When Torry Academy’s Maths Department came to the Trust in late 2016, looking for financial assistance towards a study weekend away, we knew we had to be involved! John had studied Maths and Statistics at the University of Glasgow, and after his first diagnosis and set of successful treatments, was so determined to return to this course that he enjoyed. John went on to graduate with a 1st Class Honours Degree. This particular grant application, which was so evidently going to help young people succeed in the topic, was a no brainer for the JMA Team!
Torry Academy is based in Aberdeen, and located in an area of deprivation, resulting in many of its students, and their families, facing financial difficulty. The maths department were determined that no pupil should miss out on a brilliant, beneficial opportunity like Maths Camp, through lack of funding.
They were awarded £1000 from The JMA, and through combined help from ourselves and a number of other great organisations, they were able to take 30 senior pupils and staff away in March 2017. The Academy were kind enough to send us an update after the Maths Camp, to let us know how the weekend went, and more about all the positives that came out of it…
“Having been inspired by other schools’ Maths Camps, we decided to take the plunge and arrange our own. We had a great deal of support in this from a number of different places. The Edinburgh Mathematical Society, the JMA trust and uDecide Torry all contributed financially which meant that the weekend was totally free for participants. We also had a great deal of encouragement and support from the SMT at Torry Academy.”
“We hope that Maths Camp will have a positive effect on our Nat 5 and Higher Results.”
Promote Good Study Habits
“We wanted to model and encourage good study techniques.”
“We also saw the weekend as an opportunity to build good staff-pupil relationships.”
“The weekend wouldn’t have happened without the time and talents of the members of staff who worked very hard in the preparation and delivery of the study sessions. We chose SU’s Alltnacriche Outdoor Centre near Aviemore as our venue which accommodation and had plenty of classroom space too. In addition they delivered some outdoor activities on the Saturday afternoon.”
“Over the course of the weekend we had 8 study sessions, delivered in small groups of at most 8 and a member of staff. We had developed workbooks for each level for the pupils to work through although time was made available for those who had questions to ask; we tried to take everyone’s needs into account. Within the 8 sessions there was also time for studying other subjects so that all homework would be handed in on time when we got back to school!”
“On the Saturday afternoon we braved the cold and took part in either the zip wire activity or crate climbing. It was good to get out of the classroom for some fresh air and tackle challenges of a different kind. One pupil stood atop of 11 crates stacked high – not for the faint hearted! Saturday evening was spent doing a multimedia quiz with the teachers’ team coming in a close second. By Sunday we were all beginning to tire but everyone worked hard right up till the end of the sessions.”
We were absolutely delighted to hear that the students’ SQA results were the best for a long time! “The pupils who attended Maths Camp had a success rate of 33% at the Prelim (before the Camp) and a pass rate of 75% after the camp! One pupil went from 28% in his prelim to a B pass in the final exam. The pupils loved it and are keen for next year’s camp already.” What a success! Congratulations to all of the students! And a big thankyou to all of the staff involved at Torry Academy from everyone here at the JMA. It’s brilliant to see teachers going the extra mile to make learning more enjoyable and accessible to young people.