TIGS has a long and proud tradition of excellent mathematics results that are supportive of strong ATARs. Overall, the 2015 cohort achieved 24 Mathematics Distinguished Achievers out of a possible 93 entries across all four Mathematics courses. That is, 25.8% of all entries attained either a Band 6 or Extension Band E4 in Mathematics.

These were the strongest mathematics results of any school in the Illawarra

Our special congratulations go to the following students:

Mathematics General 2: Jake Bussoletti, Thomas Goodhew, Tahlia Jackson, Simone Lindsay, Kaitlin McKeon, Zac McLaren, Namika Parajuli, Shae-Lyn Phipps, Olivia Poate, Cara Turney, Margaux Walker, Bailey White
Mathematics: Giuseppe Fierravanti, Yaru Mizori, Quynh-Nhu Nguyen, Aislinn Turner, Tomas Ziegelaar
Mathematics Extension 1: Titus Grenyer, Qi Jiang, Quynh-Nhu Nguyen, Brady Rengger, Tomas Ziegelaar
Mathematics Extension 2: Titus Grenyer, Qi Jiang

So what is the secret to our success? There are many elements which contribute to the incredible outcomes we are seeing our students achieve. The importance of mathematics is recognised from the early days of schooling at TIGS as children as young as three in the Piper Centre learn about maths though play.

From the commencement of Kindergarten and through Junior School, students inquire into, about and through Mathematics within Units of Inquiry. These Units of Inquiry are organised around a central idea that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant and by nature demands greater attention and time compared to traditional approaches.

Students become competent users of Mathematical language to describe and analyse the world around them. It is essential that students use Mathematics as a way of thinking to solve problems. Students in our primary school enjoy being “mathematicians” just as they are “authors” and “artists”.

TIGS Mathematics teachers (from left to right) Mr Matt Wall, Mrs Lila Gulabovska, Mrs Margaret Jakeman, Ms Margo Stanford, Mrs Elvisa Troiani and Mr Shane Rodgers. Absent: Mrs Moira Jefferson

In the Senior School, the combination of hard-working students, dedicated staff, a range of extension activities and support from parents is a sure formula for success.TIGS has seven specialist mathematics teachers all of which are experienced in teaching mathematics up to and including Mathematics Extension 2. As Head of the Mathematics Department, I am delighted to work with such a dedicated and hard-working team that take pride in the achievements of their students both within the classroom and beyond.

They are always there to help and support students who require further assistance. Mathematics help is available in the Goodhew Research Centre (Library) on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons until 5pm. Ms Gulabovska and Ms Jakeman are available to aid students of all abilities across Year 7 – Year 12.

Our teachers have sought to extend their students through opportunities such as the Mathematical Olympiad and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) International Competitions and Assessments for Schools Mathematics Competition. These competitions develop and refine critical skills such as problem solving and encourage creativity, ingenuity and intuition, with the aim of fostering an enthusiasm for and an enjoyment of mathematics.

Students experience a sense of satisfaction, thrill and joy at having met mathematical challenges.

The joy of mathematics is fostered even from the earliest days of schooling at TIGS.

TIGS staff at the Piper Centre, home to our Preparatory classes for 3-5 year olds, encourage children to develop a love of learning. Early literacy and numeracy skills are taught through observing, listening and experimenting as they learn to make sense of the world.

Piper Centre students gain an early introduction to mathematics, graphing the number of students in their class by eye colour

One of the first maths focus areas for our youngest students in the Cooinda room this year was colour. Our 3-year olds and 4-year olds first learnt about patterns and colours through sorting plastic bears and matching them by colour and size. These concepts were extended through an exploration into “Who We Are”. Each child used a mirror to identify their eye colour and then graphed the result on a white board. As a class they then counted up how many students had blue, hazel, black, brown or green eyes.

Who would have thought that our 3-year olds would already be compiling statistical data and representing it graphically by their own hand!

During a recent Unit of Inquiry Year 5 students started exploring the central idea, “Probability can be based on experimental events in daily life and can be expressed in numerical notations.” Students constructed their understanding of probability in daily life through a series of small group investigations using spinners, coins, dice, counters and on-line tasks. They transferred their understanding by keeping a learning journal to record their mathematical thinking when solving problems. Students applied their understanding by designing a fair game out of recycled materials as a homework task. Each student shared his or her game with the class and described the probabilities involved using their knowledge of new concepts.

Our mathematics teachers always strive to teach concepts and ideas in their historical contexts, as well discussing their implications for modern society. The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) has greatly enriched the learning experience and has provided a framework for doing this. All students in years 7 to 10 are now studying the NSW National Curriculum through the MYP philosophy that promotes both inquiry and application.

The beauty of the MYP is that it aims to tailor learning to the needs of individual students by seeking ways to intrigue and motivate them through the use of examples relevant to their lives. It also encourages the application of mathematics to real life situations in ways that prepare them for studying sciences, engineering and technology and a variety of other fields in which mathematics is a fundamental building block.

The size of the Mathematics classes in Senior School are typically between 15 and 25 students. Below is an overview of how they have been organised for 2016:

Year 7: Three streamed classes
Year 8: Three streamed classes
Year 9: Two classes studying Advanced, two classes studying Intermediate Course
Year 10: Three classes studying Advanced, two classes studying Intermediate Course
Year 11:

One Mathematics Extension 1 Class
(All students in this class study both Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics 2 Unit)

Two Mathematics (2 Unit) Classes

Two Mathematics (General 2) Classes
Year 12: One Mathematics Extension 2 Class

One Mathematics Extension 1 Class
(All students in this class study both Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics 2 Unit)

One Mathematics (2 Unit) Class

Three Mathematics (General 2) Classes

From 2017 TIGS will be offering the IB Diploma as an alternative pathway to the Higher School Certificate. The subjects that will be available at TIGS will depend on the number of DP candidates and their preferences. Mrs Jefferson (Mathematics Teacher and Director of Enrolments) will be our specialist Diploma Programme teacher.

Although other subjects offer two levels for each course, Standard Level and Higher Level, Mathematics has four possible courses available:

  • Further Higher Level (Further HL)
  • Higher Level (HL)
  • Standard Level (SL)
  • Standard Level Studies (SL Studies)