Building Mathamatics DVD


As many students are presenting to building trade courses with limited mathematical ability, the Master Builders Association (MBA) is aiming to increase awareness of the need for basic mathematical skills for students entering a trade. In conjunction with the Construction & Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSISC) the MBA embarked on a project to increase secondary students’ numeracy skills within a building trade context. On the basis of this they liaised with the Department of Education’s Illawarra and South East Region and formed a working party of Mathematics teachers and consultants from across the region. This working party developed the Building Maths unit of work to deepen students’ understanding and application of numeracy skills specifically in relation to the building trade.

This unit of work can be used as a continual unit of work, as a group of subunits or used as support material for a particular curriculum area.

Building Maths has been developed for teachers, by teachers.


During 2008 a regional team of Maths teachers developed and trialled a learning unit aimed at deepening student understanding and application of numeracy skills in relation to the building trade. There was a great deal of anecdotal evidence indicating that Maths teachers were finding a need for setting Mathematical knowledge, skills and enduring understandings in a relevant context for their students. At the same time, personnel from TAFE and trades connected to the building industry were reporting a noticeable decline in the standards of numeracy in students exiting secondary school and entering trade courses. It was timely, then, for the region to support a Quality Teaching numeracy project designed to particularly enhance deep understanding, engagement, connectedness and knowledge integration for students.

The Building Maths unit has sub-units which can be used on their own to address Maths outcomes or used as support material for other curriculum areas. The possibilities exist for approaching Building Maths as a cross-curriculum or Connected Outcomes Group (COG) learning unit.

During 2009 Secondary and Central schools have been invited to participate in conferences and workshops where the unit and its trial were shared as an initiative in student engagement and retention. Schools have been encouraged to trial various aspects of the unit so that best practice can be developed and captured in relation to teaching the unit and its sub-units.

In 2010 secondary and central schools in Illawarra and South East Region had receive the published unit package and a promotional DVD. These resources have been developed by regional Maths teachers for regional Maths teachers and funded through the Construction & Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSISC) and regional School to Work funds. The Master Builders Association (MBA) has provided invaluable assistance to the project through advice, technical information and resources.

Because numercy is a important skill you gain and starts from a very young age at school, we have produce a resource that links the need for numercy skills in the Building Construction Industry.

FACT: 43% of the Australian Workforce (so young adults from the age of 17-18) have Language, Literacy and Numercy proplem. Now that is 6 MILLION Australians.

If you would like any further infotmation on Language, literacy and Numercy click here or go to 'taking the lead' website


The DVD has been distributed to maths Head Teachers and school Principals in the Illawarra and South East Region. Since DET NSW is a project partner CPSISC and the Departmental agreement to make the DVD available on request to all secondary schools in Australian.

If you would like a copy for your school please email your request to