Mathematics | Further | Methods | Specialist

Mathematics is a core subject of the Victorian education curriculum, and is a vital area of study for students interested in a career in industry, trade, commerce, and science. At Thornbury High School, our mathematics programs equip students with the skills and knowledge required to pursue these many and varied pathways.

Mathematics, as a general subject, is taught in mixed ability classes from Years 7 to 9, and seeks to instill a passion and respect for numeracy in student learning. Our differentiated approach in mainstream classes, along with our Concept and Extend programs, further advance and support students undertaking study in mathematics.

In Year 10, our focus on pathways allows students to complete one of three different mathematics subjects, each preparing students for study options in Years 11 and 12. At VCE, we run the full suite of mathematics subjects (Foundation, General, Further, Methods, Specialist), with many students opting for the more advanced subjects.

Highlights from 2016/2017 include:

  • Ten of our most talented female maths students were invited to a preview screening of “Hidden Figures” as part of the ChooseMATHS Program, accompanied by presentations from inspiring women pursuing careers in mathematics and science fields.
  • Students celebrated International Pi Day with a pie shooting gallery and pi guessing game, with the winning student recalling pi to a total of 57 decimal places!
  • Five entries by Year 8 students to the Maths Talent Quest were awarded High Distinction x 2, Distinction x 1, and Credit x 2. Their High Distinction studies were called, “A statistical analysis of the cultural and gender diversity of Australian orchestras” and “A statistical analysis of Poverty in Australia”.
  • Students competed in the Maths Games Days, competing in teams of four in problem solving and logic games.
  • Thornbury High School launched QuickSmart, a numeracy support program where selected students work in pairs to improve their working memory and automaticity of basic number facts.
  • Year 8 students completed an extended investigation (“Just An Average Year 8”) involving peer-surveyed statistics, averages, and ICT.
  • VCE Specialist Mathematics students attended the ‘Real World Maths in Action’ Maths Fair, run by the University of Melbourne. Students were also responsible for the creation of a documentary about the Fair.
  • Junior maths students were involved with robotics workshops at Quantum Victoria.

Head of Mathematics – Tayatea Mackenzie

Tayatea is a former student of Thornbury High School (Class of 2002), and joined the teaching staff in 2015. A self-proclaimed “data nerd”, Tayatea’s passion for mathematics stems from her love of statistics, which she uses to inform teaching strategies both in her classes and across the school. Tayatea strives to make mathematics an engaging, dynamic subject, and encourages her students (especially girls) to pursue advanced mathematics in VCE study, and beyond.

“There is a student out there somewhere between the age of 5 and 25 who will be the first person to set foot on Mars… The next generation of students must study maths and science to prepare themselves for this voyage of discovery.” – Colonel Pamela Melroy, NASA Astronaut