Math masters

7th November 1997 at 00:00
Teenagers in parts of Yorkshire are giving up their Saturday mornings to attend maths lessons, as part of a drive to encourage greater take-up of the subject at A-level.

Forty pupils from secondary schools in Pontefract have signed up for the "master classes" being held at New College this month.

Two of the two-hour sessions will focus on pure maths, one on statistics and the fourth will be mechanically-based. They will be taken by lecturers from the Leeds, Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam universities.

Phil Rawlins, a maths tutor at the sixth-form college, said the scheme, now in its second year, was already reaping rewards with student participation in A-level maths more than doubling to 150.

Results have also improved with 77 per cent of entries in last summer's examinations at grades A to C, and an overall pass rate of 100 per cent. Inspectors from the Further Education Funding Council awarded the maths department a grade 1 following a routine inspection of the college.

Mr Rawlins said: "We thought it would be something special for the pupils if we got local universities involved and to have them taught by university lecturers.

"It also provides students with an opportunity to visit the college. Obviously we do not sign them up straight away but students who are interested and committed to taking maths at A-level get an idea of what it will be like and to get advice on courses direct from us."

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