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Created by Australian primary teachers and maths leaders

Intensive PD Partner School 1: Thomastown East PS

© State of Victoria (Department of Education and Training)

Recognised by the Department of Education as best-practice mathematics: 

Top Ten was implemented from 2016 at Thomastown East PS as their whole-school approach to mathematics, with regular support as one of three intensive Top Ten PD schools. Feedback from the numeracy leader, Ms Rebecca Szeremeta, in 2018: “Our consistency from class to class regarding concepts, Maths vocabulary, teaching methods and, lesson content and structure has resulted in revolutionary progress. It has led to astoundingly improved student engagement and comprehensive progress in student outcomes. The pre and post testing component is invaluable, in that it continually directs teaching towards targeting specific goals that are achievable for all students. Goals are in line with each student’s position on a prescribed developmental sequence. Every student at our school is experiencing success with Maths every day. This program has revolutionised the way in which our students feel about Maths. All lessons are based on the usage of materials, and students are now forever proclaiming that Maths is enjoyable. All lessons utilise peer teaching and practice, and zero in on understanding the language of Maths which is crucial for students to attain real, deep and rich understandings of the concepts being taught.”

Even though we teach maths using a rich, hands-on approach with materials, we still achieve significantly better NAPLAN (closed paper-based/electronic assessment) results than any other maths program in Australia. We believe this is because we created our packs in classrooms and tried-and-tested our sequential units for ten years with our Australian students, so that only the highest impact tasks were included, and also because the units assisted our teachers on a day-by-day basis. Some of the largest programs in Australia currently boast only a 9% increase in student results. Other programs evidence their growth outcomes by reference to their own assessments, not verified Department data. We believe maths leaders can form their own conclusions from this, by comparing it to the publicly available, verified Department data copied below from our PD schools. The schools detailed in the results below were the first non-development schools to start using our packs across all teams with intensive PD assistance and very strong maths leadership from 2016. These schools were mostly worksheet-based before their teams started using our packs for planning.  


All graphs displayed in the whole-school case studies copied below and in the PDF are sourced from the Department's publicly available data for NAPLAN 2018, released in April 2019.

Thomastown East PS

Student gains at Intensive PD Partner Schools from 2016 - 2018 

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A clear outlier in 2018 numeracy results. 

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Student gain from 2016 to 2018: Most schools with high year 3 results plateau in grade 5 (yellow data line), but not Top Ten partner schools (Thomastown East's burgundy data line), which continues to outpace student gain whether compared to similar schools, all schools or schools with similarly high starting scores despite the lower than average socio-economic backgrounds of its student population. 

Intensive PD Partner School 2: Lyndale Greens PS

Implemented school-wide from the start of 2017, with regular PD support as the second of two intensive Top Ten PD partner schools. Pre- and post-test data was analysed by Philip Holmes-Smith (developer of SPA), who was independently hired by the school's leadership in 2017, who noted an effect size of 0.94 on the Hattie Scale (with anything between 0.4-0.6 rated as 'desired effect-size/growth zone' and anything above 0.8 rated as 'exceptional growth'). Lyndale Greens PS is a large school, with over 500 students, yet the results below mirror those of Thomastown East PS, despite the significant size of its teams and student cohorts. 

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Almost identical results to Thomastown East PS, outperforming similar schools as a clear outlier in numeracy outcomes and student gain.

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One of the highest ever proportion of students in the high relative growth category and one of the lowest proportions of students in the low relative growth category in Australian data. At Lyndale Greens PS in 2018, 53.5% of students achieved high growth (compared to an all-school average of 25%) and only 2.5% of students scored low growth (one tenth of the all-school average of 25%, only 2 out of 73 students in the matched cohort). The results are more than double those of most schools, and higher than the goals most schools set in their strategic plans or AIPs for numeracy. 


Divergent results in terms of both raw scores and student gains, where the grade 3 cohort makes strong growth up until year 3, then continues to outperform in between grade 3 and 5, while others schools plateau. 

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All achieved in a challenging context where 48% of students fall into the lowest socio-economic backgrounds, and a further 26% into the second lowest. Despite this, our results are higher than the raw scores of many inner eastern schools. This is because Top Ten uses rich hands-on maths lessons, rather than teaching to the multiple-choice-style mathematics that NAPLAN assesses. Accordingly, the students at our two partner schools were able to apply their mathematical understandings and problem-solving skills to both internal and external assessments, and from 2016 to 2018, considerably outpaced other schools in terms of both student gains and outlier results in numeracy. 

Student gains at Intensive PD Partner Schools from 2016 - 2018 


Top Ten was founded by Australian teachers and numeracy leaders. Our team was formed to fill a gap we saw - we needed sequential hands-on units to support us with our maths planning. We wanted something that teachers could pick up and use to teach maths in a meaningful, engaging and high-impact way, without having to resort to worksheets or one-dimensional technology due to the time-poor nature of our profession.


To maximise your time, lessons contain photographs of classroom modelling in action; student work samples; warm-ups; engaging hooks; a learning intention; maths vocabulary; as well as pre-planned enabling and extending prompts for in-class extension and support. All the units were tried-and-tested in our own classrooms, as well as separate pilot schools, a minimum of five times. Each mastery-oriented unit uses visual and kinaesthetic learning, as well as literacy and STEM hooks to capture all types of learners. In total, there are 900 multi-levelled hands-on maths lessons in developmentally-sequenced units; 500 new lessons for the early years and 400 real-life lessons for years 3-6. 

Please download the complimentary sample packs on our Early Years and Years 3-6 page to share these with your teams. 


Our Hands-on Maths

Planning Support Packages



Developmentally-sequenced mastery-oriented units with new hands-on lessons for each critical skill throughout the early years. Diagnostic and formative assessments that pinpoint points-of-need. Lessons include enabling and extending prompts, engaging hooks, warm-ups, photographs of classroom modelling and work samples. 



Easy-to-implement hands-on mathematics package created by Australian maths leaders for over ten years. 400 low-floor high-ceiling lessons and warm-ups for years 3-6 in sequential units. Lessons start with hooks to link content to students' lives and include both extension and support variations.



Bringing Literacy and Numeracy together!
Launch maths with literature and bring stories to life with hands-on lessons best-suited to each year level and concept throughout the year.


“Top Ten has reinvigorated and improved maths teaching and learning at Yeo Park within a few short terms. Teachers find the differentiation included in each lesson and within assessment has allowed them to cater to individuals successfully. We love the maths library and lessons! The best part for us, as a school who teaches using inquiry methodology is that Top Ten is centered around student inquiry, problem solving, hands on, engaging lessons that the teacher will enjoy delivering.”

—  Ms Fiona Wood, Principal, Yeo Park Infants School K-2 (Sydney)

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