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With so many important decisions to make, being a student in Year 10 or 11 can feel overwhelming at times. Knowing which educational pathways will work best for you as an individual is not always that obvious at the ages of fifteen or sixteen.

Fortunately, when it comes to maths, the AMSP is on hand to help in a number of ways: by informing teachers of mathematical options for study beyond GCSE, by running enrichment events for students (our Year 10 enrichment events are entitled Maths is Your Future), or by having a talk or lecture in your school about the thrill and usefulness of studying maths as a level 3 qualification.

I feel privileged to have been asked by a number of schools in the South West this year to help their Key Stage 4 students decide which maths course they should take when they go into sixth form (obviously, not taking maths at all is not an option!). It is useful for students to be aware of what maths can offer them, and this talk highlights the many advantages of continuing to study maths beyond GCSE. These include:

  • opening doors to a huge number of careers
  • using maths in everyday life beyond the classroom
  • keeping up with the rest of the world – many countries expect their students to study maths beyond the age of sixteen
  • giving access to a multitude of degree courses
  • earning more when you start work.

One of the 11-16 schools in the area that I visited in January provided some feedback on the visit, “My Year 11s were very keen to talk about what you had to say yesterday, and quite a few of them had taken your advice and had a look at what qualifications they would need for the future.

Whether you teach in an 11-16 school or in a school with a sixth form, do get in touch with your local Area Coordinator if you feel that we might be able to help in some way.

By Tom Rainbow

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