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School stories: Toowoomba Grammar School, East Toowoomba, Qld

Toowoomba Grammar School, East Toowoomba, Qld

The mathematics coordinator at Toowoomba Grammar led the staff to undertake a change in the way mathematics was taught in the school. The focus was on differentiation of the curriculum to meet the learning needs of the students. The coordinator felt that students lacked the ability to problem-solve and reason as the lessons did not provide the opportunity for them to develop these skills. The staff committed to one lesson per cycle having a focus on problem-solving and reasoning. The mathematics coordinator ran professional learning sessions where the staff developed the skills to modify resources and tasks so that students would find them more engaging and challenging.

Teachers no longer relied on textbooks but rather designed tasks that met the needs of the students. All students, no matter their ability level, could enter and exit a task and still feel challenged and engaged in their learning. Students were not frightened to make a mistake and were more comfortable in their learning environment.