Maths Week England
There is a new Maths Week England which launches 11th-16th November 2019. For several years there have been hugely popular Maths Weeks in other nations, such as Maths Week Scotland which runs in October. The idea is that Maths Week England will start small and quickly grow into a national fixture which is celebrated throughout England. Maths Week England 2019 is already supported by many well-known maths organisations such as NRICH and MEI which is a great start for this new and exciting venture.
Aims of Maths Week England
So, what is Maths Week England and what is it aiming to do? Here are the aims taken from the Maths Week England website:
Maths Week England aims to:
1. Raise the profile of mathematics throughout England
2. Change the conversation about maths in the population at large to be more positive
3. Allow children and adults from all social and economic backgrounds to access and enjoy interesting mathematical experiences
4. Support teachers to plan special low-cost high-impact maths activities at their own schools during Maths Week
5. Encourage Higher-Education centres to invite schoolchildren to visit for maths events, in order to raise aspirations and encourage higher take-up of the study of maths at A-level and university
6. Make maths accessible and enjoyable for people who thought it was an elitist subject for ‘clever’ people: to ‘love and enjoy’ is a worthy goal!
It is important to notice that there is no set recipe laid out for achieving these aims. It is down to the creativity, enthusiasm and passion of individual teachers to make Maths Week England come alive.
How can a Mathematics Teacher Training Scholar get involved in Maths Week England?
Maths Week 2019 is already upon us or has already happened, depending when you read this blog. If it isn’t too late, then it will be worth highlighting to your school the different competitions which are running as part of Maths Week England 2019. These are all hosted by different organisations including AMSP, Sumdog, MEI, MangaHigh and Times Tables Rockstars. Competitions can be a great way to get your pupils excited about maths and also a way of doing some different maths which is outside the normal curriculum. You can also put up a poster in your school celebrating Maths Week England 2019.
So, what about Maths Week 2020?
At this point you will be starting your first job in teaching as an NQT. Why not tell your Head of Department about Maths Week England, and hopefully they might decide to embrace it. Here are a few suggestions of what you could do:
• The school might have an existing Maths Week which they want to relocate to coincide with Maths Week England.
• Take part in competitions - it may work best if your department chooses one competition, promotes it and gives it lesson time during the week.
• Run an external trip or get in a guest speaker
• Work across the whole school to run cross curricular maths activities
• Introduce your pupils to maths which is outside the curriculum – for example teaching a lesson on binary numbers, fractals or code breaking
• Run a maths focused assembly
• Teach lessons on maths careers or applications of maths
As a passionate teacher of mathematics, Maths Week England is an exciting chance to get creative, so make sure you share what you have done via the Maths Week England website. In this way Maths Week England will quickly grow and become a great way of enthusing people about the joys of mathematics.