Story: Nicol’s Story

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When I was at primary school, I was a high achiever and I always scored well on tests. However, when maths got more complex at secondary school, I got stuck. I then thought that I couldn’t do it. I now see this in the children I teach and I can completely identify.

Children think they can’t do maths, and because that attitude is often shared by their parents, it’s incredibly difficult to overcome.

For parents, the teaching of maths has evolved since they were at school. When I speak to them, many of them tell me that they don’t feel like there’s a lot of guidance to help them support their children with maths at home.

That’s why I came up with the idea to create maths masterclasses for parents, where we could invite them into school and remove the barrier between us.

I think one of the most important parts of planning the project was understanding our parents’ anxieties and finding out how to overcome them. Parents don’t know about what happens in a maths class, so the sessions describe the way that things are taught. I provide lots of practical examples and time for parents to plan activities they could try with their children at home. Many parents also say they don’t have resources to use, so I give them their own ‘kit’ to take away.

We delivered our maths masterclasses to 25 parents last year and received some incredible feedback. We encouraged parents to complete a survey about their subject knowledge and their ability to effectively support their children at home and 100% of our parents displayed improvements in both areas.

Many of our students from more disadvantaged backgrounds have also developed a more positive attitude towards maths. 80% of children have attributed their improvements in confidence in mathematics to the fact that they were now doing maths with their parents at home.

I strongly believe that as teachers it is our duty to ensure that we allow every child at our school the chance to reach their full potential in life.”