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Singapore primary maths and Australian Curriculum overview

Singapore primary maths and Australian Curriculum overview

We’ve compared each level of Singapore maths with the Australian Curriculum (AC) and here we summarise the overall differences between the two.

The AC follows three main streams:

Number and Algebra
Measurement and Geometry
Statistics and Probability

While statistics is covered thoroughly in Singapore maths with data collection, representation (bar, line and pie graphs, and tables) and interprtation, probability is glaringly missing (it’s covered comprehensively in Year 8). 

Should this lack bother you? Are you concerned that your child is not spending time every year studying chance outcomes? Personally, I wouldn’t be.

Let’s not forget that Singapore has consistently outperformed Australia in maths proficiency* year in, year out, coming in at the top or second in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

You may have read this ACARA article comparing Singapore maths with the Australian mathematics curriculum, which states that “there is a considerable level of alignment between the Australian curriculum in mathematics and that of Singapore and other high-performing countries”.

Why is it then that Australia is consistently and considerably outperformed by Singapore in maths achievements? 

The article compares Singapore maths with Australian curriculum:

“The Singapore syllabus provides comprehensive detail about what should be taught and … specifies how teaching should occur.”

“In contrast, the Australian curriculum provides content achievement standards and allows teachers to be the ones to decide how the content will be taught.”

Therein could lie the ansnwer. You decide. If you are using Singapore maths for your homeschool maths curriculum, then you have a golden opportunity to use both of those descriptions to your child’s advantage.

By Level 2, Singapore maths has advanced beyond the AC with the addition and subtraction of fractions.

By Level 3, Singapore maths advances beyond the AC in multiplication and division facts 6-9 (2, 3, 5 and 10 are taught in Level 2); addition and subtraction of money; equivalent fractions; and geometry concepts.

Level 4 Singapore maths advances further than the AC regarding fractions.

The upper levels of Singapore maths are where the differences begin to really show, with fractions, decimals, division, geometry all ahead of the AC in Level 5.

By the end of Singapore primary maths, Level 6, concepts of algebra, statistics, fractions and decimals are all beyond the AC requirements.

Having said all that, the Cartesian coordinate system and negative numbers are not covered in Singapore maths until Year 7.

Generally, Singapore maths places more emphasis on hands-on learning with the use of manipulatives and keeps digital technologies to a minimum. The AC places more emphasis on the use of digital technologies.

*If you have trouble with this link, Google the name of the article on The Australian: pisa-australia-tanks-in-global-education-rankings-despite-20bn-boost

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

If you want to know more about homeschool planning, go here.

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

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Education Reformation

Singapore maths and homeschool curriculum


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