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NESA’s New Numeracy Course

NESA has unveiled a new numeracy course for Stage 6 students. The Content Endorsed Course (CEC) has been designed as part of the State Government’s Mathematics Strategy, which aims to see an increase in the number of NSW students participating in mathematics and an improvement in their mathematic performance. The Numeracy course will see students focus on core practical numeracy skills including budgeting, earning and spending money, everyday probability, interpreting statistics in the media and understanding maps and plans.

NESA’s new Numeracy course has been trialled in 198 schools over the past three years, and according to NESA, has seen a “substantial increase in participation and engagement among students enrolled in Vocational Education and Training courses, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students [and] students in rural and remote areas”. The course will be taught to Year 11 students from 2022 and Year 12 students from 2023, with the syllabus to be published next term. Students can either study this course on its own, or in conjunction with Mathematics Standard, however, it cannot be counted towards an ATAR.

What does NESA’s New Numeracy Course mean for students?

This course will provide students with a foundational understanding of maths and greater opportunities to apply this knowledge in the real world. NESA is hoping this knowledge will be applied in the workplace or in other aspects of the students’ lives.

The new course could provide some students with a reason to study mathematics. Many students who struggle with numeracy concepts decide not to study mathematics in their senior years, when it is no longer a compulsory subject. NESA’s new Numeracy course may provide them with an alternative to the harder mathematics subjects, which will allow them to refine the skills learnt during the junior years.

NESA’s new Numeracy course could be well suited to students who have no intention of taking on university education and may look for apprenticeships and other employment once they have finished school. The skills they learn in the Numeracy course will put them in good stead in their post-school roles, many of which may require basic mathematics knowledge.

The new numeracy course may also provide students with skills that are applicable to their other subjects. Many other subject areas including industrial technologies, engineering, the sciences and even humanities subjects such as commerce, economics and business studies require a rudimentary understanding of maths. Students studying these subjects would undoubtedly see the benefits of studying numeracy alongside these other subjects, if they chose not to study higher-level maths courses.

What does NESA’s New Numeracy Course mean for teachers?

Not only will the incoming senior students benefit from NESA’s new Numeracy course, but the teachers will too. It will, of course, have the greatest impact on mathematics teachers. Having the new course implemented in all NSW schools will give maths teachers an opportunity to help more students gain the numeracy skills they need for everyday life. While it may seem like it’s creating a larger workload for the maths department, the new course may even result in more job opportunities for maths teachers. Additionally, the new Numeracy course may provide more opportunities for younger, less experienced teachers to delve into teaching senior level mathematics.

Overall, NESA’s new numeracy course will likely only have positive impacts on both the students and the teachers of NSW alike. We can’t wait to watch the implementation of this course, and the benefits our cherubs gain from it.

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