A LOCAL teacher is calling for a complete change in attitude towards the subject of Mathematics.
“It’s amazing how many parents will say ‘I was no good at Maths at school’. It’s like it’s something to be proud of,” said Marie Hatfield, head of Maths at Studley High School.
“However there are plenty of resources out there now – it’s not chalk and talk at the front of the class, the subject is much more focused on real life problems and even areas like trigonometry are linked in to engineering and architecture.”
And she speaks from practical experience having served a five year engineering apprenticeship and worked in industry before deciding to take up teaching to pass on her knowledge.
“I found myself in a career I loved, and I think that’s why I enjoy teaching Maths so much because areas like engineering offer so much to young people,” she said.
Marie’s also been at the heart of a £37,800 grant the school has received from Warwickshire County Council’s Skills for Employment programme aimed at forging links with industry especially local companies like Redditch-based GKN and Studley’s Ricor and Allelys.
“We’ve already started using that money and among the projects we’re working on is building a couple of go-karts and we’ll be taking the best one to race in the Formula Student meeting in July.
“We’ll also be having Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Talks and doing a planetarium, tying in with the physics agenda, which we’ll be sharing with local primary schools.”
She’s also helped guide the school through the new 9-1 Mathematics GCSE.
“It’s been really tough, there were no past papers to work with and we were relying on sample questions.
“The emphasis is much more on problem solving and it has been challenging for the children and the teachers who have had to make sure they pitch the lesson at the right level.
“However we were well above the national average in the exams and that gives us a good base to move forward.”