A CASE STUDY: WORKING WITH LANGLEY PARK SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
We worked with Langley Park School for Girls to create a programme of events to help girls see the value of maths in school and encourage them, their parents and carers, and teachers to promote a positive attitude to maths study.
Langley Park School for Girls, Bromley is a Secondary Academy school rated 4 star by School Guide. Unusually high maths results were why we tested there, from 2009 onwards. Pupils are 75% white British, 25% ethnic origin, 8% get free school meals.
Shirley Conran and her team tested the Everyday Maths course, MONEY STUFF, over six weeks on Year 9 girls who didn’t like maths. This was popular, and it proved possible to change a girl’s attitude to maths within one 2-hour session. (See comments by Head of Maths, Lesley Hine, in this short film.)
The next cooperation was organized with Dr Anne Hudson, Head of Langley Park School for Girls: an evening event held for Year 9 and their parents. First came a film ‘AMBITION‘ made especially for this event, in which models, fashion designers and young female internet entrepreneurs were shown using maths in their work.
Then came the main event, which was based on ’ Question Time’, the TV programme, for an audience of 300. Girls in Year 9 asked their questions of the youngish Panel (except for Shirley) which included two former pupils who had used maths in business – one had started a local nursery school . Steve from the Department for Education sat on the Panel with anthropologist and political Adviser, Dr Samantha Callan and Megan Powell Vreeswijk, Senior Fellow of Commerce at Loughborough University.
Afterwards, members of the Panel circulated among the guests over white wine, soft drinks and nibbles; many selfies were taken. The next morning, Dr Hudson, reported a snowstorm of enthusiastic emails.
The next event to be organised by The Maths Anxiety Trust with Dr Hudson was in 2015. This was a survey of 400 girls, to check whether attitudes to money and maths changed with age, between Year 9 and the Sixth Form. This Study was analysed by Chair of Govenors, psychologist Diane Carrington in a booklet, ‘WHAT’S IT GOT TO DO WITH ME?’ which we published in 2015 with a sister booklet, ‘THE FEAR FACTOR’ by Dr Samantha Callan, researched the antipathy of British women to Mathematics.
At the Reception afterwards, in the House of Lords, both Anne Hudson and Diane Carrington gave speeches about the relevance of this Study.
In 2018, Steve Parsons, Head of Langley Park School for Boys, and Dr. Anne Hudson are organizing a 3,000 students –and-teachers Survey to check what percentage of the combined schools has Maths Anxiety. This will be the biggest survey ever carried out, worldwide. Professor Margaret Brown is organizing the analysis. The results will be announced by Steve Parsons and Anne Hudson on Wednesday, 13thJune, 2018.
Head teacher, Dr Anne Hudson, says: The Langley Park School for Girls community has thoroughly enjoyed the collaboration with Shirley Conran and her teams. It has invited us to think more deeply about the factors accounting for our students’ success in maths and how to increase that. It has also given our students access to and inspiration from some exciting role models, not least of them the dynamic Shirley Conran herself.
LANGLEY PARK MATHS CAREER ADVICE PROGRAMME
HOW MUCH DOES SUCH AN EVENING COST?
HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE TO PLAN?
Any school might plan a similarly successful QUESTION TIME Maths Evening for Year 9 girls, based on the following suggestions.
About as much as a school Awards event.
We had white wine, soft drinks and small sandwiches
About as long as a school Awards event.
Start at 7pm
Introduction by host or hostess, the Head Teacher (5 mins)
Ambition: film for girls (2 minutes)
Introduction to Panel (5 minutes)
Questions for Panel from Year 9 girls, parents, carers (1 hour)
Refreshments (40 minutes)
During refreshments, every member of the Panel goes up to guests, introduces themselves, shakes hands, chats (…”What did you think of the Questions?”…… “Which question did you like best?”……. “Is your daughter here tonight?’).
The host sees that every member of the audience meets at least one Panel member.
Read more about the Langley Park Maths Career Advice Programme
Success! Head teachers at Langley Park schools, Steve Parsons + Anne Hudson get biggest British schools survey on Maths Anxiety.
NEW, BIGGEST BRITISH SURVEY
2,000 GIRLS, BOYS + TEACHERS THE LANGLEY PARK SURVEY
EXCITING NEW STUDY
The Langley Park Maths Anxiety Survey of over 2,000 girls, boys and staff
was organised by The Maths Anxiety Trust, assisted by Professor Margaret Brown in May 2018
What did we look for ?
What percentages of school students of both sexes and teaching staff of all subjects admit to some degree of Maths Anxiety?
What is the main finding ?
Around 25% of the girls, 25% of the boys and 20% of the teachers in the girls’ school say they experience a significant degree of Maths Anxiety (an additional 15% say they sometimes experience maths anxiety).
The Maths Anxiety Trust does not claim that all schools in Britain would provide similar results, only that if this is true of two highly regarded schools judged outstanding by Ofsted and with excellent exam results, it suggests there is a serious wider problem. What is needed is a true picture of the incidence of Maths Anxiety in ALL British schools.
Who did the work?
The survey was carried out by the Head teacher of the girls’ school, Dr Anne Hudson, and the Head teacher of the boys’ school, Steve Parsons. We are grateful to Anne and Steve for their public-spirited willingness to courageously undertake a survey that intentionally shows weakness of some of their maths students.