Mentoring Girls in Maths
The Mentoring Girls in Mathematics Award recognises one teacher who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in inspiring and fostering the participation of girls in mathematics.
The judging panel selected the recipient of this award based on their demonstrated capacity to encourage, guide and inspire students by providing ongoing mentoring support.
Hunter School of Performing Arts, NSW
When in high school herself, Corinne felt that opportunities were limited and the presence of female role models was rare in STEM fields. She uses this as a driver and is now a role model for her own students at the Hunter School of Performing Arts.
Corinne is creative and innovative and saw an opportunity to create a robotics club at the school, where previously there was no course or opportunity for students to learn to code. She independently forged relationships with local organisations and institutions to gain access to materials and to learn skills herself. The mainly female club has gone from strength to strength and creates a highly engaging and fun learning environment.
As STEM coordinator, Corinne goes out of her way to highlight career paths for students, particularly in mathematics and has mentored and guided many young female mathematicians, encouraging them to see the higher level maths courses as a challenge to be overcome.
Outstanding Secondary Teacher
The CHOOSEMATHS Outstanding Secondary Teacher Award recognises an exemplary and innovative teacher, who has been instrumental in encouraging students to continue with their study of mathematics.
This awardee was recognised for being an engaging and passionate communicator of mathematics, who inspires students to see the beauty and importance of mathematics.
Mount Waverley Secondary College, VIC
When asked what she sees as most important for a teacher of Mathematics. Hayley’s response was immediate: ‘Relationships!’. The leader has a vibrant and enthusiastic approach to learning and the care she displays to all of her students enables her to develop a great rapport with students and staff alike.
In 2013 Hayley developed a successful ‘Maths Boot Camp’ for senior mathematics students who had gaps in their knowledge. The voluntary before-school sessions have become a staple at Mount Waverly Secondary College and over time VCE performance has steadily increased.
Hayley is a positive role model at the college, particularly for girls. She is committed to building students’ confidence, and encouraging them to persevere with high-level mathematics. She pays special attention to reducing maths anxiety in students who may be at risk of disengaging and ensures they have the encouragement and support needed to continue with maths at VCE level.
Outstanding Primary Teacher
The CHOOSEMATHS Outstanding Primary Teacher Award recognises a primary school teacher whose influence and passion has successfully enhanced the experience of learning mathematics for students.
The awardee of this award is a leader in creative and engaging practice, who fosters a positive environment in which students are able to flourish and achieve success.
Singleton Primary School, WA
Since her arrival at Singleton Primary School Sheila has engaged staff, students and the wider community with her passion for mathematics. The initiatives she has developed and implemented have made a significant difference to the way maths is taught and embedded into the school culture.
Sheila’s expertise has been consistently demonstrated through mentoring of staff and supporting the planning and delivery of engaging maths lessons across the school. Her extensive knowledge and exemplary practice in her teaching has ensured that she is regularly called upon to provide feedback and support to all teaching staff.
Her ‘Mad Maths Mornings’, ‘Maths Wizard’ competition and ‘Ten-a-day’ program have become staples at Singleton Primary, having an impact not only on the students, but also on parents and the wider community. Her passion and commitment to teaching financial literacy ensures she has provided many students with vital life skills which will assist them in navigating the financial world in their adult lives.
Teacher Excellence Awards
The CHOOSEMATHS Teaching Excellence Awards recognise seven of Australia’s leading mathematics teachers.
The awardees have been selected based on their demonstrated capacity to engage and inspire students using innovative practice, or for providing ongoing mentoring support.
Eagle Junction State School – QLD
With over thirty years in the classroom, Anne-Louise is a passionate and dedicated educator. Specialising in preschool and prep years, she ensures that mathematics is always fun and creative and uses positive experiences to help her students develop their curiosity, inventiveness and persistence, which all contribute to their future successes at school.
Entering Anne-Louise’s classroom is inspiring; she is able to explore and highlight mathematical concepts across all key learning areas, ensuring that maths is seen as part of everything we do.
A strong pedagogical leader, she thrives in mentoring both staff and pre-service teachers by using her extensive subject knowledge to support teachers to improve their own knowledge and practice.
In 2016 Anne-Louise was a key participant in developing the new mathematics program for the school, helping to draft and trial the program in her classroom.
With the motto of ‘practice makes progress’, Anne-Louise’s classroom is a dynamic environment filled with hands-on learning experiences, encouragement and imagination.
Radford College – ACT
Bruce speaks about Mathematics in a way that you might expect someone to speak about an upcoming holiday or the purchase of a new car. The excitement and enthusiasm he has for maths education is infectious.
