Mathematics contributes to the developments and understanding in many disciplines and provides the foundation for many innovations. It is used extensively to model and understand real-world phenomena (e.g. consumer preferences, population growth, and disease outbreak), create lifestyle and engineering products (e.g. animated films, mobile games, and autonomous vehicles), improve productivity, decision making and security (e.g. business analytics, academic research and market survey, encryption, and recognition technologies). In Singapore, mathematics education plays an important role in equipping every student with the necessary knowledge and skills and the capacities to think logically, critically and analytically to participate and strive in the future economy and society.
The central focus of the mathematics curriculum is the development of mathematical problem solving competency. Supporting this focus are five inter-related components – concepts, skills, processes, metacognition and attitudes. The learning of mathematics allow students to develop key competencies that are important in the 21st century. The pedagogies used by the teachers create opportunities for students to think critically, reason logically and communicate effectively. During lessons, students have the opportunity to pose questions, justify claims, write and critique mathematical explanations and arguments when working on mathematical tasks. ICT tools are used, where appropriate in learning and doing mathematics, so that students get to work individually as well as collaborate in groups to devise different strategies to solve a problem or formulate different mathematical models to represent a real-world problem.
Students are given the opportunity to take part in competitions to enrich their learning of mathematics. Sec 2 students can sign up for Mathematical Olympiad training workshops and then take part in the Singapore Mathematical Olympiad (Junior). Sec 1 to 3 students can also take part in the ICAS Assessment (Mathematics). The ICAS assessment is designed to assess the students’ ability to apply classroom learning in new contexts, using higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills.