Harrogate Grammar School’s prestigious role in countrywide maths scheme

Harrogate Grammar School students Tom Mitchell, Sophie Humphrey, and Joe Smith with associate headteacher Nathan Bulley.
Harrogate Grammar School students Tom Mitchell, Sophie Humphrey, and Joe Smith with associate headteacher Nathan Bulley.
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Harrogate Grammar School is to take on an important role in the future of maths teaching now it has been designated one of only 32 maths ‘hubs’ in the country.

The school will be taking part in the government-led initiative, which will create regional centres for school-led improvement of maths focusing on partnerships to improve student achievement and attitudes to the subject.

Providing support and development programmes, the school will act as a model to others in the area, and the government hopes this will allow Britain to match the standards set by top performing east Asian countries.

Associate head and senior project lead in maths Nathan Bulley said: “We are one of four hubs in Yorkshire but we are the only one this far north in the county, so because of that we have quite a lot of connections from Leeds to Hull and further north and we are playing quite a role in the area.

“It has never been done before on a subject basis, so this is something totally new, and maths as a subject should benefit hugely.

“It is not necessarily focused on students, though they will benefit a lot indirectly from the hub.

“At the end of the day it is about sharing good practice and making sure we are recruiting really good staff and that the subject leadership is strong as well, so that we all help each other.”

To receive the prestigious role, the school went through a rigorous process, including meeting with a panel and answering questions about its ability to lead in the subject.

The maths hub will also work on national projects, one of which is an exchange with China, and linked primary schools have the opportunity to visit Shanghai to learn from the successful methods used in schools there.

Many students at the grammar school are looking forward to the changes implemented at the school, which will begin with an official launch in October, and are confident that their school has all the ingredients to lead in the subject.

Year 10 student Joe Smith said: “I enjoy the challenging work of maths. It isn’t too difficult because of that.

“The maths hub is bringing everyone together to make sure they can get the same chance.”

Year 12 student Tom Mitchell, who is studying further maths, said: “I enjoy maths, and the ability as well. Last year I did an advanced qualification and I have always been good at it and enjoyed it.

“I think it is good to make sure it is evenly spread across the country, so everyone is getting the same opportunities.”