St Albans School Gifted and Talented Maths sessions for Year 6 pupils in local Primary Schools
One of the St Albans School Maths teachers runs a series of early morning maths sessions for a group of Gifted and Talented Year 6 pupils selected from a consortium of local Primary Schools. The schools involved in the project are Prae Wood, Maple, Aboyne Lodge, Abbey and St Michael’s, with up to 3 children attending from each school. The classes are run at St Michael’s School, where the children are introduced to new mathematical ideas and have lessons on puzzle-solving methods; they encounter topics such as number theory, Geometry, Algebra, encryption and solve puzzles from UKMT Junior Challenge papers. At the end of the session the St Albans teacher transports the children back to their various schools via minibus.
The aims of the project are:
- To stimulate interest in Mathematics, including topics not usually encountered in the National Curriculum.
- To utilise local mathematical expertise to introduce more advanced abstract and practical applications of mathematics in an accessible and enjoyable fashion.
- To promote mathematical success with the children, which in turn leads to enjoyment and interest in the subject at a young age, encouraging them to become the mathematicians, scientists, engineers, and actuaries etc of the future.
The current course has run for over 10 years. The teacher expanded a local programme offered by a former colleague. The programme has been adopted by other teachers and used in further State schools; formerly in Luton and currently in Grantham.
The project requires a specialist mathematician to run the course and the venue, St Michael’s School assembly hall with whiteboard. St Albans School provides copies of the course booklet which the children work through and the use of a minibus for the teacher to return the children to their respective schools.
At the end of the program each child receives a maths based book in recognition of attendance and completion of the course.
Feedback is sought each year from the children and their parents, who provide positive responses to the programme provided. Year 6 children are stimulated to enjoy the challenges of Mathematics, with the view to promoting interest and success in the future.
Approximately 20 children attend each of the 1 hour sessions, twelve of which have been planned for this academic year.
Some Lower Sixth (Year 12) pupils have assisted in past years.
Twelve one hour weekly sessions, run between November and March.