No student held back or left behind

  • 2 minute read
  • 12 October 2022

Year after year, Bridget Wright, Head of Maths at Park Ridge State High School, and her faculty, were witnessing first-hand the issue of students being ‘at completely different spots in their learning’ sometimes spanning ‘5 to 8 different levels’ in one class. They felt they were getting nowhere with the problem.

The loss of capable and keen maths students to non- STEM related courses doesn’t get much media attention. But it is an important contributor to the overall decline of Australian students studying senior mathematics at high school and University. The current focus on broad skilling and high ATARs is contributing to the low engagement seen in maths subjects18.

“The average Year 7 class has an eight year spread of ability, ranging from students who struggle to count to students who have a deep mathematical understanding and often lack challenge from aged-based content.”

This wide range of levels creates an extremely challenging situation in the classroom. Despite teachers’ best efforts, struggling students will not get the support they need to progress and the most advanced students won’t be extended in their learning.

As teacher Rose Nahilland told us, ‘Having taught Year 8 maths for the past three years, I often felt that students at the top end were not being pushed to see how far they could go or improve.’

Maths Pathway enables teachers to personalise the learning experience for every student in the classroom. Students access the content they are ready for based on data pinpointing their precise learning needs.

Teachers support their learning through targeted instruction and Rich Learning, challenging high achieving students to excel while supporting students at and below the level to continuously grow. As Jacqueline Lee at Emerald Secondary College explains,

‘We still need to be pushing top-level kids and not allow them to assume they’re always going to get 99% on something. These types of students often give up when they get to Advanced Maths courses because they’re used to things being easy straight away. Maths Pathway students learn to be pushed all the way through.’

Rebecca from East Loddon P-12 College – a small school in Dingee, Victoria with a cohort of 20 Year 12 students – told us that in 2020 they had the first students who started Maths Pathway in Year 7 complete Year 12 Maths, and that exam results were very pleasing . For the first time in five years they had students doing Specialist Maths.

Rebecca further explains “In previous years we may have had students that were capable but didn’t choose to do it because they lacked confidence. Being able to show the students on Maths Pathway that they have completed the work required to do Specialist has now given them confidence… we had three Year 11 students do Further Maths last year, and two of them achieved a study score of 39, while one of the Year 12 students who started Maths Pathway in Year 8, achieved a study score of 40.”

Case studies like East Loddon P-12 College and Park Ridge State High School are prime example of the way Maths Pathway works with schools to ensure no student is held back or left behind, and supports students to excel.


Author: Maths Pathway
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