1330.0 - Education News, Oct 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/10/2013   
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Education News - October, 2013

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. Australian Health Survey (2011-13)
  3. An Idea for the Classroom: MAT 14 Is Australia the Greatest Olympic Sporting Nation?
  4. Resources for Teachers: Maths and Stats by Email
  5. Perspectives on Sport, June 2013
  6. Competitions and Activities
  7. Conferences
  8. Interesting Publications
  9. Contact Details

A word from the editor

Welcome to the Term 4 edition of Ed News!

The theme for this edition is Healthy Living.

In this edition, we explore our theme with articles profiling the Australian Health Survey and the Perspectives on Sport, June 2013 publication. Both of these rich resources offer an exciting opportunity to introduce students to health and sport data. To find out how you can use these resources in the classroom, check out the articles below.

This theme is also a great opportunity to begin investigating the 2013 CensusAtSchool data released in late September. To get you started, I have gathered some interesting statistics on the breakfast and take-away food preferences of students. You will find these fascinating facts in the 'CensusAtSchool News' section of this newsletter.

This month I am pleased to share a new lesson with you. In 'An Idea for the Classroom,' we are profiling MAT 14 Is Australia the Greatest Olympic Sporting Nation? In this lesson students are asked to compare Australia's gold medal tally at the 2012 Olympics with the performance of other countries.

Last month we received exciting news relating to the outcomes of the International phase of the ISLP Poster Competition. Please read on to 'Competitions and Activities' to get all the details. And finally, Education Services is entering our busiest time of year - conference season. More information about where we will be and when, can be found in the 'Conferences' section.

For additional ABS data, statistics and resources, check out our 'Interesting Publications' section. These publications offer a gateway into a range of recently published ABS products that I have found particularly interesting this month.

If you have any suggestions for articles or activities that you would like covered in the next edition of Ed News, please don't hesitate to contact Education Services on 1800 623 273.

I hope you enjoy our October edition of Ed News. Education News will return in February 2014 with a cool new look, so make sure you return then to check it out.

Thank you for your support in 2013. I hope you enjoy a well deserved break over summer. See you in 2014.

Emma Salik

Staff Bio: Mary-Anne AramThis is Mary-Anne Aram. Mary-Anne worked as a teacher in Science, Maths and Aboriginal Education at Broome Senior High School in Western Australia and Parkdale Secondary College in Melbourne, before beginning work for the ABS as a Specialist Teacher Consultant in January 2010. She is now the Manager of Education Services and works primarily on CensusAtSchool. Her professional interests lie in creating interesting lessons and activities, especially those that incorporate cross curricular activities into Maths.

1. CensusAtSchool News CensusAtSchool Logo

What are Australian students' attitudes towards food? In keeping with our healthy living theme, here are some interesting facts about students' breakfast and take-away food preferences from the 2013 questionnaire:
    • The number of students who did not eat breakfast on the day they completed the questionnaire has increased to 15 percent (compared to 14 percent in 2012), which is the highest percentage in comparison to previous collections. For students who did eat breakfast on the day they completed the questionnaire, the popular foods remained breakfast cereal (37 percent) and bread products (27 percent).
    • The consumption of breakfast cereal has actually reduced since 2012 (down from 39 percent), with a similar decrease in the consumption of milk or milk products (12.7 percent, down from 13.2 percent in 2012).
    • Rice dishes (e.g. Sushi) prove to be a popular take away food, with an increase from 5.6 percent in 2012 to 6.5 percent in 2013.
    • Students nominated pizza and pasta (21.1 percent) as their favourite take-away food. Pizza and pasta has rated as the most popular take-away food since 2010.

NEW DATA! The National Summary and Time Series data tables for 2013 have now been released on our CensusAtSchool website. These data tables indicate the trends, habits, attitudes and lifestyles of Australian students who completed the questionnaire. The tables are an excellent tool for teachers and students wanting to explore CensusAtSchool data.

COMING SOON! Our 2013 Interesting Statistics and Infographic posters will be released on our CensusAtSchool website on 4 November.

These resources are a simple way for teachers and students to interact with CensusAtSchool data. Interesting Statistics are quick stats that teachers and students can easily use in the classroom as the basis of a deeper data investigation. The Infographic posters are an engaging means by which teachers can print and display data representation in the classroom.

SAVE THE DATE! The 2014 CensusAtSchool Questionnaire opens on Monday 17 February.

2. Australian Health Survey (2011-13)

Did you know that in 2011-12, the most common long-term health condition for people aged 2 years and over was hypertensive disease? Or that 1 in 10 Australians have asthma? This rich data and more can be found in the first results of the Australian Health Survey 2011-13.

The Australian Health Survey (AHS) uncovers data that allows us to develop a better understanding of the health of people living in Australia. Through the AHS, you can discover data across a number of areas, including physical activity, biomedical results for chronic disease and health service usage. The usefulness of this data cannot be understated as it assists government, health researchers and the community to identify emerging trends and plan for the future.

