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.
- Classroom observation and assistance:
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.
- Introductory session: 1600 Wednesday 4th October
- Submission of written application: 1430 Friday 13th October
- Interviews: Afternoons of Wednesdays 18th and 25th October
- Matt Parker's training session: Afternoon Wednesday 6th December
- Oral presentations: TBC
- Logbook summary and special project drafts due date: TBC
- Logbook summary and special project final due date: TBC
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.
For this module engagement will be monitored in line with the School's Student Engagement Policy.
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.
Submitting your application will require that you do the following:
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.
Write a brief one-page statement, describing your interest in the module.
- (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.
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 W.Mannan@qmul.ac.uk 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 Wednesdays 18th and 25th 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sort out the appropriate identification documents. Details of acceptable documents are given below.
- 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.
- There are further notes below on documentation and filling in the form. Note that we will follow the rules strictly.
There will be a training session run by Matt Parker (the 'stand-up mathematician') on Wednesday the 6th December
Attendance is required in order to participate in MTH6110.