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St. Catharines Collegiate supports high quality learning, while giving individual students the opportunity to choose programs that suit their skills and interests. This enables students to better customize their education and improve their prospects of thriving in a society where mathematics is increasingly more relevant. As early abandonment of the study of mathematics cuts many students off from a variety of rewarding career paths and post-secondary options, it is important that students continue to remain engaged with the learning of mathematics.

As today’s world rapidly changes, 21st century students will need to adapt to change effectively, and to learn independently. Mathematics at the St. Catharines Collegiate provides students with opportunities to use technology effectively, and to practice the skills for processing large amounts of quantitative information, in order to prepare them for their future roles in society. Mathematics learning equips tomorrow’s leaders in the development and refining of thinking processes, logical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem solving. Rich, real life problem solving situations provide a powerful way for students to connect their personal experiences in order to build new knowledge.


St. Catharines Collegiate is the only school in St. Catharines to offer all three career pathways in all grades. In mathematics we have courses from Grades 9 to 12 designed for College, Workplace and University preparation.

The College Pathway is designed for students who are looking towards attending College for a variety of different programs, including business, human services, hospitality and tourism, and some of the health sciences.  Topics prepare students for study in the areas of Geometry and Trigonometry, Data Management, Personal Finance and Mathematical Modelling at the senior levels.

The Workplace and Everyday life pathway prepares students with the math required to enter the workplace after graduating from high school. These courses fulfill the mathematics requirements of students who do not plan to take any further mathematics courses.  Senior topics include Personal Finance, Reasoning with Data, Transportation and Travel and Applications of Measurement.

The University preparation courses lead to three different senior math classes: Data Management, Advanced Functions and Calculus & Vectors. These courses lead to a variety of University programs including science, engineering, social sciences, liberal arts, medicine, and education.

Critical Areas of Learning

Students learn mathematics most effectively when they have a thorough understanding and foundation of mathematical concepts and procedures, and when this understanding has been built through a hands-on investigative approach. This means that learning is focused on intellectual skills rather than on just content. The seven mathematical processes are:

  • Problem solving
  • Reasoning and proving
  • Reflecting
  • Selecting tools and computational strategies
  • Connecting
  • Representing
  • Communicating

Students are given varied opportunities to learn by using these process skills. They will often integrate appropriate technologies into the learning and doing of mathematics, so that learning will extend learning for a lifetime.

How Can Parents Help From Home?

Much of the current research around to help students succeed in math revolves around the idea of developing a Growth Mindset. Students with a Growth Mindset tend to do much better in mathematics in terms of problem solving skills and achievement. 

Carol Dweck offers a wealth of research in the area of Mindset and her book “Mindset”. According to Dweck those students with a Fixed Mindset believe you are born with a certain amount of intelligence and can’t do much to change that. Those with a Growth Mindset believe you can always change your intelligence level.

Jo Boaler also adds on to this research in her book “What’s Math Got To Do With It?”. This book explains the gaps in mathematics education to parents and teachers and offers advice for changing students’ minds about the subject. Both of these books are highly recommended for parents. 

Students need supportive messages from their parents. They need to know that is okay to make mistakes in math and that learning from our mistakes helps make new connections in our brain. They need to know that it’s important to challenge themselves with difficult problems to help learn new math skills. Remember that if it comes easy to your child, then they aren’t learning. 

Praise students for their effort and not for their intelligence. The YouTube link below offers an amazing explanation of some of Dweck’s research around Praise and Achievement. It is put together by a Basketball organization from the United States.  

Dweck Video

Useful Websites for Homework Help:

  1. Grades 7-10: Homework Help - http://Homeworkhelp.ilc.org
  2. Grades 11 & 12: DSBN Homework Help - www.dsbn.org/mathhelp

Important Links