With community concerns about the rise in child obesity currently a hot topic of discussion, the AHS provides a great opportunity for you to discuss health and healthy living habits with your students, while also exploring data, and perhaps even the steps in running a survey.

How do I find the portal? You can start your investigation by using the Google search bar on the ABS website to search for the publication - Australian Health Survey (Image 1). A new web page will load with search results. Click on the 'Australian Health Survey' link in the yellow box - this will take you to the main contents page (Image 2). From here you will be able to explore the data and find links to other publications related to the topic (Image 3).

Image 1 - Enter 'Australian Health Survey' in the ABS search box. Click on the search button.
Image 1 - Enter 'Australian Health Survey' in the ABS search box. Click on the search button.

Image 2 - The survey will appear as the top search result. Click on the link to go to the survey.
Image 2 - the survey will appear as the top search result. Click on the links to go to the survey.

Image 3 - Explore the results from the Australian Health Survey 2011-13 from the contents page.
Image 3 - Explore the results from the Australian Health Survey 2011-13 from the contents page.

Teacher Consultant: Ideas for the Classroom
    • Imagine you were in charge of conducting a health survey across Australia. Pose one question that you think should be included in the survey. Why have you included it? Why is this topic important to you? What do you think would be discovered and how could it improve the health of all Australians?
    • Go to Pedometer Steps (AHS / Physical Activity / Pedometer Steps) and scroll down to the graph comparing males and females. This graph clearly shows a marked difference between males and females aged 5-8 years. The column graph shows that males record many more steps per day than females. In groups, design a health program for 5-8 year olds with a goal to decrease the gap in number of steps taken by boys and girls.
    • Use the following ‘Conversation starters’ by using a continuum of ‘Agree, Disagree, Somewhere in the Middle’. Read the following statements aloud, and ask students to place themselves somewhere on the continuum.
      - The Australian Health Survey: Physical Activity is an important document.
      - I learnt something from this document.
      - I was surprised that there are some toddlers who spend between 5-6 hours a day on screen based activity.
      - The AHS is a good example of how real world data provides interesting statistics for students to use in class.

3. An Idea for the Classroom: MAT 14 Is Australia the Greatest Olympic Sporting Nation?

Is Australia the most successful nation at winning gold medals? That's the question we want your students to answer in MAT 14 Is Australia the Greatest Olympic Sporting Nation?

In this activity, students use medal tallies from the 2012 Olympics and country populations to determine whether Australia was the greatest Olympic sporting nation. Students will interpret and discuss their results and form conclusions. To complete this task, students will use skills such as graphing and creating and using mathematical formulae.

This activity includes an extension task for students to create a scatter plot showing population vs. number of people per medal. In addition to the student worksheet, teacher solutions and an assessment rubric are available to download.

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.

4. Resources for Teachers: Maths and Stats by Email

Maths and Stats by Email logo

What is Maths and Stats by Email? Maths and Stats by Email is a free fortnightly email newsletter featuring maths news and activities, published by the CSIRO. Each newsletter contains the latest news from the world of maths, math activities, links to interesting maths websites, puzzles, and occasionally, competitions.

How is the ABS involved? The Australian Bureau of Statistics is a proud partner of Maths and Stats by Email. Our Teacher Consultant, Vivienne McQuade, has contributed a number of articles this year. Why not celebrate the International Year of Statistics by conducting a statistical scavenger hunt? More details on this activity can be found in the 24 September issue of Maths and Stats by email.

5. Perspectives on Sport, June 2013

Did you know that participation in organised sport and/or dancing is highest for children aged 9-11 years (73 percent)? Would it surprise you to learn that that in 2012, boys (16 percent) were more likely than girls (14 percent) to spend 20 hours or more on screen based activities a week? You can discover these interesting stats and more in the Perspectives on Sport, June 2013 (ABS cat. no. 4156.0.55.001) publication.

Considering that the majority of Australian students play sport, this topic is sure to engage your students. It is also a topic that you can use to introduce CensusAtSchool data to the classroom, since the questionnaire collects data on favourite sports. Some interesting statistics from the 2013 Questionnaire include:
    • Soccer has confirmed its place as the favourite sport amongst Australian boys for the last three years, with 16.8 percent preferring it in 2013.
    • AFL remains the second favourite sport amongst boys (15.1 percent), despite its decline in popularity since 2010.
    • Netball remains the preferred sport amongst Australian girls in 2013 (21 percent); this sport has been girls' favourite since 2010. Dancing was the second favourite with girls (14.7 percent).
    • The least popular sports for boys and girls in 2013 was golf (1.5 percent).
    • The number of students selecting ‘None’ as their favourite sport rose in 2013 (males 4.5 percent, females 4.2 percent). This represents an increase of 0.5 and 0.6 percent respectively since 2012.

How do I find this publication? Your journey begins with the Google search bar on the ABS website. Type in the catalogue number (4156.0.55.001) of the publication and click on the 'search' button (Image 1). A new web page will load with search results. Click on the top result as this is the latest issue of the publication - 'Perspectives on Sport, June 2013' (Image 2). From the contents page you will be able to explore the data (Image 3).

