• Introduction

    This module provides an opportunity for final year students to gain first-hand experience of mathematics education, through a mentoring scheme with mathematics teachers in local schools.  Students are required to spend half a day (approximately 4 hours), each week in Semester B, working in a local school.  There is also a weekly tutorial/workshop meeting taking place on Fridays at 12 during Semester B.  The module is offered within the framework of the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme.

    Students will typically begin by observing the teacher's handling of the class and progress from this classroom assistant stage through small teaching tasks to at least one opportunity to undertake whole class teaching, possibly for a short part of a lesson. As Student Ambassadors, they will represent and promote mathematics as a potential university choice.

    Students will undertake and evaluate a special project on the basis of discussion with the teacher. This may involve a specific in-class teaching problem or an extra-curricular project such as a lunchtime club or special coaching periods for higher ability pupils. The student will keep a journal of their own progress in working in the classroom environment, and they will be asked to submit a reflective written report on the special project and other relevant aspects of the school placement experience.

    During the UAS placement, the undergraduate students will be involved in the following broad areas of learning and teaching:

    • Classroom observation and assistance:
      Initial contact will be made with the teacher and pupils as a classroom assistant. The student will watch how the teacher manages the learning environment, the lesson structure and the level their subject is taught to. Practical support will be offered to the teacher in the classroom or a lab.
    • Teaching assistance:
      The teacher will assign teaching tasks to the student which vary depending on specific needs and the student's own ability as it develops over the placement. This could include offering problem-solving coaching to a small group of higher ability pupils or taking the last ten minutes of the lesson for the whole class.
    • Extra-curricular projects:
      The student may help to run an out-of-timetable activity such as a club, or special coaching periods for higher ability pupils.
    • Special Projects:
      The student must devise a special project on the basis of discussion with the teacher and their own assessment of what will interest the particular pupils they are working with. This aspect of the scheme may include whole class teaching for the student.
    • Assessment and Engagement

      The assessment will be based on four components:

      • 30% log book, especially the summary statement;
      • 30% special project report;
      • 20% oral presentation;
      • 20% teacher feedback form.

      The assessment forms that we use, and the teacher feedback form are given below for your information, so that you can get an idea of what is required in each component.

      Important dates

      Semester A

      •    Introductory session: 1600 Wednesday 4th October
      •    Submission of written application: 1430 Friday 13th October
      •    Interviews:  Mostly afternoon of Wednesdays 18th October
      •    Matt Parker's training session:  In W316 Queens' Building 1400-1600 Wednesday 6th December

      Semester B

      •    Proposal for special project: online by 1430 on 16th February
      •    Oral presentations: 1000-1300, 1500-1700 on Wednesday 21st March in W316 Queens' Building
      •    Logbook summary and special project drafts due date: 30th March, online by 1430
      •    Logbook summary and special project final due date:  Two hard copies to the school office and a pdf submitted  online by 1430 on 23rd April.

      Please note that we cannot accept late submissions without an EC.  If you submit your summary/project at all late then you will get a mark of 0 and we (the module organisers) are not given any flexibility with this.

      Student Engagement

      For this module engagement will be monitored in line with the School's Student Engagement Policy.

    • Application Procedure

      Each participant will serve as an ambassador of Queen Mary University of London and of the School of Mathematical Sciences in the local community. Additionally they will act as a teaching assistant and role model in local secondary classrooms. In light of these responsibilities and also the limited number of available opportunities, ultimate participation in this module is highly selective.

      Selection will be based on your

      • interest and commitment to the module's aims,
      • communication skills and aptitude for working in an educational environment, and
      • academic record to date.

      Your application to participate in MTH6110 involves two components: a written application and an interview.  Furthermore, you will not be regarded as finally accepted on the module until you have undergone the DBS check, attended the training day, negotiated a placement and signed an agreement form with the school concerned.

      Application Steps

      Submitting your application will require that you do the following:

      1. Register for the module at the start of the autumn term. This is essential in order for you to receive correspondence regarding the application process and training which happen shortly after the start of the autumn term.

        Please note that if your application for this module is not accepted you will have to change your registration to drop MTH6110 and add a different module in January. It may be useful to discuss contingency plans with your adviser at the start of the autumn term.

      2. Write a brief one-page statement, describing your interest in the module.

      3. (if you are selected) complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check (formerly known as a CRB check) as part of your application. See below for details.

      Written Application

      Deadline: 1430 Friday 13th October

      • Your one-page statement should be submitted below.

      • The one-page statement can be an MS Word, Adobe PDF or plain text file and should be submitted online by clicking on the Application Statement link.  If you have problems submitting your application in this way (e.g. because you are not yet officially registered for the course), please email  before the deadline using `MTH6110 Application' as the subject of your email.
      • Be sure to include your name and student identification numbers on all documents.


      Interviews will take place 1300-1800 on Wednesday 18th October.  If selected for interview you should prepare a 10 minute mock teaching session, in which you present some school-level maths at the board. You should also select a 15 minute interview slot on one of the days via QMPLUS.

      Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check

      All applicants will be required to complete a DBS check; this is a legal requirement for working in a school. The DBS check will be done by Jess Webster on the day of the interview. General information about DBS checks can be found via the Directgov website.

