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NSW Department of Education and Communities

Curriculum support for NSW Public Schools

Competitions for students

Link iconFollow the link for mathematical opportunities for students

Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) for the Westpac Awards  

 Australian Mathematics Trust logoThe objective of the AMC is to create, encourage and sustain interest in the study of mathematics. There is also some emphasis on problem solving.

The competition is accessible to all students from Year 3 to Year 12 with five separate papers.

Middle primary
Upper primary

link Further information available on the Australian Mathematics Trust website

National Literacy and Numeracy Week activities

National literacy and numeracy week National Literacy and Numeracy Week is an Australian Government initiative conducted in collaboration with the Government, Catholic and Independent education sectors. National Literacy and Numeracy Week focuses on literacy and numeracy practices from Kindergarten to Year 10 and celebrates successful numeracy and literacy projects and programs by schools and their local communities. 
Visit the NSW website to explore the activities, available resources and archives.

A range of vidcasts and audiofiles are available for parents support and teacher professional learning:
What is NAPLAN?
Everyday numeracy K-4
Why use maths?
Supporting young children's literacy development
Critical numeracy in context
Teaching writing.

There is a secure link at Kids' Links where children can explore many numeracy and literacy websites and build up their skills.

For parents and carers, there are many brochures and leaflets with ideas for building literacy and numeracy skills at home or during family activities.

Reach for the Stars (for pre-school, primary and middle school students)

Reach for the stars “Reach for the Stars” is a national annual numeracy activity associated with National Literacy and Numeracy Week. It has been conducted by the AAMT since 2003. It is designed for students from pre-school to junior secondary, with an emphasis on flexibility for teachers to adopt those aspects of the event which suit their own classrooms.

link iconFurther information is available on the AAMT website.

Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians including AIMO

Australian Mathematics Trust logo The Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians targets the top 20 per cent of primary students in Years 5 and 6, and secondary students in Years 7 to 10. Whereas it is directed at all students in this category it may be particularly useful in schools where teachers may be working in isolation and have a handful of talented students spread out over a number of classes.

There are three independent stages in the Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians - the Mathematics Challenge Stage, the Mathematics Enrichment Stage and the AMOC Intermediate Contest.

Link iconFurther information available on the Australian Mathematics Trust website
The Australian Mathematical Olympiad Program

Australian Mathematics Trust logo  The Australian Mathematical Olympiad Program is a program from which about the top 100 students from the Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians and the Australian Mathematics Competition for the Westpac Awards take extra preparation which can lead to selection in the Australian team to participate in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). The IMO is the pinnacle of competition between students of pre-University level from different countries.

Link iconFurther information available on the Australian Mathematics Trust website

Australian Informatics Competition

Australian Mathematics Trust logoThe Australian Mathematics Trust has announced the introduction from 2005 of a new annual Australian Informatics Competition. There are three papers, Senior (Years 11 and 12), Intermediate (Years 9 and 10) and Junior (Years 7 and 8). The competition has a time limit of one hour. No experience in computer programming is necessary. The questions involve semi-mathematical ideas related to computing. The questions determine whether a student might have a talent for designing and writing programs, something which students might not normally have an opportunity to demonstrate.

Link iconFurther information available on the Australian Mathematics Trust website

Investigating: Mathematics Competition

MANSW logo The Mathematical Association of NSW runs this annual competition for students from Kindergarten to Year 10.

The Investigating: Mathematics Competition aims to promote interest in mathematics and foster positive attitudes amongst students, teachers and parents. The purpose of the investigation is to explore real life situations and problems to engage students and teachers in maths. It involves students formulating their own questions from a given situation. Investigating Maths tasks meet Working Mathematically syllabus outcomes as well as outcomes in the strands in which the investigation takes place.

All students from Kindergarten to Year 10 in NSW are eligible to enter. There are three entry categories:

  • individual
  • small group (no more than 5)
  • whole class

There is a maximum of 3 investigations per category, per year group.

link Further information available on the MANSW website


MANSW logoThe Mathsearch competition for the J.L. Williams awards is an annual event organised by MANSW. The competition is part of the selection process for the National Mathematics Summer School (NMSS), which is held in the following January at the Australian National University (ANU).

This is a take-home competition for Year 11 students who are gifted in mathematics. It brings out the best in those who have not only talent but also the perseverance to explore an area of interesting mathematics. It allows students to receive recognition for their care in logical argument. The exercises lead the students into the exploration gently. If you have not entered a student before, and you feel you have one or more students who would benefit from this competition, encourage them to have a go. There is little work involved for you as the teacher. The object of this project is to encourage students to enjoy the benefits that accrue from addressing a challenge.

National Mathematics Summer School selection is partly based on performance in this project and other contests such as the AMC for the Westpac prizes, the UNSW mathematics competition and the Telecom Competition, which are held later in the year.

link Further information available on the MANSW website

University of New South Wales Schools Mathematics Competition

UNSW logo The University of New South Wales Schools Mathematics Competition has been run each year since 1962. It is open to participation by secondary school students in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. It is run in two divisions: Junior, up to and including Year 10, and Senior, Years 11 and 12.

The competition is designed to assess mathematical insight and ingenuity rather than efficiency in tackling routine examples. Students are encouraged to enter the competition if they are able to make some progress towards the solution of at least one of the sample problems that are included with the publicity material.

The competition is an open-book exam. Entrants are allowed to take any books and materials, but not computers with internet connections, into the examination.

Each year, about 1000 students participate, 500 in each division, and prizes and/or certificates are awarded to abut 60 in each division. In recent years, the UNSW Schools Mathematics Competition has served as one of the selectors for the Australian team in the International Mathematical Olympiad. Some of our winners have gone on to receive medals there.

link Further information available on the UNSW website

National Mathematics Summer School

AAMT logo The National Mathematics Summer School (NMSS) is a program for the discovery and development of mathematically gifted and talented students from all over Australia. The NMSS is aimed at students completing Year 11. Approximately sixty students attend each year. Potential participants can be suggested to the relevant state/territory selector for consideration. The NMSS is a two week residential school held in January each year at the Australian National University in Canberra.

link Further information available on the AAMT website

Australian Statistics Poster Competition

Australian Mathematics Trust logo The Australian Statistics Poster Competition is an activity that assists teachers present lessons on data and statistics in a relevant and relaxed environment. The chance and data stream of school mathematics syllabi is particularly well suited for practical, project-based and team-based learning activities, and the Competition offers a framework and focus to support such learning activities.

In contrast to a traditional mathematics competition the Australian Statistics Poster Competition allows participants to experience the application of mathematics to real world problems while:

  • choosing to investigate questions of personal interest
  • learning to work in a team
  • experiencing problem-based learning
  • taking time to develop their ideas
  • applying all of their skills (creativity, design, management, record keeping, analysis, logic, interpretation, spelling and writing skills) in a mathematical context.

link Further information available on the AMT website

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