Innovative numeracy program

Kyle and Allanah from Chester Hill High School.

An innovative program to engage Aboriginal students in mathematics will soon see participants summing up the benefits with the bears at Taronga Zoo.

The Aboriginal Numeracy Competition (ANC) started at Sarah Redfern High School as a way of engaging Aboriginal students in mathematics lessons.

Quality teaching consultant, Aboriginal education, Nathan Towney said the first events involved challenging local schools, including Campbelltown Performing Arts High School and Airds High School, to a series of numeracy-based challenges.

Sarah Redfern High School then contacted the Regional Aboriginal Education Team in South Western Sydney to help expand the competition into a gala day and encourage more schools to participate.

The small event has since grown with 21 teams of four students involved in last month's gala day at Ashcroft High School, with a team travelling from as far away as Wellington High School in western NSW.

During the gala day teams are split into four pools and rotate around four numeracy activities with the goal of earning as many points as possible at each activity.

Bonnyrigg High School was the overall winner at the latest gala day.

Mr Towney said teachers were brought together during the event to discuss the impact the Aboriginal Numeracy Competition could have at school.

The regional team had discussed how the gala days could be used as an engagement tool to encourage students to participate in 'training' sessions and Sarah Redfern High School had shared its experiences, he said.

All teachers are presented with a gift pack at the end of the event that allows students to practise the activities at their school.

A written evaluation is completed by all students and staff after the event with results showing the students enjoy the program.

Photo: Kyle and Allanah from Chester Hill High School. Photo by Rachel Mackay.

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