For Teachers

If you are a teacher and are thinking of bringing a group to Maths Inspiration, but feel you need more information, then read on.

Who is Maths Inspiration aimed at?

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.

Will the content link to the curriculum?

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.

How can we sell the idea of this trip to the Leadership team?

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).

How can we sell the idea to (reluctant) students?

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)

FREE Tickets for students

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.

SOME 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

 

Join the Maths Inspiration
Teachers Advisory Group

Part of the success of Maths Inspiration has been down to the feedback we get from teachers, who help us in the selection of topics to cover, and guide us on which speakers have the most impact. We have a small group of teachers that forms our advisory group, whom we sometimes ask for specific feedback on our shows and other materials.

If you would like to be a member of our advisory group, and are a maths teacher who has been to at least one of our shows in the last two years, please email jill@mathsinspiration.com

As a member of this group, we might email you two or three times per year to ask for feedback on particular ideas, and we might also want to phone you very occasionally to get more detailed feedback. In return for your support we will acknowledge your school on our website, and offer you ten free seats for any Maths Inspiration show that you book.

CURRENT TEACHER PANEL MEMBERS:

Kath Conway - Bristol Free School                                        

Stewart McGill - Ralph Thoresby School, Leeds

Leona So - The Manchester College

Graham Barlow - Tytherington School, Macclesfield

Nicola Cologne-Brooks - Royal High School, Bath

Shaha Ali - Bolingbroke Academy, London

Anna Finn - Woodhouse College, London

Stephen Power - St Swithun's School, Winchester

David Gale -  Churchill Sixth Form Academy, Somerset 

Jonathan Devlin - Bebington High Sports College

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