1330.0 - Education News, April 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/04/2010   
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Education News - April, 2010

This newsletter highlights the latest curriculum related teaching resources, student activities and statistical tools that have been developed by ABS Education Services as well as other ABS resources that are useful for schools.


  1. CensusAtSchool News
  2. An Idea for the Classroom - Mathematics
  3. NEW Teacher Solutions
  4. ABS Resources for Teachers - Online Video Tutorials
  5. New Animated Population Pyramid Tool
  6. Community Pages - We Want Your Work
  7. Watch This Space
  8. Recently Released Publications
  9. Contact Details

1. CensusAtSchool News

CensusAtSchool LogoQuestionnaire NOW OPEN - MAKE YOUR SCHOOL COUNT
The 2010 CensusAtSchool Questionnaire is NOW OPEN. The questionnaire for 2010 is proving to be very popular with thousands of students already submitting their questionnaires. Be part of the fun for 2010! Get your class to fill in the engaging, interactive and FREE online questionnaire. The collection phase closes in 80 days. Don't miss out. CensusAtSchool is suitable for Grade 5 to Year 12, as it can be used for simple graphing of data, or more complex regression analysis - and everything in between.

The 2010 questionnaire is shorter than previous years and includes 30 questions on topics about students, including their lifestyle (e.g. method of travel to school, favourite type of music and use of technology), characteristics (e.g. eye colour, height) and opinions on environmental issues. There are also interactive questions to test reaction time and concentration.

Data for the 2010 Questionnaire will be released in July; however data from previous years (2006 and 2008) is available now. CensusAtSchool will run annually from now on. Participation from students across the country and in different year levels is vital to ensure there is adequate data available in the database for students to take samples from different areas and year levels. Do it today! The questionnaire closes on July 2.

CensusAtSchool Maths lessons (CaSMa) have all been updated and now have teacher notes and solutions. This makes it much easier for you to incorporate these into your classroom practice. For further detail, refer to section 3 below or see NEW Teacher Solutions.

CensusAtSchool is now on FACEBOOK
CensusAtSchool Australia is now available on Facebook! Become a fan to receive the latest CensusAtSchool updates including news, events and discover interesting facts. Discuss topics and share lesson plan ideas with other teachers. Click on the following link to view Facebook: CensusAtSchool Australia Facebook.

New CensusAtSchool Mathematics Quick Activities
These Mathematics lessons are designed to take 10 - 20 minutes in the classroom and there are activities for all year levels from Grade 5 to Year 12. You can use these activities as is, or modify them for your class and learning environment. You could even provide the revised activity to students in a format appropriate to your class over your school Intranet. These activities are located in the CensusAtSchool Teacher Area under Classroom Activities. Please click on the Mathematics Quick Activities link to view the list of activities.

What's Coming to CensusAtSchool

  • Marking schemes for CensusAtSchool Maths classroom activities (CaSMa) will be available online very soon. These will make your task much easier and even allow you to use these activities as assessment tasks.
  • Cross referencing between ABS lessons and the National Curriculum.

How to get involved in CensusAtSchool for 2010 Please visit How To Get Involved for more details about how you can get on board in 2010! Please contact the CensusAtSchool Team if you have a query or if you would like to provide some feedback. We'd love to hear from you.

2. An Idea for the Classroom - Mathematics

This activity has been designed to align with Year 3 content descriptions as outlined in the Draft National Curriculum. Students demonstrate their ability to read, interpret and assimilate information presented in graphs and tables. The four representations show different aspects of one student’s typical Saturday and the task involves students writing a story that meshes together the important details. They can choose to write as a diary or in narrative form using first or third person.

Teacher notes with more ideas for implementing and extending this lesson as well as graphs sets suitable for Years 4 to 7 are available from the Mathematics Extended Activities page on the ABS website. Select 'Four Graph Stories'.

My Four Graph Story Student Worksheet A
When data is collected it is organised into tables and graphs so that any patterns or trends can be quickly identified. The following tables and graphs relate to the activities of a student on one typical Saturday.

Use this set of graphs as the basis to write a story about how the student spends the Saturday. The student can be you or someone completely made up. You must use the information from all of the graphs and tables. Everything you write must be accurate and based on these facts, however you need to make your story as interesting as possible. You can write it as a diary or a story.

pie graph
Figure 1: Pie Chart Set A

Figure 2: Picture Graph Set A

bar graph
Figure 3: Bar Graph Set A

graph of 'ages of people spoken to'
Figure 4: Dot Graph Set A

We would love to hear feedback from anyone who finds the activity useful or has ideas for improving it.

Do you have a classroom idea that uses ABS data or ABS Education products? Let us know at education@abs.gov.au and we can share it with schools around Australia.

3. NEW Teacher Solutions

Answers for CensusAtSchool Lessons
CensusAtSchool Maths lessons (CaSMa) have all been updated and now have teacher notes and solutions. This makes the lessons much more user friendly with a variety of hints and tips. CaSMa lessons are only available through the Teacher Area under CensusAtSchool. Activities can be used as they are or can be modified to adapt to class and learning environments.The CaSMa solutions are conveniently located in the "Download the Activity" section of each Maths lesson. The full list of CaSMa lessons is available from the CensusAtSchool Mathematics Activities page.

sample solution page

4. ABS Resources for Teachers - Online Video Tutorials

picture of computer Education Services has created a range of online video tutorials for teachers. These tutorials have been designed to help teachers find ABS data on the website and introduce them to key ABS products of particular interest to teachers and students. Census focused tutorial topics include community profiles, MapStats and QuickStats. There are a range of online tutorials with a focus on national statistics for commerce and economics teachers. Subjects include Key National Indicators, National Accounts and Consumer Price Index. The last group of online tutorials focuses on key products of interest to teachers including Australian Social Trends, Measure of Australia's Progress and Yearbook Australia.