      1. Pick up the DBS application form from the School of Mathematical Sciences Office (Room 101). Speak with the office staff and mention you are participating in MTH6110 Communicating and Teaching Mathematics and need a DBS form, they should be able to help you.
      2. Read the Guide for Applicants before completing the form. You must fill in all sections of the form marked in yellow. Please leave the back page of the form blank.
      3. Sort out the appropriate identification documents. Details of acceptable documents are given below.
      4. On the day of your interview bring the completed form and your original ID (no copies) to the drop-in session run by Jess Webster for countersigning (dates, times and places to be announced). There your identification will be checked and the forms submitted. You should then receive your DBS certificate through the post.
      5. There are further notes below on documentation and filling in the form. Note that we will follow the rules strictly.

      UAS Training

      There will be a training session run by Matt Parker (the 'stand-up mathematician') in W316 Queens' Building  1400-1600 Wednesday the 6th December 

      Attendance is required in order to participate in MTH6110.

    • Log book

      As you proceed with your placement, you are required to complete a weekly log of your teaching activities; you should record basic information such as which groups of students you worked with, what activities you took part in and what topics were being taught, as well as your reflections on the teaching practices you observed and your own development as a teacher. The module organisers will give you feedback as you go along. At the end of the placement, your log entries should be assembled and you'll write a summary statement, which will form a large part of the assessed material for the course.
      The template for the log book is given below (as a Word document). As you complete each part, please upload that section below for feedback.  The deadlines given below are very generous (because people will have their placement visits at various different times), but you should really be writing and submitting your log entries within a few days after your placement visit while everything's still fresh in your mind.

    • Submission of Written Reports

      The deadline for the submission of your written reports is 1430 on Monday the 23rd of April.

      All submissions must be in pdf format.

      You must submit two printed copies of both your logbook and your special project report to the maths office and also upload the summary statement and the special project report to QMplus by the deadline.

      Note that with the special project reports I've removed appendices - in your report you should include any material such as worksheets, questionnaires etc from your special project at the end (these don't count towards the word count).

    • Semester B: weekly discussion sessions

      We will have a weekly session on Fridays 12–1 in Arts Two 3.16. This happens in weeks 1–6 and 8–11 of semester B (there will be no session in Week 12 as it is Good Friday). This will not be a formal lecture; instead, we will have various discussions about our experiences and teaching ideas, and several external speakers who specialise in various aspects of school teaching.

      Participants in the module are supposed to attend these sessions every week (so please don't organise your school visits at that time!). If on a particular week you are unable to attend, please let the module organisers know in advance (sometimes we plan activities for which it's helpful to know the number of students that will be there). We will be using these sessions for engagement monitoring, so if you miss several of them, then you will receive warning emails and are in danger of being deregistered from the module.

      A schedule for the sessions is gradually taking shape, as follows:        

      2018 Sessions (All 1200-1300 on Fridays in ArtsTwo 3.16)

      12th Jan (Ivan - Introduction and report writing )
      19th Jan (Emily Pitt - Promoting university to pupils)
      26th Jan (James Morrison, Further Maths Support Programme)
      2nd Feb (Wajid - Special projects - students share ideas)
      9th Feb (Justine Jones - Classroom teaching)
      16th Feb (Charlotte Sangster (TF) - Light touch behavioural teaching skills session)

      Reading Week

      2nd Mar (Ivan - Writing reports)
      9th Mar (Charlotte Sangster (TF) - Teaching skills)
      16th Mar (Ross Cooper (TF) - Assessment for learning session)
      23rd Mar  (Wajid - Written reports)

      (No session in Week 12 as it is Good Friday)

    • Oral presentations

      Oral presentations will take place on Wednesday 21st March between 1000 and 1700 in Queens W316 (breaking for lunch 1300-1500.  Please  schedule yourself a presentation slot below.  Unless you have a very good excuse such as lectures, you are expected to be there throughout the day, so that you can all be an audience for each other.

      You should prepare a ten-minute presentation, then you'll have a couple of minutes for questions before hand-over to the next student – we will have to be quite strict with the timing.  Almost always students use PowerPoint presentations, but if you want to use the whiteboard instead then that's fine.  You might also like to include handouts, and you're very welcome to have interactive elements too.  Some sample presentations from two years ago are below to give you some ideas.  Bear in mind that ten minutes will go by very quickly!

      The presentation should be mainly about your special project. There's no prescription about things you have to include, but you might like to describe what your project is, why you chose it, and the planning, implementation and evaluation. If you want to include some general detail about your placement and/or the school to put the project in context then that's good too. The aim is to entertain and inform us, using the teaching skills you've gained over the course of the placement.

      I will make sure there is a computer in the room running PowerPoint, so you should bring your presentation on a memory stick.  If you want to use your own laptop instead then that's fine.  As a back-up it would be very sensible for you to email me your presentation beforehand.

      Both module organisers will evaluate your presentation, which will count 20% of your final mark for the module. The mark sheets we have to complete are with the other assessment forms in the Assessment section below, to give you an idea of what we're looking for.

    • Special Projects

      Each Undergraduate Ambassador is required to devise and implement a 'Special Project' where they take on a leadership role and examine some aspect of teaching and learning. The topic of the project is open, but is to be developed with the guidance and input of the Mentor Teacher.

      • A full description can be found in the MTH6110 student handbook.  The marking scheme is also available.
      • After 3 or 4 placement visits, you should be forming an idea for your special project; discuss this with your mentor teacher.  Once you have agreed on your project, upload a paragraph describing your project below.
    • Teacher's assessment