Relating classroom content to real-world problems, Bruce often takes his classes outside and is always developing creative ways to make his classes exciting for his students.
Through his online blog ‘Authentic Inquiry Maths’ Bruce inspires teachers around the world. He has a passion for equipping new educators with the same energy and enthusiasm and this year has begun lecturing at ACU Canberra campus on mathematical thinking.
Bruce is currently collaborating on the development of a mini-golf course that is based on mathematical concepts in the Canberra region. He is also hoping to develop a playground that encourages mathematical exploration through play. Upon completion, these spaces will help to excite and influence the next generation of young mathematicians.
Tennant Creek High School – NT
A remote Northern Territory school, Tennant Creek High School faces challenges unlike many other parts of Australia. Fiona, however, thrives in a context that requires a high level of flexibility and innovation in delivery.
Her student-centred approach to teaching has seen her design a new approach to mathematics at the school. This year, upon the release of NAPLAN data, TCHS was identified as showing significant growth in numeracy: a direct result of Fiona’s influence on her peers and students.
Actively targeting girls, Fiona aims to increase confidence and attitudes around mathematics. This has had a flow-on effect in other areas of student learning and she is transforming attitudes among the community.
Fiona has introduced a number of new initiatives to increase participation and engagement, including a mathematics club which attracts great interest, particularly with girls.
Springfield Gardens Primary School – Tas
James takes the time to know every child at Springfield Gardens Primary School. He knows where they’re from, their siblings, their parents’ names and their hobbies. It’s this ability to build meaningful relationships that allows him to get the best out of every single child at the school.
Over time, James has established and enhanced a culture of high achievement in mathematics through a number of initiatives, including his annual mathematics challenge and the maths club, which have grown to now see over 30% of the school participating in various maths activities.
Connecting with local high schools, James facilitates teams participating in maths relays that consist mainly of female students, connecting them with older students that are achieving at a high level.
At the forefront of innovation within the Tasmanian education context, he has also developed a numeracy data wall that reflects the progress of students. The concept was so successful, it has now been adopted by the Tasmanian state system.
Campbelltown Performing arts School – NSW
As the Head Teacher of Mathematics, Lorien is a leader who inspires her peers by using new and innovative practices to teach her subject. She goes out of her way to support others and build their confidence to change the way they teach maths.
Instilling a sense of curiosity in all of her students, she has a unique ability to engage students in discussions around ‘I wonder what will happen if…?’ equipping the problem solving skills needed beyond school. A dedicated mentor, Lorien has developed a Mathematics Homework Centre and Mathematics Drop-in Centre for students to access support and tuition to support their learning and engagement.
Lorien has recently led the trial of team teaching for some Year 12 courses. This project has seen teachers co-developing and delivering a course in a flexible learning space. It has provided scope for expert teachers to deliver key components of the course, leveraging both teacher expertise and flexible spaces.
Williamstown North Primary School – VIC
A lifelong learner, Michael brings passion, innovation and excitement to his classrooms. Designing real-word investigations, he is committed to transforming attitudes and the engagement of mathematics in both staff and students.
Michael celebrates the idea that all staff have approaches and strategies worth observing. From this idea, he has established a voluntary peer-observation program where teachers visit other classrooms to observe lessons relating to an area of practice on which they are currently working.
After surveying his year 5/6 students this year, Michael found the attitudes and self-perceptions towards maths troubling, even more so when the results were split along gender lines. He is now working on a collaborative research-practice partnership exploring representations of mathematics in children’s media, with Monash University.
Through Parent Information Evenings and Family Maths Nights, Michael equips parents to consolidate learning at home through engagement with real-life maths, emphasising the importance of a positive approach to mathematics.
Singleton Heights Public School – NSW
Mathematics is truly alive at Singleton Heights Public School thanks to the hard work and passion of Sarah.
Successfully rolling out a number of programs, Sarah is creative and innovative and enthusiastically shares her passion with her peers. She has been instrumental in implementing programs such as ‘Taking off with Numeracy’ (TOWN), ‘Targeting Early Numeracy’ (TEN) and ‘Ninja Numeracy’, which have reinvigorated maths teaching at Singleton Heights. After completing the necessary training herself, Sarah then trained other staff who couldn’t wait to bring their new-found knowledge back into the classroom.
Sarah leads by example by participating in Quality Teaching lessons with a group of colleagues. Her lessons are so inspiring that many of the teachers involved then go on to demonstrate activities to others. This ripple effect, caused by Sarah’s energetic approach, is a testament to her knowledge and leadership at Singleton Heights.