AND SOME STATISTICS AND PROBABILITY!

Statistics and Probability, also called Chance (probability) and Data (statistics), are inextricably linked. (See the diagram below!) To determine the chance of an event occurring, we need data – or information!

Students begin investigating chance and data in Kindergarten/Prep/Reception when they record data as pictures in rows, identifying that this display makes it easy to more/less, most/least (SP 1). 

Students begin investigating chance and data in Year 1 as they develop their language of chance, ask questions to collect data which they display as pictures in rows, and interpret picture graphs using the language of chance (SP 2, 3, 4).

Students begin investigating chance and data in Year 2 as they describe the likelihood of events using chance language, use tally marks to collect data which they display in lists, tables and picture graphs. They investigate and interpret each data representation, identifying that tables and lists are good for finding ‘how many …’ data, while graphs are good for finding ‘most/least …’ data (SP 5, 6, 7).

Students begin investigating statistics and probability in Year 3 as they continue collecting data and begin to represent it in simple column graphs, refining their questions to collect data that is easily recorded in categories. They conduct repeated chance experiments, explaining the variation in results (SP 8, 9, 10, 11).

Students begin investigating statistics and probability in Year 4 as they trial methods for collecting data,  constructing tables, columns and picture graphs with one-to-many correspondence. They investigate and interpret each data representation, identifying that tables and lists are good for finding ‘how many …’ data, while graphs are good for finding ‘most/least …’ data. Students begin to order the chance of familiar everyday events, identify events where one cannot happen if the other happens from events where the chance of one occurring will not be affected by the occurrence of the other. (SP 12, 13, 14).

Students begin investigating statistics and probability in Year 5 as they pose questions to collect categorical data, displaying it in column graphs, line graphs, dot plots and tables, justifying their choice of data display. They use the data to make informed decisions. Students use their understanding of fractions to list probabilities in a simple chance experiment using fractions, verifying their sum equals 1.  They identify the likelihood of winning a simple game, given the number of possible outcomes and the likelihood of each outcome. (SP 15, 16). 

Students begin investigating statistics and probability in Year 6 as they use the results from a number of trials of chance experiments to predict likely outcomes of large numbers of trials, compare the frequencies of outcomes each trial, and  the predicted frequencies of outcomes from actual frequencies of outcomes, identifying surprising results. They make predictions about a larger population, identifying that the prediction closely matches the results of larger numbers of trials. Students evaluate the relative benefits to organisers and participants in games of chance, describing probabilities using fractions, decimals and percentages (SP 17, 18). Students interpret and compare a range of data displays, including two-way tables and side-by-side column graphs, describing similarities, differences and the usefulness of each representation, and making decisions based on the data. They interpret secondary data presented in digital media, identifying the intended message and any potentially misleading representations of the data, explaining that it is important to read all information before making a judgement (SP 19).   

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