Follow the link to view the tutorials: ABS Resources for Teachers - Online Video Tutorials
screenshot of tutorial video screen shot of ABS page

5. New Animated Indigenous Population Pyramid

Population pyramids are useful graphical tools which can be used to reveal information about a population's age and sex distribution in the past and projected into the future. The new Indigenous Animated Population Pyramid presents experimental estimates and projections for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Population estimates are presented for 1991 to 2006 and population projections are presented from 2007 to 2021. The Animated Population Pyramid for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Australians can be viewed from the Indigenous Statistics for Schools pages.

Indigenous age-sex pyramid

'I want to congratulate you on the development of the population pyramids
on your site. I had two classes of year 9 students enthralled
with the animation of this data. We had to stop and start frequently to make sure everyone got answers to their questions. Well done!'

(Mark Thompson, Teacher, Year 11 Student Coordinator, Yeppoon State High School, QLD)

6. Community Pages - We Want Your Work

Student work for the online Community pages
Have your students been using lessons or data from the ABS? Teachers are invited to submit by post or email exemplary student work to the ABS Education Services Unit. From these, lessons and data will be chosen to be posted in the Community pages of the Education Services section of the ABS website with acknowledgement given to the student and the school. When submitting lessons or data, remember to include your permission to publish work with both your name and school. Also, please ensure that you include your contact details so we can contact you if necessary.

7. Watch This Space

picture of eyeTeaching and Learning Tools for the National Curriculum
The National Curriculum has been recently released, and one of the three Mathematics strands is Statistics and Probability. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Education Services team will be providing lots of support materials such as student worksheets and marking rubrics through the web pages to provide teachers with a rich collection of resources to draw on.

8. Recently Released Publications

Remember, all ABS publications are free to download from the ABS website.

Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends, Jan 2010 (cat. no. 4613.0)
Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends 2010 is the 5th edition in a series that presents a broad selection of environmental statistics and and information on topical environmental issues. By drawing on a wide range of ABS statistics and statistics from other official sources, Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends describes major aspects of Australia’s environment and how these are changing over time. It is designed to assist and encourage informed decision-making, and to meet the information needs of a general readership.

Lending Finance, Australia, Dec 2009 (cat. no. 5671.0)
Contains time series data on the value of monthly commitments for secured housing finance, other personal finance, commercial and lease finance. Includes summary tables of personal and commercial finance commitments under fixed and revolving credit facilities, the value of goods under finance lease commitments, and the value of personal, commercial and lease finance commitments by purpose. Also included are thematic tables on the financing of housing, motor vehicles and plant and equipment.
Retail Trade, Australia, Jan 2010 (cat. no. 8501.0)
Contains monthly estimates of turnover for retail establishments. Trend, seasonally adjusted and original estimates are included for industry groups and states and Australia in current price terms. More detailed current price data classified by state and industry are available from the downloads tab on the ABS website

Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2008-09 (cat. no. 4530.0)
Contains summary data on feelings of personal safety, and whether a victim of assault, threatened assault, personal robbery, household break-in, attempted break-in, motor vehicle theft, theft from a motor vehicle, other theft, malicious property damage, or sexual assault in the 12 months prior to the interview. Provides information on the most recent incident, including whether it was reported to the police. Data are classified by demographic characteristics.

Perspectives on Migrants, 2010 (cat. no. 3416.0)
Issues and debates relating to migrants, ethnicity and migration programs are common place within the Australian political and media landscape. The National Migrant Statistics Unit (NMSU), through the 'Perspectives on Migrants' series attempts to provide informed commentary to assist those interested in these major issues.

Schools Australia, Preliminary, 2009 (cat. no. 4220.0)
Preliminary summary statistics of primary and secondary schools, students and staff, classified by state or territory, type and category of school.

Industrial Disputes, Australia, Dec 2009 (cat. no. 6321.0.55.001)
Number of disputes, employees involved, working days lost and working days lost per 1,000 employees in industrial disputes involving stoppages of work of 10 working days or more, classified by state, industry, cause of dispute, working days lost per employee involved and reason work resumed.

Australian Social Trends, Mar 2010 (cat. no. 4102.0)
Released quarterly, Australian Social Trends presents statistical analysis and commentary on a wide range of current social issues.

Internet Activity, Australia, Dec, 2009 (cat. no. 8153.0)
Contains details of internet activity supplied by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Australia. It includes information on internet subscribers and their type of connection, the type of user (business/household), the volume of data downloaded, the speed of the internet connection and the location of the subscriber (by state or territory).

You can view the full range of previously released publications from the ABS under Previous Releases.

9. Contact Details
        How to contact ABS Education Services

        Free Call: 1800 623 273
        email: education@abs.gov.au

        Mail: GPO Box 2796
        Melbourne, 3001


        Education News is a totally free resource that aims to assist teachers use ABS data in their classroom. When you subscribe you will be notified of each new edition as it is published.