If you are a teacher and are thinking of bringing a group to Maths Inspiration, but feel you need more information, then read on.
Much of our content is accessible to a wide age range, but when preparing our main autumn and spring programme we have in mind:
• Year 11s who you think have the potential to get Grade 6 or above at GCSE (that's roughly a high B grade in the old system)
• All Year 12s and FE College students who are studying maths to at least Core Maths or AS Level.
Some schools do occasionally bring Year 13s or top set year 10s and they enjoy the shows too, just bear in mind that this show isn't aimed at them. For Year 13s, some of the material may be familiar and not very stretching; for Year 10s it's more a question of maturity and the style of humour we use in our shows. For this reason, we ask schools not to bring Year 9s or younger to our Year 11/12 shows.
We do run special slightly shorter shows for Year 9s and 10s, usually at the end of the summer term. These are more interactive and the content is pitched appropriately for that age group.
An important element of our shows is demonstrating how topics that feature in the curriculum (such as Pythagoras, vectors and conditional probability) are used in important real world applications. Every show will contain ideas that should enrich regular study in the classroom. However the main message of our shows is "There is more to maths than taking exams". Our shows also feature maths ideas that are important but outside the curriculum, and Year 11s in particular will experience some maths concepts that they may not have studied yet.
Here are some good arguments:
• Colleagues recommend it - use the comments from teachers and students who have been to previous shows (see some comments on this page and also in the Reviews section), and the clip about us from BBC Breakfast or from our Youtube channel.
• This will raise the aspirations of your students, many of whom may have little idea of how maths is used in careers outside the classroom.
• It gives students interesting topics to write about in UCAS personal statements, and to discuss in interviews
• This is a good use of Pupil Premium money to inspire disadvantaged students to take mathematical subjects further.
• Other subjects have field trips, maths should too. (Yes, a speaker can come into your school, but exposing students to maths in the setting of an atmospheric, packed theatre has far more impact).
We WANT you to bring your reluctant students, because they are the ones whose decisions we want to influence. Many teenagers find it hard to imagine that a maths trip might be enjoyable or worthwhile. The following might help you to persuade them:
• Show them one of our video clips (there are several on our YouTube channel, pick one you think they'll like)
• Tell them what students have said about shows in the past.
• Reassure them that this event is not aimed at the maths geeks, and that the speakers understand that many teenagers can't see the point of maths.
• Mention that comedy is an important feature of Maths Inspiration.
• You may be able to take advantage of our free ticket offer (see below)
If you have students that you think would benefit from attending a Maths Inspiration show, but for whom you think the price of the ticket is likely to be a significant barrier, you can request free tickets. You are allowed to request up to ten free tickets, but please only request tickets that you will definitely use. We allocate about 10% of our tickets this way, and we cannot guarantee to be able to offer them to your school. We are most likely to offer tickets to schools that have many students from poorer backgrounds and who typically struggle to get students to take part in maths engagement events. We trust teachers' judgment in making appropriate use of this offer.
"Teachers - if you're not sure if Maths Inspiration is worth the hassle and admin, I can promise you it is. Our students had a fantastic time and are asking if they can go again next year"
Mrs Esther Stevens, Holmes Chapel Comprehensive
SOME OTHER TEACHER COMMENTS
"We've had our biggest ever uptake of Maths at AS Level this year thanks to Maths Inspiration"
- Teacher, Bath
"Created lots of stimuli for conversations back at school - we'll definitely be back!"
- Teacher, Cardiff
"Our Year 11 students were enthralled and are now asking me to do some 4th dimension maths "
- Teacher, Manchester
SOME STUDENT COMMENTS
"Awesome show in Birmingham, especially the juggling guy"
- Year 11 student, Coventry
"This maths inspiration thing is actually much better than I expected, some cool stuff"
- Year 12 student, Sheffield [on Twitter]
"Hilarious, I love you guys"
- Year 12 student, Cambridge