A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12



Frequently Asked Questions

How are the classes arranged from Year 7 to 10?

Mathematics is streamed from Year 7 to 10. The different streams are as follows:

  • Extension Mathematics
  • Standard Mathematics
  • Support Mathematics (Year 7 and 8)
  • Essential Mathematics (Year 9 and 10)

Grouping is based upon students’ abilities using our extensive assessment data and teacher observations. This helps to ensure we place the students in the class that best meets their needs.

Can I elect to have my child put in an Extension class?

The short answer is no. All our classes are based upon ability. We treat all children as individuals. If there is something that you think we need to know about your child, please let us know.

What is the difference between the Extension and Standard classes?

Both Extension and Standard classes follow the Australian Curriculum for the appropriate year group and offer extension activities within the course. The Extension class work at a faster pace and do not spend much time going over previously learned concepts. The students in the Extension classes are extended to look at concepts that are outside the traditional curriculum.

What is the difference between the Support and Standard classes?

In Year 7 and 8, the students who are in the Support classes follow the Australian Curriculum for their appropriate age but concentrate on ensuring that any gaps in their subject knowledge are identified and worked upon. We spend a great deal of time building the students confidence in Mathematics. We work on number skills and spend lots of time consolidating the learning that has taken place. The aim of the Support group is to ensure that the students are ‘at standard’ for their year group within Mathematics while extending their learning as much as possible and allowing the students to be successful. The Support group has fewer students than a Standard class, which allows for more one-on-one time with the teacher. We try to move students from Support to Standard Mathematics when student’s confidence and achievements are ‘at standard’ for the year group. We have had students in Support Mathematics in Year 8 who have then gone on to successfully pursue Mathematics and General Mathematics at Stage 1 and 2.

What is the difference between Essential and Standard classes?

If a student is in Essential Mathematics in Year 9 or 10, they will not learn the required Algebra to undertake Mathematical Methods in Year 11. The students will be well prepared for Essential Mathematics and General Mathematics (by negotiation). No student will enter the Essential Mathematics stream without consultation with the Curriculum Leader of Mathematics. The majority of our Essential Mathematics students choose to continue with Mathematics into Year 12 due to the success they achieve.

What do we do to extend students?

We have a range of extension opportunities available to all students within lessons. We would like all students to complete the most challenging Mathematics course that they will be a successful undertaking. We also offer a range of extension opportunities throughout the year, including mathematical challenges and competitions. The Curriculum Leader of Mathematics will advise all parents of Year 7 and 8 students of these activities in Term 1 each year, as well as their teacher sharing opportunities in class and on SEQTA. For Year 9 and above the details of all activities will be shared in class and on SEQTA.

What do I do if my child is struggling in Mathematics?

If at any stage throughout your child’s mathematical education you have any issues or concerns, please get in touch with your child’s Mathematics teacher and/or the Curriculum Leader of Mathematics. We are here to help and want your child to leave school loving Mathematics and feeling successful.

What additional programs are used within Mathematics?

To run alongside our detailed lesson resources that are housed in SEQTA, we also use Manga High and My Maths which are online and can be tailored to meet the needs of your child. We will often set homework and revision tasks for your child using these programs as they give detailed ‘in the moment’ feedback allowing your child to review their areas of strength and growth.

How will my child be assessed?

Your child will be assessed in several ways. During your child’s lesson, the Mathematics teachers will be using a range of assessment for learning strategies to ensure that your child is on track. We also set regular homework and quick questions to assess chunks of learning. With more formal assessments, we use a range of assessment types:

  • Mathematically rich tasks
  • Investigations
  • Tests
  • Verbal and video explanations
  • Yearly PAT testing

We will work with your child to help them to achieve their best. We will help your child identify different ways in presenting their learning to meet their preferred learning and presentation style.

What is the Common Test and why do you have it?

In Years 7 to 10 we have the Mathematics Common Test near the end of Term 3. The test is a snapshot of the areas of strength and growth based on what has been learned over the year. The Common Test is split into three sections, which get more challenging as the sections progress. The Common Test allows the students to sit an examination style assessment, with a revision program to complement the assessment. The students will all complete an examination analysis to see their own areas of strength and growth.

What are the Intervention weeks?

During the Intervention weeks, in Term 4 for Year 7 to 9, students work in classes based upon topics they have found challenging or areas that they need extending in. This allows the students to have some extra time to spend perfecting different areas of the curriculum to allow the students to move into the future years with confidence in the topics covered.

How do I know which Mathematics subject my child should select in Year 11 (Stage 1)?

During Year 10 you will be asked to select a choice of Mathematics for further study. Your choices are:

  • Mathematics (leading to Mathematical Methods)
  • Elective Mathematics (leading to Mathematical Methods and Specialist Mathematics)
  • General Mathematics
  • Essential Mathematics

From both the Standard and General Mathematics classes in Year 10, you can choose to complete any level of Mathematics. It is important to do the highest level of Mathematics that you will be successful in completing. You need to consider what you would like to study when you finish school as many courses have a prerequisite or assumed knowledge of Mathematical Methods and/or Specialist Mathematics. By choosing the highest level of Mathematics you will be successful completing, this will allow you to keep your options open for further study in the future. If you would like to study Specialist Mathematics and/or Mathematical Methods, you need to complete both Mathematics and Elective Mathematics for Year 11. As a general rule, we would expect a student to be working at a ‘B grade’ in Year 10 Standard or Extension Mathematics to successfully undertake Mathematics and Elective Mathematics in Year 11. A child who is working at a grade below a B in Year 10 would be more successful completing General Mathematics or Essential Mathematics. Please download our Pathways within Mathematics document for more information.

Can I change the Stage 1 (Year 11) Mathematics subject chosen for the second semester?

The quick answer is yes. You can move from Mathematics to General Mathematics or General Mathematics to Essential Mathematics. You can not move from Essential to General Mathematics or from General Mathematics to Mathematics.

How do I know which Mathematics subject my child should select in Year 12 (Stage 2)?

The subject choice in Year 12 is dependent on the Mathematics subject you have successfully completed in Year 11 (Stage 1). You need to ensure that you have selected the right course for your aspirations and ability in Year 11. Please download our Pathways within Mathematics document for more information.

What are the drafting and deadline policies?

We follow the Westminster Drafting and Deadline Policies, which are consistent across the School.

Anything we have not answered?

If you have any questions not answered above, please do not hesitate to contact the Curriculum Leader of Mathematics, Angela Phillips, via Email or your child’s Mathematics teacher.