Mathematics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in quantities, space, and time. Statistics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in data. These two disciplines are related but different ways of thinking and of solving problems. Both equip students with effective means for investigating, interpreting, explaining, and making sense of the world in which they live.
Students develop the ability to think creatively, critically, strategically, and logically. They learn to structure and to organise, to carry out procedures flexibly and accurately, to process and communicate information, and to enjoy intellectual challenge.
The students also develop other important thinking skills. They learn to create models and predict outcomes, to conjecture, to justify and verify, and to seek patterns and generalisations. They learn to estimate with reasonableness, calculate with precision, and understand when results are precise and when they must be interpreted with uncertainty. Mathematics and Statistics have a broad range of practical applications in everyday life, in other learning areas, and in workplaces.
Mathematics and Statistics is taught through a wide range of social, cultural, scientific, technological, health, environmental, and economic contexts.
Numeracy skills give students the skills to solve problems that they will be faced with in everyday life. By the time they have NCEA Level 1, (usually gained in Year 11) the students will have numeracy skills. This includes an understanding of when to use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, as well as being able to find the fraction or percentage of a number. They will be able to measure and calculate within the metric system e.g. mass, time, length, volume, and temperature. They will also be able to interpret and use statistics to make informed decisions for their life or workplace.
There is the opportunity in Year 11 to build up the necessary mathematical skills for those who would like to pursue Year 12 and Year 13 Mathematics. This would be beneficial as Year 12 and Year 13 Mathematics is a requirement for entry into many tertiary courses. Junior Mathematics is also the foundation needed for Senior Mathematics, this is taught through three strands – Number and Algebra, Geometry and Measurement, and Statistics.
Number and Algebra
Number involves using mental, written, or machine calculation methods to calculate and estimate. It also involves knowing when it is appropriate to use estimation and being able to discern whether results are reasonable. Algebra involves generalising and representing the patterns and relationships found in numbers, shapes, and measures.
Geometry and Measurement
Geometry involves recognising and using the properties and symmetries of shapes and describing position and movement. Measurement involves quantifying the attributes of objects, using the appropriate units and instruments. It also involves predicting and calculating rates of change.
Statistics involves identifying problems that can be explored by the use of appropriate data. This is done through designing investigations, collecting data, exploring and using patterns and relationships in collected data, solving problems, and communicating the findings. Statistics also involves interpreting statistical information, evaluating data-based arguments, and dealing with uncertainty and variation.