Maths is a critical subject for all students to learn, and Year 7 is when they really start to get into the more complex concepts. In primary school, maths is often taught with very little structure, but in Year 7 things start to get more concrete.
This is when many students start to struggle, so it's essential for parents to have a good understanding of the Australian curriculum. In this article, we'll guide you through the key areas of Maths that your child will be learning in Year 7, and proven strategies for supporting them at home.
What do Year 7 learn in Maths?
Year 7 Maths has changed a lot in recent years, so it's important that parents understand the new national curriculum their child is learning. In the 2022 revision, there has been a shift towards more problem-solving, critical thinking and application, as opposed to pure procedural fluency.
This means that students need to be able to understand and explain their thinking, as well as apply their knowledge to new and unfamiliar situations.
There is also a greater emphasis on the interrelatedness of concepts so that students can see how they all work together. The Year 7 Maths curriculum is now divided into 6 strands:
We'll take you through the subtopics of each strand and some key skills being tested in Year 7 which you should look out for.
Number and Algebra
The Number and Algebra strands focus on developing students' understanding of place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers, decimals and fractions. Students will also learn about solving equations, using brackets and basic algebraic concepts.
Number and place value
Index notation and prime factors
Square roots of perfect square numbers
Compare, order, add and subtract integers
Apply arithmetic laws for mental computation
Using four operations to solve problems
Define and compare prime and composite numbers
Create factor trees
Identify the lowest common multiples and highest common factors
Compare, add and subtract fractions
Multiply, divide fractions and decimals
Convert between fractions, decimals and percentages
Find percentages of quantities
Recognise and simplify ratios
Locate negative fractions and mixed numbers on a number line
Add and subtract fractions with different denominators
Express one quantity as a fraction of another
Round decimals to a specified number of places
Money and financial mathematics
Calculate 'best buys', with and without digital technology
Apply the unitary method
Patterns and algebra
Understand algebra vocabulary
Substitution of variables
Describe a situation with the correct order of operations
Linear and non-linear relationships
Solving simple linear equations
Plot co-ordinate points from a table of integer values
The balance method and substitution to check solutions
Understand input-output tables
Recognise points that lie on a straight line
Measurement and Space
The Measurement and Space strands focus on developing students' understanding of length, area, volume, capacity, mass, time and the relationships between them. Students will also learn about 2D and 3D shapes, angles, transformations and geometric reasoning.
Units of measurement and Shape
Area formulas of basic shapes (triangle, rectangle and parallelogram)
Volumes of rectangular prisms
Converting metric units
Draw different views of prisms
Translations, reflections, rotation and location
Line and rotational symmetries
Demonstrate angle sum of a triangle is 180°
Perpendicular lines, transversal & parallel lines
Identify corresponding, alternate and co-interior angles
Classify triangles according to their side and angle properties
Naming pairs of angles as complementary and supplementary
Statistics and Probability
Year 7 Statistics and Probability strands focus on developing students' understanding of collecting, organising and representing categorical and numerical data. Students will also learn about chance, probability and predict outcomes using theoretical and experimental approaches.
Sample spaces for single-step experiments
Determine probabilities for events
Terminology fluency: sample space, favourable outcomes, trial, events and experiments
Express probabilities as decimals, fractions and percentages
Data representation and interpretation
Compare a range of data
Interpret frequency tables, bar and pie charts
Construct stem-and-leaf plots and dot plots
Calculate mean, median, mode and range for sets of data
Use measures of centre to make sense of and explain data
Textbook study skills
Year 7 is the first time students are exposed to a dedicated Maths textbook. This can be daunting for some, so make sure you and your child take the time to explore the layout and get comfortable with the content. Whether it's the digital version or the physical copy, familiarise yourself with how the textbook is organised.
Many students are unaware of how to properly use their textbooks and as a result, they miss out on a lot of key information and practice opportunities.
Here are 6 practical tips to help your child get the most out of their Year 7 Maths textbook:
1. Read the introduction and neatly layout the workbook
Often students will not read the opening paragraph of the chapter, but instead dive straight into the questions. Ironically, this section is the most crucial part. Here we see a roadmap for the chapter, telling you what subtopics will be covered, in what order and how this topic relates to the real world. This is a key stage in learning as it allows you to make connections and see the 'bigger picture'.
When it comes to workbook layout, always rule a line down the middle of every page and write the topic title. Learn to work down the left-hand side and leave a line in between questions. Don't forget to write the question number, followed by the numerical part of the question and show your working-out, where necessary.
2. Summarise the 'Key Ideas'
Every subtopic will begin with some new terminology and concepts. Students must learn to read, understand and summarise these ideas. A great way to do this is by copying out the bold words from the 'Key Ideas' section for each subtopic (usually highlighted in boxes). These definitions will help your child focus on the most important information and provide a revision tool for later on.
3. Copy out worked examples
There are several worked examples in each chapter to help students understand the process and the underlying approach. These are essential for your child to copy out, not only so they can see how the questions should be worked, but also because it provides them with a model to follow when they attempt their own questions.
