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Australian Curriculum and Singapore maths Level 6 comparison

Australian Curriculum and Singapore maths Level 6 comparison

Our first article compared Singapore maths programs with the Australian Curriculum (AC) for Level 1. There are some differences between the AC and Singapore maths at the different grade levels, and also between different Singapore maths programs. However, by grade 6 all Singapore maths programs have prepared the student for Singapore highschool maths programs.

Generally, you will find that Singapore maths is often ahead of the AC, however, where there are differences, we provide fixes at the end of this article. These differences are usually minor and often taught in other related concept areas.

How does Singapore maths at the end of primary school fit in with the AC? Let’s compare the AC with Singapore maths grade 6.

For elaboration on the below requirements please refer to the Australian Curriculum for Level 6.

Australian Curriculum New Syllabus Primary Maths Primary Maths US 3rd Ed.
Number and Algebra Number and Algebra Number and Algebra
* Identify and describe prime, composite, square and triangular numbers
* Estimate and calculate whole numbers
* Use letters for unknown quantities
* Simplify and evaluate algebraic expressions
* Solve word problems using algebra
* Algebraic expressions with one unknown
* Use letters for unknown quantities
* Solve word problems using algebra
* Strategies for solving whole number problems using the four operations Covered in Level 5
* Locate integers on a number line
* Create sequences using whole numbers, fractions and decimals using patterns and algebra
Fractions and decimalsFractions and decimals Fractions and decimals
* Compare fractions with related denominators and locate and represent them on a number line
* Addition and subtraction of fractions with the same denominator
* Find a simple fraction of a quantity where the result is a whole number
* Divide fraction by whole number
* Divide whole number by a fraction
* Divide a fraction by a fraction
* Ratio and fraction
Word problems
* Divide fraction by whole number
* Divide whole number by a fraction
* Divide a fraction by a fraction
* Ratio and fraction
Word problems
* Multiply decimals by whole numbers and perform divisions by non-zero whole numbers
* Multiply and divide decimals by powers of 10
* Equivalent fractions, decimals and percentages
Covered in Level 5, as well as converting measurementsCovered in Level 5, as well as converting measurements
Measurement and geometry Measurement and geometry Measurement and geometry
* Metric – convert metric units of length, mass and capacity
Solve problems for length and area
* Shape – prisms and pyramids
* Introduce the Cartesian coordinate system
* Angles – on a straight line, at a point and vertically opposite angles
* Volume of cubes and cuboids
* Solid figures; nets of solid figures
* Angles in geometric figures – find unknown angles
* Circles – parts, area
* Area and perimeter of composite figures
* Volume (metric)
* Drawing solid figures; nets
* Shape – prisms and pyramids
* Angles in geometric figures – find unknown angles
* Circles – radius, diameter, circumference, area
Interpret and use timetables NoNo
Statistics and probability Statistics and probability Statistics and probability
* Chance – probabilities using fractions, decimals and percentages
* Conduct experiments and observe frequencies
* Column graphs; interpret secondary data
Pie charts – interpreting; fractions and percentagesPie charts – fraction and percentage pie charts
Percentage Percentage Percentage
* Calculate simple percentages
* Use in operations
* Connect to equivalent fractions and decimals
* Finding a whole given a part and percentage
* Percentage increase and decrease
* Part of a whole as a percentage
* One quantity as a percentage of another
Speed Speed Speed
Not coveredSpeed, distance and time; average speedSpeed and average speed

A summary of the Australian Curriculum year 6 achievement can be found here.

What is missing from Singapore maths level 6 but required by the Australian Curriculum?

Negative numbers and the Cartesian coordinate system. These are introduced early in year 7 in both New Syllabus Mathematics 7th Edition Book 1 (accelerated) and New Syllabus Mathematics (Normal Academic) Book 1 and elaborated later in the course with graphing, linear functions and gradient of a straight line.

The AC states that at grade 6 a student needs to “Investigate everyday situations that use integers. Locate and represent these numbers on a number line“. It also requires that students are introduced to the Cartesian coordinate system using all four quadrants. Note, this is an introduction only.

How to fix:

If you have been using a number line all along, then teaching negative numbers is a natural progression. You can make your child aware of how negative numbers are used in temperatures, for example, – 5ºC. 

The Cartesian coordinate system is simply the x and y axes, which you can teach using some graph paper (or not).

Interpret and use timetables – ever caught a train or plane? This is a no brainer to fix.

To make sure you satisfy your state’s requirements (if it requires you to follow the AC), make sure you include this concept in your plan. Some states require you to prove you have taught it to your child, so keep a record. The key for all planning documents and record keeping is, of course, to always use the right jargon. You may choose to cover this in discussion without a formal text – but make sure you write down what you did using terminology that the state likes to hear.

What is covered in Singapore maths but not expected in the AC Level 6?

Algebra is more advanced in Singapore maths at this level, as are fraction concepts and ratio. Some concepts are left out, having been taught the year before, eg decimals. Although negative numbers and the x and y axis are not taught, geometric concepts of shapes include circles, area and perimeter, etc.

Statistics and probability seems to be an important feature in the AC, but is not given the same attention in Singpapore maths. Graphs seem to feature more in Singapore maths.

One important feature that is excluded from the AC is the concept of speed, time and distance.

Summary

If you have been doing Singapore maths up to grade 6, any omissions are only really important to cover if you are planning on sending your child to school for highschool year 7.  Though, upon checking the Australian Curriculum, you could quickly bring your child up to speed, and indeed, your child will be ahead in a number of other concepts.

Otherwise, you can be confident they will be caught up in those in year 7 Singapore maths, and to an advanced standard.

Singapore maths is more than adequate for a high quality primary maths education in Australia.

For more tips for teaching maths, read 10 tips to help your child learn maths.

Want to learn more about Singapore maths? Check out our Singapore Maths Hub.

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