University Stages 'Maths Masterclasses' for Local Students

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A series of classes designed to encourage, inspire and engage local school students in the art and practice of mathematics concluded last month.

The University of Worcester hosted the Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses on Saturdays throughout October and November, providing interactive sessions to introduce Year 9 school students to aspects of the subject not usually covered in the school curriculum.

The attendees were nominated for the classes by their schools, and benefited from presentations from professors, University lecturers and PGCE students.

Jane Moreton, University of Worcester PGCE Mathematics tutor, organised the classes – all of which were held at the University – along with Christine Watson, Education Consultant at Infinity Mathematics, and says that feedback from the students has been excellent.

“We asked this year’s participants to find six words to sum up their experience of the Masterclasses,” she explains. “They came back to us with words such as challenging, engaging, fascinating and enjoyable, and we are delighted that the programme had such a positive impact.

“The sessions covered aspects of mathematics normally tackled at A-level – such as matrix multiplication and summing to infinity – and maths designed to enhance problem solving skills,” she continues. “Every one of the sessions was thoroughly enjoyed by the students and teachers attending each week.”

“We are hopeful that the series will run again in the autumn of 2014 and we look forward to welcoming another group of Year 9 students from local schools.”

Ten local schools participated in this series of classes, including Hanley Castle High School. Darran Findlater, Maths teacher at the school, said his students benefited hugely from the sessions.

“The feedback from our students has been fantastic,” he says. “They have been very excited about it and have always found me on Monday mornings to tell me about the sessions.

“We’d like to thank everyone involved in putting the classes together – they have made a real difference.”