Image 1 - Type the catalogue number (4156.0.55.001) in the ABS search bar. Click the search button.
Image 1 - Type the catalogue number (4156.0.55.001) in the ABS search bar. Click the search button.

Image 2 - The latest issue of the publication will appear as the top search result. Click on the link to go to the publication.
Image 2 - The latest issue of the publication will appear as the top search result. Click on the link to go to the publication.

Image 3 - This is the contents page of the publication. From this page you can explore the rich data collected.
Image 3 - This is the contents page of the publication. From this page you can explore the rich data collected.

Teacher Consultant: Ideas for the Classroom
    • Students need to develop understandings of factors which facilitate or inhibit participation and performance of movement and physical activity. Perspectives on Sport is a comprehensive document which supports developing this understanding through using statistics. The survey lists motivators for people aged 15 years and over: Health /Fitness, Well being/ Enjoyment/ Social/Family, Weight loss, Competition/Challenge, Transport, Walk the dog, other. Discuss what these factors might cover. What is another motivator that you would include when surveying people under 15 years of age?
    • The survey lists reasons for non-participation and occasional participation in sport and physical recreation. The factors are: age/too old, injury/illness, not interested, insufficient time due to work/study, insufficient time due to family. Think of some people you know, or characters on television programs you like, who do not participate in sport and physical recreation. Suggest which factor/s from the list you think they would say stops them from participating in sport. What is another reason for non-participation that you would include for surveying people under 15 years of age?

6. Competitions and Activities

ISLP Poster Competition logo

International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP) Poster Competition Update:

In the last edition of Ed News, I announced the winners of the national component of the ISLP Poster Competition. For those that don't recall, Isha Singh (Karratha SHS), Chani Guldenhuys (John Curtin College of the Arts) and Tim Cusens (Jurien DHS) won the national competition with their poster titled 'Project Sunflower: How climate, water and fertilizer affects sunflower growth in Western Australia.'

The students winning poster was sent to the international competition in Hong Kong, and it is with great pleasure that I now announce that Isha, Chani and Tim won second place!

Congratulations! On behalf of ABS Education Services, I would like to congratulate Isha, Chani and Tim once again on this outstanding achievement. Enjoy your prize!

If you are interested in viewing the poster, or the submissions from other countries, you can do so at the ISLP website.

Stats2013AtSchool World Quiz logo

Celebrate the International Year of Statistics with the Stats2013AtSchool World Quiz. Plymouth University is leading this innovative project in partnership with the Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education. Their aim is to improve statistical literacy around the globe. The quiz is open to all school-aged learners around the world and consists of 12 randomly selected questions based around statistics.

How can I participate? To take part in the quiz all you need is a computer or Internet enabled device.

What happens next? Upon completion of the quiz the student will receive a personalised electronic certificate. Even more exciting, if the student attains a perfect score of 100%, their school and country will be entered onto the league table on the Stats2013AtSchool World Quiz website.

7. Conferences

Upcoming conferences:

The Education Services team is about to embark on our busiest time of year: conferences. Members of the team will be attending the MAWA Secondary Conference, as well as the MAV Annual Conference.

The MAWA conference is on 25-26 November at the Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle. Mary-Anne and Fran will both be presenting sessions.

The MAV conference is being held on 5-6 December at La Trobe University, Bundoora. Mary-Anne, Fran and Vivienne will all be presenting multiple sessions, covering a range of topics, so there is bound to be something of interest.

We will also have a trade stall at both conferences, so if you are attending either of these conferences, make sure you stop by to say hi and collect some CensusAtSchool goodies!

8. Interesting Publications

Profiles of Health, Australia, 2011-13 (cat. no. 4338.0)
The Profiles of Health portal provides an entry point to ABS publications relating to health in Australia. Topics that can be accessed from this portal include: general health, long term health conditions, health risk factors and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous comparisons.

Australian Health Survey: Biomedical Results for Chronic Diseases, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.005)
This publication, released in August of this year, contains the first biomedical results from the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey. There are a large number of data cubes available to download.

Sports and Physical Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 4156.0)
This publication brings together information about sport and physical recreation in Australia from a variety of ABS data sources. Topics covered include participation in sport and physical recreation, time spent on sport and recreation, spectator attendance at sporting events, and employment. The publication can also be downloaded as a PDF file.

Australian Social Trends, April 2013 - Doctors and Nurses (cat. no. 4102.0)
This article uses data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing to examine the characteristics of doctors and nurses working in Australia. Topics include demographic characteristics, working arrangements and geographical distribution. The article also examines the supply of doctors and nurses, and the future of the workforce.

Causes of Death, Australia, 2011 (cat. no. 3303.0)
This publication presents statistics on causes of death in Australia. There is a large library of data cubes to download, with data broken down by state/territory, multiple causes of death, suicide, deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and Perinatal deaths.

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

You can view the full range of previously released publications from the ABS on the Statistics by Release Date webpage.

9. Contact Details

How to contact ABS Education Services

Free Call:1800 623 273
Mail:GPO Box 2796

Melbourne, 3001

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