Mathematics Department

Dean of Junior Mathematics

Carmel Street

Dean of Senior Mathematics

Graham Fossey


Learning Mathematics enriches the lives of, and creates opportunities for, all Australians. It has its own value and beauty with ideas evolving over the centuries, across all cultures and this evolution continues to this day.

Mathematics is composed of many concepts and systems which can be applied in other disciplines such as Science (understanding sources of error, mathematical modelling), Geography (interpretation of data), History (timelines and time frames) and English (quantitative and special information).

The Mathematics Learning Area aims to ensure that students are confident, creative users and communicators of Mathematics, able to investigate, represent and interpret situations in their personal and working lives and as active citizens.

At Holy Spirit College our studentship model is about encouraging students to take ownership of learning, to take pride in their learning, to be goal oriented and to be self-directed. Students displaying quality studentship have a positive disposition towards mathematical learning which is integral to thinking, reasoning and working mathematically.

Students are encouraged to use Mathematics to make sense of life experiences, to know how, when and where to use their mathematical knowledge. In this sense, Mathematics contributes significantly to the development of Holy Spirit College students as life-long learners, encouraging each one to become:

  • a knowledgeable person with deep understanding;
  • a complex thinker;
  • a responsive creator;
  • an active investigator;
  • a participant in an interdependent world;
  • a reflective and self-directed learner.

We endeavour to cater for a wide range of student needs and abilities with the provision of a range of opportunities in both the Senior and Junior schools. In Years 7-9, the program of study has been based on the Australian Curriculum. The major topics covered are – Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability.

All Year 7 and 8 classes follow a common course while Year 9 and 10 classes have a Foundation, Core, Extension and Accelerated program that better allows for individual differences between students.

Enrichment Mathematics
Enrichment Mathematics is offered on the elective lines in Semester 2 Year 10 as an additional Mathematics subject. It is specifically aimed at those students who may enjoy the subject or have special abilities in the discipline they wish to further. It is a demanding subject that is suitable for Extension students, particularly those intending taking one or both of the higher order Mathematics subjects in the Senior years.

Student learning is assessed using a variety of formal and informal methods. Typically, there will be a test at the end of each term which is completed during timetabled class time and an assignment or project at least once per semester commonly completed by students at home.

YEARS 11 & 12
Mathematics A

Mathematics A is recommended for those students who require a working knowledge of mathematics for life in the community and whose tertiary plans do not require the more abstract and rigorous subjects of Mathematics B and C. It can be combined, however, with Mathematics B to comply with most tertiary requirements.

The major focus is on the applicability of mathematical knowledge in real-life situations. This course, therefore, includes units on calculation, finance, computers, statistics and geometry. Each of these units incorporates mathematical ways of operating on data that have use in the making of practical decisions. The ability to use these mathematical procedures with accuracy and confidence is an important aspect of preparation for adult society.

Mathematics B                                                                          
Mathematics B is the natural choice for those students who have done well in Junior Mathematics. It is an academic subject and is frequently required as a prerequisite for professional tertiary courses. In order to keep many tertiary options open, able Mathematics students should seriously consider including this subject in their course selection.

Mathematics B is a recommended precursor to tertiary studies in subjects with high demand in Mathematics, especially in the areas of Science, medicine, mining, engineering, information technology, finance, business and economics.

Mathematics C

The intent of Mathematics C is to encourage students to develop positive attitudes towards Mathematics by an approach involving problem solving and applications. Students will be required to work systematically and logically and to communicate with and about mathematics.

Students wishing to study Engineering, the Physical Sciences or Mathematics should do Mathematics C as well a Mathematics B. It is common for such courses to recommend students to do Mathematics C.

The study of Mathematics C will give students the opportunity to extend their mathematical knowledge into new areas and, hence, will provide an excellent preparation for the further study of Mathematics in a wide variety of fields. The additional rigour and structure of the Mathematics required in this subject will equip students with valuable thinking skills which will serve them in more general contexts. Mathematics C is, therefore, a highly desirable choice for many students.

Pre-Vocational Mathematics

Pre-Vocational Mathematics is an Authority-Registered subject. It is designed to provide opportunities for students to assist them in pursuing a range of vocational and personal goals. It develops not only students’ confidence and positive attitudes towards mathematics but also their mathematical knowledge and skills.

During the course of study, students should:

  • build confidence and success when using mathematics in every day contexts
  • improve their preparedness for entry to work, apprenticeships, traineeships or further study by developing their numeracy
  • develop skills such as using a calculator, identifying, measuring, locating, interpreting, estimating, applying, communicating, explaining, problem solving, making informed decisions and working cooperatively with others and in teams
  • be able to organise mathematical ideas and represent them in a number of ways such as objects and pictures, numbers and symbols, rules, diagrams and maps, graphs, tables and texts
  • be able to present findings orally and in writing
  • be able to use relevant technologies
  • be able to make informed decisions.