Learning Framework


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Mathematics in the Senior Years, aims to instil in students an appreciation of the elegance and power of mathematical reasoning. Mathematical ideas have evolved across all cultures over thousands of years, and are constantly developing. Digital technologies are facilitating this expansion of ideas and providing access to new tools for continuing mathematical exploration and invention.

The curriculum focuses on developing increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, logical reasoning, analytical thought and problem–solving skills. These capabilities enable students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations, by employing mathematical strategies to make informed decisions and solve problems efficiently.

Year 10

Mathematics in Year 10 forms part of the integrated Years 7–10 Mathematics Curriculum. In Years 9–10, there are three specific course pathways available to cater more effectively for the full range of learners. Please refer to the Middle Years Mathematics content.

Years 11–12

Mathematics is offered as an elective course of study in both the Higher School Certificate (HSC) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.

Higher School Certificate (HSC)

In the HSC, students can study Mathematics General, Mathematics, Mathematics Extension 1 and Extension 2.

Mathematics General

In Year 11, the Preliminary Mathematics General course is highly contextualised and provides opportunities for creative thinking, communication and problem–solving. Students learn to use a range of techniques and tools, including relevant technologies, in order to develop solutions to a wide variety of problems relating to their present and future needs and aspirations.

Satisfactory completion of the Preliminary Mathematics General course may be followed by study of the HSC Mathematics General 2 course.

The HSC Mathematics General 2 course builds on the knowledge, skills and understanding gained through the study of the Preliminary Mathematics General course.

The Preliminary Mathematics General/HSC Mathematics General 2 pathway provides a strong foundation for a broad range of vocational pathways, as well as for a range of university courses.


The Mathematics 2 Unit course has general educational merit and is also useful for studies in Science and Commerce. It is a sufficient basis for further studies in Mathematics as a minor discipline at tertiary level, in support of courses such as the Life Sciences or Commerce. Students who require substantial Mathematics at a tertiary level, supporting the Physical Sciences, Computer Science or Engineering, should undertake the Extension 1 or Extension 2 courses.

Mathematics Extension 1

The content of the Extension 1 course, which includes the whole of the 2 Unit course, is intended for students who have demonstrated a mastery of the skills in the Stage 5.3 course and who are interested in the study of further skills and ideas in Mathematics.

The Extension 1 course has general educational merit and is also useful for studies in Science, Industrial Arts and Commerce. It is a recommended minimum basis for further studies in Mathematics as a major discipline at a tertiary level, and for the study of Mathematics in support of the Physical and Engineering Sciences. Although the Extension 1 course is sufficient for these purposes, it is recommended that students of outstanding mathematical ability should consider undertaking the Extension 2 course.

Mathematics Extension 2

The Extension 2 course is designed for students with a special interest in Mathematics, and who have shown that they possess special aptitude in the subject. It represents a distinctly high level of school Mathematics, involving the development of considerable manipulative skill and a high degree of understanding of the fundamental ideas of algebra and calculus. These topics are explored in depth, which provides a sufficient basis for a wide range of useful applications, as well as the foundation for the further study of the subject

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

In the IB Diploma, students can study Mathematical Studies SL, Mathematics SL and Mathematics HL. These courses serve to accommodate the range of needs, interests and abilities of students, and to fulfil the requirements of various university and career aspirations.

The aims of these courses are to enable students to:

  • develop mathematical knowledge, concepts and principles
  • develop logical, critical and creative thinking
  • employ and refine their powers of abstraction and generalisation

Students are also encouraged to appreciate the international dimensions of Mathematics and the multiplicity of its cultural and historical perspectives.

Mathematical Studies SL

The Mathematical Studies course is a standard level course with an emphasis on applications of mathematics and statistical techniques. It is suited to students with varied mathematical backgrounds and abilities. It provides the opportunity to learn important concepts and techniques and to gain an understanding of a wide variety of mathematical topics.

Mathematics SL

The Mathematics SL course is a standard level course focusing on the introduction of important mathematical concepts through the development of mathematical techniques. Students learn to apply the mathematical knowledge they have acquired to solve realistic problems. The internally assessed exploration helps students to develop independence in their mathematical learning.

Mathematics HL

The Mathematics HL course is a higher level course focusing on the development of important mathematical concepts in an understandable but rigorous manner. Students learn to apply their mathematical knowledge to solve problems in a range of meaningful contexts and to provide justification and proof of results. Students need to develop insight into mathematical form and structure. The internally assessed exploration helps students to develop independence in mathematical learning.

From 2020 the following mathematics courses will be offered in the IB Diploma Programme:
  • Mathematics: analysis and approaches HL/SL
  • Mathematics: applications and interpretation HL/SL.