The Hale School took an initiative to assist students to develop strategies to ingrain ways of thinking mathematically into their learning. They took on a focus of problem-based learning and realised, with the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics, that the proficiencies would enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics at the school.
A small team scrutinised the characteristics of the proficiencies and developed resources to address each, especially problem-solving and reasoning. This changed the way teachers prepared for their lessons so that teachers took on the role of facilitator, mentor and encourager.
Students were exposed to open-ended tasks and were more engaged in their learning. They could work independently or as a group and developed the metalanguage to communicate with their peers. Students became comfortable with the concept of making a mistake, reflecting on how the mistake happened, learning from the experience and moving on.