Individual work and group activities
Extra help from maths mentors
Weekdays, after school
Engaging Rich Activities
MathsMakers combines small group help with larger group teaching and activities. The teaching and learning is kinaesthetic, and ensures various learning styles are addressed and stimulated.
The teaching is inquisitive and dialectic. Students are encouraged to:
• ask questions and participate in discussions
• articulate their difficulties
• persevere through challenges
• imagine and try out
• master multiple problem-solving strategies
• help each other in peer-to-peer learning
• reflect and self-evaluate on what they learn
Attending to Individual Needs
MathsMakers endeavours to create an environment of respect and trust where all students can feel safe and at ease to express themselves in the knowledge that they will be heard.
Our approach is personalised, and paced according to individual needs. Each student is stimulated and challenged to reach their full potential.
We support our students through an assessment-for-learning approach, helping them to see where they are in their learning and identify next steps.
Experienced and Qualified Instructors
A MathsMakers programme typically consists of 10 to 12 weekly after-school sessions. Each session is designed for a group of 10 students. Students work individually or in pairs. They are supported by a mentor and guided by a MathsMakers instructor.
Clear Structure and Varied Tasks
All MathsMakers sessions follow a clear structure. Each session consists of a number of distinct parts. Time is dedicated to working on core arithmetic skills and to developing mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills.
Students work at their own pace on topics identified in their individual learning plans. Students are also encouraged to request topics that they would like help on from mentors and instructors.
We also include Brain Gym activities, such as maths puzzles or Maths Magic. These help students stretch their thinking and see a fun side to maths.
All students are supported to reflect on their own progress. At the end of each session, students assess learning against targets in their individual learning plans, and decide next steps.
Extra Help from Mentors
A core part of our in-person programmes is the additional help that students receive from Sixth-Form maths mentors. Working 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 with the mentors, the younger students receive valuable support that enables them to make the best possible progress during the sessions. Mentors encourage students to stay on task. Students feel free to ask questions or have their mentor talk through concepts and methods another time.
Observing MathsMakers in action
When feasible, we create opportunities for our funders and supporters to see our programmes in action. We are grateful to Joy Collins, CEO Securing Success, who shares her many years’ experience in education. Joy recently observed one of our in-person Year 7 sessions.
“All the MathsMakers students had undertaken an initial assessment and their baseline test score was recorded in an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) which highlighted topics where the student needed further practice and support.
The lesson plan for today’s session indicated a well planned range of timed activities: Welcome and Puzzle; Fluency work; Reasoning and Problem-Solving Activity; Plenary and wrap-up.
Mentors worked with each of the Year 7 students and the arrangement seems highly effective. Mentors I spoke to said they enjoyed helping younger students and also appreciated that their volunteering with MathsMakers boosted their CVs. Students said ‘mentors help by explaining things in different ways’.
In commenting generally on the MathsMakers sessions, one student explained that she had
missed a lot of school last year so the sessions helped her to catch up with her maths.
At the end of session, the instructor and mentor ensured that each student's ILP was updated with today’s learning and progress. After the session, there was time for mentor debrief and planning.”