This year, maths teacher Miss Cotton was one of a number of our staff who were nominated for a Pearson Teaching Award. She was subsequently chosen as one of a number of teachers to feature in the Guardian newspaper. The article championed teachers for inventive teaching methods which were helping engage young people in a way that makes learning that little bit easier. Miss Cotton has only been teaching a year but has already made a big impact by encouraging the chanting and singing of formulas in class and grabbing the attention of students with a display of maths problems that are included in movies, such as Mean Girls, Die Hard with a Vengeance and Night School. Another favourite with her students are the video clips that she plays of Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night, a TV show that ran between 2009 and 2012, in which famous pop acts came on and sang a maths problem.
“A lot of students are genuinely afraid of maths so it’s about doing anything I can to make them laugh and put them at ease. Making things relevant to them and introducing songs and films into my teaching comes naturally to me. When you make an effort, it really does make a difference.”