Mathletics - Inspiring Young People in Maths
Mathletics is a series of Mathematics Enrichment sessions for local primary school students. Year 5 pupils are invited to come to South Hampstead High School to a series of Saturday workshops in the spring term. Our sixth form students, who have been trained as mentors, run a wide range of Maths based activities; including the history of Mathematics, tricks and puzzles, coding and cryptography and much more.
We identified a need to inspire and excite younger students about Maths and show them the application of Maths in the real world. There is also a need for the older students to have a chance to mentor, interact with younger years and demonstrate empathy.
The immediate beneficiaries are both the younger students and the sixth form students. It helps bring the local community of schools together and break down barriers between students as well as the teachers involved.
Hosting the sessions at the senior school creates a buzz about the younger students moving school and reduces anxiety as they are familiar with the setting and with working with older students.
Mathlectics has been running since 2013 and is an established biennial event. We have now extended this programme into Saturday Sparks - which includes English provision also.
The resources required are simple. We host the session in our Maths classrooms, with Maths teacher supervising and training the sixth form students. The sixth formers run the sessions on the weekends, freely donating their time. Transport to and from the venue for the partner schools is either a walk or short journey by public transport. Currently there is no financial contribution required by the partner schools and we do not anticipate there being any in the future.
We aim to increase pupils' enjoyment of Mathematics and, hopefully, inspire them to see it in a new light. Their verbal feedback, as well as their parents' has been highly positive. Many of the children come back to SHHS for other outreach projects, and often cite Mathletics as the highlight of their school year!
Our students are 6th Form students, aged 16-18. Our partner school students are Year 5, and mixed gender. SHHS staff mentor the older students and are present to supervise only. The students run the day.
Mathletics is a biennial event, happening in the spring term. We foresee this project continuing into the foreseeable future.
SHHS meets all costs of this programme. These include the cost of professional staff and the use of the school buildings and refreshments.