All students can learn mathematics

to the highest level.


- Jo Boaler

At St Mary’s Primary School, mathematics instruction is explicit and responsive to students' needs. Our leaders and educators draw on the research and work of mathematical scholars, including Jo Boaler, Peter Sullivan and Paul Swan. 

Lesson design is aligned with the Victorian Curriculum, developing competencies across the four mathematical proficiencies: 

  • Understanding

  • Fluency

  • Problem Solving

  • Reasoning


These fundamental proficiencies are applied through the three mathematical strands:


  • Number and Algebra

  • Measurement and Geometry

  • Statistics and Probability



Daily mathematics lessons begin with a focus on ‘number’, developing students’ skills in counting, identifying patterns, place value and the four processes. Students are then provided with opportunities to build mathematical understanding and reasoning through targeted and focused instruction sessions and problem solving tasks.

Strategies used to build student mathematical growth include: 

  • Pre-assessment, to identify student needs 

  • Explicit lesson design, to target the needs of all students

  • Scaffolded and sequential learning, to build and transfer mathematical knowledge

  • Post-assessment, to monitor student achievement

  • Open-ended tasks, to enable (support) and extend (challenge) students' mathematical thinking

  • Number talks and subitising activities, to promote fluency and reasoning

  • A growth mindset approach, to promote all students can learn mathematics to the highest level