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Sir Joseph Banks High School

Sir Joseph Banks High School

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Numeracy across Key Learning Areas (KLAs)

Sir Joseph Banks High School is committed to improving the numeracy skills of all students.

Numeracy is a fundamental component of learning across all areas of the curriculum. Every day, students are given tasks to complete, problems to solve and objects to make that require thoughtful and practical use of mathematics. To be successful in any of the Key Learning Areas, students need subject-specific numeracy skills. All teachers are responsible for the explicit development of the numeracy skills of students in their classroom.

At Sir Joseph Banks High School NAPLAN data has been used to identify areas of student need. Our instructional numeracy experts work with teachers across the KLAs to identify the specific numeracy skills required in each subject and address the areas of need. They plan explicit teaching activities to support students in their learning. Our whole school approach has led to the teaching of numeracy through a common language. Students are accessing numeracy outcomes through authentic experiences in woodwork rooms, kitchens, music and art labs and even English classes.

Growth mindset

Growth mindset refers to a learning theory developed by Dr Carol Dweck. It revolves around the belief that you can improve intelligence, ability and performance. The opposite, a fixed mindset, refers to the belief that a person’s talents are set. Years of research have shown that mindset can be changed. This means that by helping students to develop a growth mindset, we can help them to learn.

Growth mindset is taught to Year 9 students to address the attitudinal barrier put up by many students that they are ‘no good at maths’.

Through a series of videos, activities and discussions, students learn how to change from a fixed to a growth mindset. The main ideas of growth mindset are:

  • the brain is a muscle that can get stronger
  • working on challenging work makes the brain stronger
  • mistakes are okay and are evidence of learning
  • you may not know something yet, but you will if you work at it.

Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts).