The Maths Department has seen big changes in 2015 with two brand new teachers joining us. Both were already familiar, having been Sports Coordinators and relief teachers. Ben Rapson taught Year 7 and Year 8 Maths while Jacob Allen taught Years 9, 10 and 11. It has been awesome having them in the department and the students have benefited from such good quality teachers who are into sport as much as most of them are!
Parents will have noted a change in how Maths was taught in the junior school this year. Most class notes and resources were on Onenote and were supplemented by tasks on Mathletics. Students' work was done as much online as in books. Statistics was taught with a focus on the Rugby World Cup. We finished the year with practical investigations. Anton Smail took on the cream cracker challenge in good spirit! At Year 10 Oscar Sergel-Stringer and Eddy Morgan followed a Level 1 NCEA programme. Both passed all internal assessments, and are expected to have gained good grades in the externals.
Highlights of the year for our department are always Cantamath and the Australian Maths Competition. Jennifer Wong had all the Cantamath teams practising at lunchtimes in the weeks leading up to the competition. All teams represented us well, finishing approximating in the middle of their year level competition. We had a record number of students entered in the Australian Maths Competition this year and 76% of these gained Proficiency or above. Of particular note were Martin Lopez and Joshua Doocey, who gained Distinction.
Sadly we farewell Rob Oorschot and Jennifer Wong. Mr Oorschot is taking a year's leave. He has been a legend at St Thomas, taking on many responsibilities during his 33 years here and being a wise advisor in our department. We wish Mr Oorschot a relaxing year. Mrs Wong leaves us to teach Accounting at Christ's College. We are very grateful for her selfless dedication to helping students succeed in Maths.
On the bright side we will welcome back Karim Lafdal in 2016 to teach Year 9, 10 and 11 Maths. Students are excited already to hear Mr Lafdal is coming back. Dean Smith joins us to teach Year 7 and 8 Maths and Leuma Gali will teach Year 7 Maths. Jacob Allen and Ben Rapson are back to teach Year 9 Maths. Jason Wang and Julie Maxwell take mostly senior classes. With this capable, enthusiastic team we aim to see students engaged and succeeding in Maths.
Julie Maxwell HOF Mathematics