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NSW Syllabuses

Rationale

Mathematics is a reasoning and creative activity employing abstraction and generalisation to identify, describe and apply patterns and relationships. The symbolic nature of mathematics provides a powerful, precise and concise means of communication.

Mathematical ideas have evolved across all cultures over thousands of years and are constantly developing. Digital technologies facilitate this expansion of ideas, providing access to new tools for continuing mathematical exploration and invention. Mathematics is integral to scientific and technological advances in many fields of endeavour. In addition to its practical applications, the study of mathematics is a valuable pursuit in its own right, providing opportunities for originality, challenge and leisure.

Mathematics in K–10 provides students with knowledge, skills and understanding in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. It focuses on developing increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, communication, logical reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills. These capabilities enable students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations by employing strategies to make informed decisions and solve problems relevant to their further education and everyday lives.

The ability to make informed decisions and to interpret and apply mathematics in a variety of contexts is an essential component of students' preparation for life in the 21st century. To participate fully in society, students need to develop the capacity to critically evaluate ideas and arguments that involve mathematical concepts or that are presented in mathematical form.

The Mathematics curriculum makes clear the links between the various components of mathematics, as well as the relationship between mathematics and other disciplines. Students learn to apply their mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding in a broad range of contexts beyond the mathematics classroom, including in such core learning areas as science, geography, history and English.

The study of mathematics provides opportunities for students to appreciate the elegance and power of mathematical reasoning and to apply mathematical understanding creatively and efficiently. The study of the subject enables students to develop a positive self-concept as learners of mathematics, obtain enjoyment from mathematics, and become self-motivated learners through inquiry and active participation in challenging and engaging experiences.