Students involved in education and mathematics at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) welcomed local school children onto campus to help them explore the fun and entertaining possibilities of maths as part of the first Maths Week England.
Maths Week England is designed to raise the profile of maths and promote different ways to engage with the subject in a positive way. At BGU students from a range of courses including BA Primary Education with QTS, Education Studies and Mathematics and Education Studies and Mathematics with a Foundation Year ran activities based around reasoning, problem solving and exploration designed to encourage collaboration between pupils and their teachers.
Dr Ashley Compton, Senior Lecturer in Primary at BGU, was one of the event’s organisers and discussed what it, and the wider national initiative, could offer to learners and educators:
“Maths Week England is designed to challenge the stereotypes around the subject, take away the anxiety that both children and educators feel towards maths and turn engaging with it into a positive experience.
It is an especially key experience for our students as they can now take these lessons into their future classrooms.”
And Dr Elizabeth Kimber, Programme Leader for Mathematics at BGU, who organised the event alongside Ashley, explained how the being involved in the activities could also offer academic and social benefits to the BGU students:
“By bringing together learners from a range of courses these events allow our students to find a community of fellow mathematicians on campus.”
For Sophie Evans, Education Studies and Mathematics student at BGU, who is seeking to move into teaching after her studies the highlight of the event was the opportunity to share the positive side of maths:
“Today has been amazing practice for my future. Seeing how different pupils interact with maths and whether they enjoy it or struggle with it. Engaging with mathematics is so often seen as a negative experience but there are real opportunities for fun within it and these pupils will now be able to take those activities and memories back with them.”
Eloise Biggin, Education Studies and Maths with a Foundation Year student, echoed Sophie’s feedback:
“It’s great that I’m being given the opportunity to experience teaching maths so early into the course. I’m keen to go into teaching when I graduate so being immersed in these activities already is fantastic.”