Your children just started Year 8 this year. No big deal, plenty time until the HSC. Wrong! It is a BIG DEAL. Year 8 Mathematics in New South Wales is very important, even more important than Year 12! This video explains why.
Good morning. This is Jason Ursino from Learning Space and I’m driving to school.
Today I’m going to talk about Year 8 Mathematics. To me, Year 8 Mathematics is the most important, even more important than Year 12. The main reason is because, how you perform or how your child performs in Year 8 Maths, determines what course are you getting to in Year 9, in fact that’s not even called a course. In some places they call it a pathway, so it determines what pathway of Mathematics that your child would undertake.
Now Year 9 and Year 10 is known as Stage 5. And in Stage 5, it’s broken up into 3 pathways, if you like, 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3. 5.3 in the old language is Advanced and 5.2 in the old language is Intermediate. 5.1 would be the low-ability maths and it’s usually a small course of students with learning support.
Now what you would like your child to do, if possible, is to get into the 5.3 course and the reason for that is because when you’re in 5.3, you have more options in Year 11 and 12. A 5.2 student Year 9 and 10 can only do Standard Mathematics in Year 11 and 12 or no maths at all, because remember, Mathematics is not compulsory in 11 and 12. However, a 5.3 student has the capabilities of doing Advanced Maths, Extension Maths or Mathematics Extension and Mathematics Advanced, and Mathematics Standard. So, it gives a child more option and there’s many courses at university that only allows you to do the course if you did a minimum of Mathematics Advanced. So you see, from Year 8 Maths, all the way up to university, you’re pretty much determined on what you can do later on. So, what you would like your child to do is to do the best, as much as they can in Year 8.
If you asked a Year 8 student what do they want to do when they leave school, most of them won’t know. So the ideal thing to do is to keep their options open. The Year 8 student performs well, then they get on to the pathway of 5.3. So the ultimate goal for a Year 8 student is to get into 5.3 in Year 9. From 5.3, you can only go downwards, it’s very, very difficult to go up, so if you’re a 5.3 Year 9, you can fall into 5.2 Year 10 so you do have to keep the consistency but you can’t go up. So if you’re a 5.2 student in Year 9, you can’t do 5.3 in Year 10 because you did not learn the 5.3 content in Year 9. So that is something that I tell a lot of parents and it’s something that not many schools articulate very well, and it is a real shock to a lot of parents when they find out about it.
So Year 8 is super important, so if you’re ever going to get extra support or if you want to have a sit down with your child and explain to them that they have to do very well, Year 8 is the time to do it, not Year 11, not Year 12.