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What is it like to attend the New to A level mathematics summer school?

Published: Jun 13, 2022 3 min read

STEM learning

The New to teaching A level summer school is run by the Advanced Maths Support programme, in collaboration with STEM Learning which takes place at the National STEM Learning Centre in York from 22 to 25 August 2022.

Ahead of the 2022 summer school, we asked Alex Cameron, a previous participant, about his experience of attending a recent A level mathematics summer school.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I trained to teach twelve years ago and taught a few A level classes during my second placement. I then only worked with pupils aged 11 to 16 until I took up a post in another school where I have been teaching year 12. 

What was your experience of studying A level maths?

My secondary school and A-level experience were similar in that we had a textbook that we followed. The teacher would explain the theory at the beginning of each lesson, and then we would practice.

What effect has attending the ‘New to A level mathematics summer school’ had on your teaching?

The most immediate effect is increasing confidence in my teaching of A level maths. I was conscious last year that there was a noticeable difference in my approach in key stage 3 to that in key stage 5. This course reassured me that teaching A level can be just as creative, just as fun and just as engaging.

The residential aspect of the course gave me the time to reflect in a relaxed environment away from the stresses and workload of the daily teaching grind. 

Describe one aspect of the course you have implemented in your teaching.

The main change is introducing new content through an activity that generates discussion between students. Last year the main activity in lessons was the students completing textbook exercises. This is rare in my lessons now, and the textbook is used by the students to complete homework.

Do you have any advice for other A level maths teachers?

Find a good source of rich tasks. Think outside the box, which is easy to say, but try and think of creative ways to approach each topic whilst exploring the 'why' behind the theory. Show your students the beauty of maths for maths' sake, rather than it being a set of formulae and algorithmic processes.

Any other comments?

Thanks again. I loved the course and the effect it is having on my teaching.


Join us this summer for our 2022 summer school 

For more information and to book, head to New to teaching A level Mathematics summer school | AMSP.