers to students building a robust knowledge of adaptable and transferable mathematical concepts and structures. Students make connections between related concepts and progressively apply the familiar to help develop new ideas. They develop an understanding of the relationship between the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of maths.
Fluency describes students developing skills in choosing appropriate procedures, carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently and appropriately, and recalling factual knowledge and concepts readily. Problem-solving is the ability of students to make choices, interpret, formulate, model and investigate problem situations, select and use technological functions and communicate solutions effectively.
Reasoning refers to students developing an increasingly sophisticated capacity for logical, statistical and probabilistic thinking and actions, such as conjecturing, hypothesising, analysing, proving, evaluating, explaining, inferring, justifying, refuting, abstracting and generalising.
For more information, please see the Victorian Curriculum: http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/mathematics/introduction/rationale-and-aims
Inquiry Based Mathematics
To support mathematical learning, students participate in regular inquiry-based maths activities. This is often linked to our Units of Inquiry. This involves students being presented with larger mathematical problems, with multiple entry points and an emphasis being placed on how students arrive at the answer, rather than simply getting the correct answer. This emphasis on understanding over simply answers reinforces the school’s drive to build students’ growth mindset in the classroom. We want each of our students to see mistakes not as a failure, but as an opportunity for growth and to have confidence in their abilities as mathematicians. Our inquiry approach encourages students to build their maths skills by incorporating the four proficiencies of: understanding, fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
Mathletics is a fantastic online resource which provides students with a safe and engaging online learning experience. All students at Kingston Heath Primary School are members of Mathletics. Students regularly use Mathletics in class to consolidate their learning where teachers provide targeted content, structured support and games aligned to the Victorian Curriculum.
Mathletics Website: http://au.mathletics.com/
Robotics and coding
Kingston Heath engages students in Maths through a variety of hands on STEM and coding experiences. At our school, we are fortunate to have access to many coding programs and Lego Mindstorm EV3 robots for our students to use as they build their skills in coding. While being a fun and engaging experience, STEM and coding also equip our students with real-world problems and challenges that builds on their maths knowledge and problem solving strategies. These lessons enable our students to excel in an increasingly technology-driven world.
Essential Assessment is an online resource which provides targeted learning for students through the use of online diagnostic assessments. Teachers are able to assign students a pre-assessment prior to beginning a unit of work. This identifies each student’s Victorian Curriculum level, by identifying which areas a student understands and which areas they need to consolidate. This is a powerful tool for teachers as it allows them to cater for the needs of each student, whilst also giving opportunities for students to reflect and create their own personal maths goals. Essentially Assessment also creates an individual learning plan for students to practice the areas they need to consolidate. After the unit of work, students undertake a post-assessment which enables teachers to track the individual progress of each student.
Each student at Kingston Heath Primary School has an subscription to Essential Assessment, allowing students to consolidate their learning both in class and at home.
Essential Assessment Website: https://www.essentialassessment.com.au/