Even if they are unable to understand the explanation, there is merit in copying out the examples as it will help with their fluency and understanding at a later stage.
4. Correct your own work like a pro
In high school, teachers expect students to use the 'check, correct, improve' process. This means that once they have completed a set of questions, they should go back and check their work for mistakes. They MUST put ticks and crosses. If any mistakes are found, they should write the correct answer and attempt to re-do the question, finding their way to the known solution.
A lot of students think they can correct their work by 'just looking at the answers and making adjustments', but believe us, this method leaves a lot of room for error. If you want to see genuine, rapid improvement, encourage your child to get into the habit of correcting their work using a written method.
5. Focus on worded problems in every chapter
Every topic begins with simple computation, then leads to reasoning and finishes with application style questions in the form of worded problems. The questions towards the end of each chapter are the most valuable, as they assess a student's true understanding of the content.
Even if the classroom teacher has not assigned these application questions, make sure your child completes them. These are the questions that will inspire their logical and creative thinking and are the ones they will be asked in their tests.
6. Complete all questions in the Chapter Review
In high school students are generally given a test every 2-3 weeks on each topic as they progress through the content. To ensure they are prepared, it is essential that your child completes and corrects all questions in the 'Chapter Review' at the end of each chapter. It's usually a selection of multiple-choice, short answer and extended response questions that cover all content from the chapter.
This is a great way to consolidate their learning and highlight any areas they may need to focus on. It is also an opportunity for you to see how they are progressing and whether they require more support.
Parenting tips that actually work
1. Get organised with the right equipment and set up
The first step is to get your child's learning materials organised from the start. This includes having a dedicated spot for studying, setting up a regular study schedule and ensuring all materials, like their scientific calculator and digital textbooks are easily accessible. A little bit of organisation will go a long way in helping your child stay on top of their studies.
2. Encourage your child to ask questions
One of the best things you can do to support your child in Year 7 Maths is to encourage them to ask questions. In particular, encourage them to ask themselves questions as they work through problems. Why am I learning this topic? How can this be used in the real world? How else could I approach this problem?
Answering these questions will help them to better understand the concepts they are learning and see the value in what they are doing. Additionally, it will encourage them to be more engaged and curious in their learning, which is essential for long-term success.
3. Help them develop a growth mindset
A growth mindset is one of the most important things you can instil in your child as they transition into high school. With a growth mindset, students believe that their abilities can be developed through hard work, good strategies and feedback from others. This is in contrast to a fixed mindset, where students believe their abilities are set in stone and cannot be changed.
Help your child develop a growth mindset by praising their effort, rather than their intelligence. Encourage them to persist when they encounter setbacks and offer them strategies for dealing with difficult questions.
4. Provide your child with a range of secondary school resources
Students should utilise a range of resources to help them with their year 7 studies. In addition to the textbook and worksheets, there are online videos, apps and games that can all contribute to their understanding.
Online resources like Khan Academy offer free video tutorials and practice questions. These are great complementary tools to use alongside the textbook.
5. Create a study schedule together
A great way to ensure your child is staying on top of their studies in Year 7 is to create a regular study schedule. This doesn't have to be anything overly complicated, but it should outline when and where your child will be studying each week.
You can sit down with your child at the start of each term and map out a study schedule that works around their other commitments. Be sure to include regular breaks and allow some flexibility to account for unexpected events.
6. Seek help from an expert tutor
If you feel like your child is struggling to keep up with their year 7 Maths studies, or perhaps is ready to leap ahead of their classwork, it may be beneficial to seek help from an expert maths tutor. Or if working together at home is causing undue stress on your relationship, it's often more effective to outsource lessons to a professional mentor.
A tutor can provide students with personalised support, timely feedback and targeted questions. They can also provide your child with the regularity of practice, accountability and the motivation they need to excel.
If you're not sure where to start, we can help. At Math Minds, we tailor every lesson around your child's individual needs, academic goals and learning style. Contact us today to book your free assessment.
Master the National Curriculum
As a parent, being involved in your child's education and knowing what they are learning is paramount. This is especially true for maths, as it is a subject that builds on itself year on year and one that many students struggle with. By understanding the basic structure of the year 7 maths content you can help your child excel with their homework, and foster a strong foundation for their future success.
In addition to the content, there are a number of things you can do at home to support your child in their high school maths journey. These include encouraging them to ask questions, helping them develop a growth mindset and providing them with a range of tools and learning resources.
In year 7, it is also crucial that students develop textbook study skills and a positive mindset towards learning. At Math Minds, we help students approach Mathematics not as an ordinary school subject, but as a language that is fundamental to our everyday life. We work closely with your child to develop their confidence, bolster prior knowledge and deepen their conceptual understanding.
If you are concerned about your child's progress in year 7 maths, or simply want them to realise their potential, our team have got you covered. Get in touch and experience the Math Minds advantage today.