This, therefore, is Mathematics: she reminds you of the invisible form of the soul; she gives life to her own discoveries; she awakens the mind and purifies the intellect; she brings light to our intrinsic ideas; she abolishes oblivion and ignorance which are ours by birth.

-Proclus (410-485)

Mr. Guan is a well-known maths teacher in the Sydney area. As a former member of the James Ruse Agricultural High School mathematics faculty1, he coordinated and coached students in maths competition activities in addition to instructing classes. Rather than simply rote-learning solutions to questions, he uses mathematics as a mental exercise to challenge students and build logical problem-solving skills using a variety of mathematical strategies.

Many school teachers consider HSC standards to be ‘too hard’, yet university lecturers consider this level inadequate preparation for students pursuing rigorous studies in sciences, engineering or mathematics. In order to develop students mathematical abilities and prepare them for university level studies, Mr. Guan strives to help his hard-working students to exceed HSC standard.

He practices traditional teaching methods, which are systematic, effective and enjoyable. The success of his former students in his 30 years of teaching is a testament to the quality of his methods. Among their number are dozens who have achieved in the top 10 in 4 Unit HSC Mathematics along with three medallists in the prestigious International Maths Olympiad.

Mr Guan is proud that his students have gone onto achieve success and obtain respectable positions in our society. He believes in a holistic approach that equips young minds with the intellectual tools and strategies that will prepare them to succeed in their scholastic pursuits well beyond high school and university.

The Current Classes:

MathGym 1 (Please contact 0400 808 539 for details)

This class is designed to use Algebra and Geometry to show maths strategies and to motivate year 6 to year 8 new comers to love mathematics. It is fun and challenging. Most of the questions come from maths competitions and Chinese maths fun stuff. It prepares students to step into formal Algebra and Geometry. It focuses on setting up equations for problem solving questions as well as how to write and reason in their maths work, which are weak points of all Australian students.

Base 1 (Thur 6:30-9pm or Sat 9:30-12pm)

This class is the foundation course of high school study, which covers Algebra, Mensuration in 2D and 3D and Geometry reasoning. Symbolic computing skills and its application in Geometry are focused Euclidean Geometry is introduced.

MathGym 2 (Please call 0400 808 539 for details)

This class pri-requires our Base1, or equivalent, as the foundation to undertake. It focuses on developing students’ algebraic transformation skills and Euclidean geometry reasoning ability to a master level. All questions are enjoyably hard and tricky, which are selected from various Chinese high school maths competitions.

All well educated people understand the importance of Euclidean Geometry and the power to reason. This class offers young mathematicians a room for imagination, creativity, and some treasure passed on generation by generation. These characteristics are unwisely ignored, mindlessly devalued, and long forgotten by today’s Western education systems. This class is an opportunity for maths gifted, maths lovers and the one who needs a strong mathematical mind in their further study. This class is a place where, students can contribute and inspirate each other by their different ways of thinking, which, asked by parents and students who can no longer bear the pointlessness of their school maths activities. This is absolutely, positively a wrong place, if you are just coming after a better school mark. The uselessness to the school work, is a property what this class meant to have.

Base 2 (Wed 6:30-9pm or Sat 1:00-3:30pm)

This class aims on Coordinate Geometry, Linear, Quadratic Function and Polynomials for students to understand Functions in general. It also covers Basic Counting techniques like Combination and Permutation.

Base 3 (Sat 4:00 – 6:30pm)

This class covers entire high school Trigonometry and also Exponential, Logarithm, Sequences, Series as well as inequality and Absolute Values Related. It makes all types of function ready before Calculus.

Base 4 (9:30-12pm)

This class covers Maths Induction, Inequality proofs, Max-min problems without calculus, Prove by Contradiction, Proofs in General, Pigeonholes Principle, Binomial Theorem and related Identity proofs, Binomial Probability, Classical Probability.

Extension (Sun 1-3:30pm)

This class covers further Probability, Vector study, Integration technique. Resisted, Simple harmonic and Projectile motion are included as applications of Differential Equations. It also covers Complex Numbers and its application in Polynomials.

Revision (4-6:30pm)

This class mainly is the final revision for students to prepare their HSC examination on all harder topics by harder questions. It also covers some little areas left unattended previously.

About the homework

Unlike a school teacher, who has plenty time with students and is able to offer feedback daily, our academy only meets once a week for 2.5 hrs. In order to exceed the quality and content taught in schools, we embed questions from the next week’s teaching content into the current week’s homework. This allows students to become familiar with their nature and to form questions to ask in next week’s class. This means that we do not expect all students to complete every single question perfectly each week. In fact, the homework questions are designed to contain harder content to challenge even the best students in each class. Challenging students and pushing them beyond their comfort zone is a critical part of learning. Students may encounter more difficulties when they are new in the class, when we are in the middle of a subject area or when we are at the end of a unit where we are focussing on challenging extension questions. Roughly speaking, for the whole term of work, just about 20% are harder ones. Please encourage your child to persevere and they will soon catch up. When students are approaching their homework, it is better to allocate a fixed period each day to attempt current material as well as a fixed period to work on the extension questions from the week or weeks before. For example, a student may spend three hours each week completing that current week’s homework and get through 75% of it. In class that weekend, the student may ask questions about the 25% of homework they did not understand. In the following week, they will spend three hours on the new week’s content, while spending one hour on the 25% from the week before. It may take several weeks for the student to fully understand the concepts from previous week but it is important that they persevere, keep asking questions and working at it. We support students learning at their own pace and we accept late homework as long as it is handed in within the current term before the final lesson. An individual term report is released to students on the final day.

How parents can help students

Please allow students to attempt and complete the homework on their own. Despite your best intentions to assist your child’s learning, too much input either from parents or home tutors will be counterproductive. Students must struggle in order to learn and the homework questions are for students to finish, by themself, sooner or later. If you have time, the best way to help is to circle a student’s unsolved problems each week and keep asking the student to revisit those questions week after week, until the student is able to complete all or most of them. It is natural for students learn at different paces- if it takes additional time for your child to master certain material, be patient and encouraging, knowing that they are learning among students of the very highest calibre. Remember that we believe in teaching and learning mathematics in the traditional way, to standards higher than the bare minimum required to score a good HSC mark. If your child aims to achieve a good HSC score but does not intend to pursue further studies in university sciences, mathematics or engineering, you may be happy to let your child complete about 80% of the homework each term. Our curriculum will allow all diligent students to secure a score of 98 or above in the HSC. However, we strive to motivate and nurture students so that they may achieve their maximum potential. Our society is complex and ever-changing and the challenges to come for the young minds of today are uncertain. Mr. Guan wholeheartedly believes that mathematics is the educational keystone that will form the foundation for success in university studies and beyond.

The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than Man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as poetry.

-Bertrand Russell

  1. This establishment remains impervious to the admittance of individuals hailing from the James Ruse agricultural high school unless they fulfill at least one of the ensuing criteria:
    a) An enrollee of said academy refrains from divulging their educational origins to myself.
    b) The incumbent overseer of the agricultural institution has extended gratitude towards my extramural mentorship of its scholars over the span of two decades subsequent to my departure.
    c) The aforementioned custodian of the academy has ascended to a more illustrious appointment, thereby severing ties with the institution. ↩︎