There is currently serious concern regarding the level of the nation’s maths skills, particularly when compared with those of many of the world’s other industrialised nations. According to Steve Munby, Chief Executive of the CfBT Education Trust, 250,000 students progress to their A-Levels every year and, crucially, choose not to study maths. One suggested reason is that many are failing to understand the benefits of the subject.
Maths, rather unfairly, is often painted as a 'boring' subject that has little to do with real life. Many a maths teacher has had to deal with the endless grumblings about how algebra and Pythagoras’ theorem are completely irrelevant to their pupils’ lives. And yet, maths is one of the most relevant to our everyday lives and is an important life skill that much of the population is lacking.
As well as being ignorant of the practical applications that maths has in everyone’s day-to-day life, students are increasingly arriving at university unaware that their chosen subject will involve an element of maths. According to the Higher Education Academy, this can often result in students starting their university studies with a lack of confidence that can immediately put them on the back foot.
In its ‘Count Us In’ study, the British Academy warned that the UK’s lack of maths skills leaves us ‘at risk of falling behind in the global race to tap the potential of ‘big data’’. The growth of sectors such as technology, the creative industries and property also means that now, perhaps more than ever, good maths skills can be hugely beneficial for a successful career, helping individuals to stand out in an ever-increasingly competitive international jobmarket.
This is why the new ‘Core Maths’ qualification is an exciting prospect. It is aimed towards students who are studying their A-Levels but have not chosen to study maths to this level. It is designed to teach maths in a practical way, to demonstrate to students the practical application of the subject. Rather than considering abstract ideas, students can expect to have to answer questions on tax liabilities, student loan repayments and even home improvement measures.
Here at Halsbury, we really believe that one way to motivate and engage pupils is to show them the practical application of the subject that they are studying and school trips are ideal for this. Take, for example, one of our most popular school maths trips, to Frankfurt in Germany. Here, at the financial heart of Europe, students can learn about the important role that maths plays at the famous stock exchange, or at the headquarters of Deutsche Bank. They can also visit an interactive maths musuem, the famous Mathematikum, where they will explore the fun side of maths!
We offer a wide range of tailor-made school maths trips suitable for all groups, including those studying the new ‘Core Maths’ course. For further information on any of our school trips, please do not hesitate to contact us.