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Unit information: Mathematics in Schools in 2015/16

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Unit name Mathematics in Schools
Unit code MATH35900
Credit points 10
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Snaith
Open unit status Not open

80 level 2 credit points plus interview and selection process.



School/department School of Mathematics
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

Unit areas will include: classroom observation and assistance; teaching assistance; extra-curricula activities; special project; log book; final report; presentation.


Places on this unit are restricted and students should complete an application form (due in on the last day of the previous summer term) and participate in an interview. The last date for handing in application forms for next year (2012-2013) will be Friday 22th June 2012.

Students will be informed of whether they have been selected to take the unit shortly after the interviews in October.

Application forms can be found at the following website:

The aims are to enhance students' management and communication skills and their ability to analyse and learn from situations in which they are providers rather than receivers of expertise and in which they have to exercise some degree of responsibility.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit, the students will have gained a broad understanding of many of the key practical aspects of teaching mathematics in schools. The specific objectives are:

  • To gain the ability to plan and carry out teaching activities with school pupils.
  • To acquire organizational and leadership skills.
  • To acquire interpersonal and communication skills.

They will have gained experience of answering questions about their subject and will be able to assess and devise appropriate ways to communicate a difficult principle or concept. The student will develop their communication skills, both in a one to one situation and when speaking to an audience. The student will be able to use these skills to address some of the problems specific to mathematics education such as the need to breakdown stereotypes of maths and mathematicians that pupils may have.

Transferable Skills:

Time management, interpersonal and communication skills, report writing, oral presentation.

Teaching Information

There are no formal lectures associated with this course but a mandatory 50 minute weekly meeting will take place in the second, and possibly third, term with the course organizer and other students on the course. During this period the undergraduates will be spending time in schools and the purpose of this meeting will be to compare experiences and discuss any problems that might arise. Four or five tutorials in the first term will provide the students with an introduction to relevant elements of the National Science Curriculum and its associated terminology, (eg 'Key Stage 2' etc.). They will receive basic training in working with children and conduct in the school environment, and during the first term will be given a chance to visit the school in which they will be working. Typically, students will spend one afternoon a week in the school for 10 weeks of the second and third terms.

Assessment Information

The student will be assessed on their effort and improvement in the following areas:

  • Skills in communicating mathematics
  • Working with others
  • Organisation, reliability and self-management
  • Initiative and creativity
  • Identifying and understanding the educational needs of students learning mathematics
  • Self-analysis and critical evaluation

The final assessment mark for the unit is calculated from the components as follows:

  • 15% from a weekly logbook reflecting the progress in the above areas,
  • 40% from a written report (2000-3000 words) at the end of the module,
  • 15% from an assessment by the supervising teacher,
  • 30% from an oral presentation.

Reading and References