Scholars get students INVOLVED with maths

Published: 4 May 2018 | Scholar

Jade Addison and Jade Ronaghan-Bird have both been on the East Lancashire Scholars Programme since the start of Year 12. In their first year on the programme, the two friends joint-led a successful Villiers Park INVOLVE project, mentoring a group of Year 11 students through their Maths GCSEs along with two other Scholars and three other students from their school.

“I didn’t know what I expected to gain from the programme, but I was excited to participate in the different activities,” says Jade R-B, thinking back to when she first joined.

When brainstorming ideas for their INVOLVE project, the two Jades soon realised they were both taking Maths at A-level, and felt this would be a great opportunity to support local students studying the subject at GCSE.

“I enjoy puzzles and teaching myself new things. I particularly enjoy Sudoku puzzles and the mathematics behind them. I have taught myself how to solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute and am also learning how to code using Code Academy,” says Jade A, highlighting some of her interests around maths.

The two Scholars decided to organise a Maths Club to help Year 11 students through their GCSEs, which would take place over two months during the lead up to the 2017 exam season. In preparation for the project, they made arrangements to advertise their club to Year 11 students at a local school, and also set about creating a number of weekly work sheets and mark schemes to use, making sure these were all approved by a teacher at the school.

“I am incredibly proud of my Scholars and how far they have come since starting the programme. They are both naturally shy but the programme, especially INVOLVE, has built up their confidence. Peer mentoring younger students has definitely improved both of their communication skills, as they have had to learn how to teach topics in different ways, and the Year 11s were definitely more confident going into their GCSE exams as a result of it.” – Katriona, Outreach Learning Mentor.

The Maths Club was a great success, and a wonderful way for the two Year 12 Scholars and their team of fellow student mentors to encourage local students to succeed. Now in Year 13, Jade A and Jade R-B are both looking forward to pursuing their own interests in maths at university, each the first from their immediate family to study for a degree.

“I plan to go to university after my studies to study a maths degree,” says Jade R-B, whilst Jade A says she would like to use her maths skills in physics instead, “I plan to do a masters in physics at a Russell Group university. I then plan to earn a PhD and possibly go into research.”

Alongside supporting their local learning community, both Jade A and Jade R-B also highlight how much they have grown in confidence over the past year and a half as Villiers Park Scholars.

“I feel like I have become more confident in both social situations and presenting in front of people. Last summer I attended several summer schools alone, which I would never have been able to in the past,” says Jade A.

“Through the programme I feel as if I have grown as a person and become more confident in expressing myself. I have learnt how to overcome many challenges that I might face in the future and have met lots of new people,” says Jade R-B.

We are delighted that being a part of the Scholars Programme has helped Jade A and Jade R-B reach their full potential, and can’t wait to see them thrive at university and beyond. We would also like to thank Lancaster University for its support of the East Lancashire Scholars Programme, which is helping many more students to succeed as well.