Higher-level problem solving: supporting students and teachers

Tuesday 12th January 2021

Higher-level problem solving for students

Developing higher-level problem-solving (HLPS) skills will help all students of A level Mathematics. Students can improve their attainment in A levels and better prepare for further studies, whether they intend to study for a maths degree or not. HLPS skills are therefore are not just for students who hope to study maths at a selective university that requires them to sit an entrance assessment. Below are the options that we offer for students:

  1. The West Midlands regional team offer locally-focused online HLPS courses for students that have proved extremely popular so far. The Keele and Telford Year 12 and Year 13 classes began in November, with around 40 students regularly attending. More Regular Problem-Solving Classes for Year 12 and Year 13 students are starting this month.
  2. Students in Year 13 who need to prepare for forthcoming STEP examinations can enrol in our national STEP Online course, which begins in February 2021.
  3. Problem Solving Matters, the AMSP's national HLPS course, took place online over the summer in 2020. Look out for this summer’s course, which will be advertised nearer the time.
  4. Across September and October 2021, there will be two short seven-session courses for Year 13 students focused on test preparation: one for the Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA) and one for the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT). These will also be advertised nearer the time.

Higher-level problem solving for teachers

  1. For teachers who want to learn more about how they can support their students with problem solving and help them prepare for university admissions tests, the AMSP offer two free self-paced study courses: Preparing your students for the MAT and the TMUA and Preparing your students for STEP.
  2. We're offering a free two-session course, Next Steps for Your A level Students, to support you in understanding how best to assist your students with the transition to undergraduate study, and how to prepare them for the mathematical expectations of university admissions tests.
  3. In the West Midlands region, we're running a free online event for teachers on Wednesday 13 January 2021 from 16.45-18.30 called All About The Problem-Solving Classes and Admissions Tests. It will explore the three university admissions assessments (TMUA, MAT and STEP) and introduce the format and content of the HLPS classes for Year 12 and Year 13 students. You'll get access to past assessment papers, administration information, and ideas on how to support any students who are enrolled in the classes.
  4. The West Midlands regional team are running a two-part online course for teachers in March on Problem Solving at A level.
  5. The AMSP is running two Live Online Professional Development (LOPD) courses for GCSE teachers this term: Reasoning in the GCSE classroom and Problem Solving in the GCSE classroom.

By Richard Stakes

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