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Opinion26th April 2016

Mathematics Mastery aims high with the support of Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The UK isn’t currently known for its dominance in mathematics education or achievement. But with the backing of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mathematics Mastery wants to change this.

Mathematics Mastery is an innovative maths teaching framework initially developed by Ark teachers. The programme works in partnership with schools to empower and equip educators to deliver world-class mathematics teaching.

Based on internationally recognised and robust research, the programme is underpinned by key principles including high expectations for every child, ‘depth before breadth’ (exploring fewer topics but in greater depth), and a focus on problem-solving and conceptual understanding of mathematics. Using this approach, pupils not only increase their mathematics attainment, but also their enjoyment and confidence in the subject.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch became Mathematics Mastery’s corporate partner in the spring of 2015. Thanks to the bank’s donation totalling over US$1 million, Mathematics Mastery has been able to expand to 265 primary and secondary schools, reaching 48,000 pupils. With plans to work with over 100 additional schools from this September, the bank’s support will help continue to accelerate Mathematics Mastery’s growth and innovative work within the programme.

‘The programme is rooted in solid research and underpinned by an unshakeable belief that all children can be successful in maths,’ says Liam Colclough, Headteacher at St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School, a key partner school in the programme’s expansion in the north.

A well-rounded partnership

Beyond financial support, the bank has built relationships directly with the schools, teachers and students using the maths curriculum. To help bring classroom skills to life, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has invited several schools to their office in London to compete in Bridge Building Challenges. [[{“fid”:”107341″,”view_mode”:”default”,”fields”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:””,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:””,”field_tags[und]”:””},”type”:”media”,”link_text”:null,”attributes”:{“style”:”float: right;”,”class”:”media-element file-default”}}]]

Teams of students, supported by bank volunteers, compete to build the tallest and widest bridges relying on their understanding of mathematical concepts. After the bridge building, students have the opportunity to ask the volunteers questions about how maths plays a role in their jobs and also to take tours of the busy trading floor.

The bank has established a particularly strong relationship with Ark Globe Academy, where volunteers regularly attend maths GCSE revision classes to help prepare students for upcoming exams. In these sessions, not only do students gain valuable exam help, they also have the opportunity to interact with potential career mentors. The bank’s HR team has also played an important role at Globe as they designed and delivered a series of employment skills sessions for sixth formers, including mock interviews and CV workshops.

Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, President, EMEA at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, recently praised the partnership: ‘We are delighted to support the national rollout of Mathematics Mastery across the UK and helping equip young people with the skills and knowledge to successfully transition from education into meaningful employment.’

With the support of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mathematics Mastery can play a critical role in transforming mathematics education in the UK.

To learn more about our corporate partnerships and how your business can support Ark students, please contact Rachel Connell, Head of Partnerships.