Maths disengagement: Is an outdated delivery model the cause ?

Maths is seen to be a very black and white subject with set rules, theories and formulae to help people find the correct answers. If this were the case it would be logical to keep the curriculum the same from now until the end of time, but this is not the case. Maths is so much more than rigid rules and structured equations; maths is part of everyday life and can be applied to all situations; from doing the weekly shop to playing sport with friends. So if Maths is evolving along with the rest of our lives then surely the curriculum needs to evolve too?


Britain is in the unfortunate state of having thousands of pupils leave primary school disengaged with Maths and finishing secondary school without a good grade in the subject. This highlights a big problem that needs to be solved, and fast. Schools have been criticised in the past for focussing too much on exam preparation, testing and formulae instead of showing ‘real-world’ examples. This approach has led to pupils believing that maths is meaningless to their lives when in actual fact it couldn’t be more relevant.


Suggestions of how to update the curriculum to make it more modern and help children identify with Maths have come in many different forms but the most popular suggestion is the introduction of new technology to the classroom. Technology has become a significant part of many people’s lives and children are so familiar with using lots of different gadgets on a daily basis that they may relate to Maths lessons via devices such as iPads. Other ideas include; highlighting the role of Maths within specific careers and using ‘games’ instead of repeatedly testing.


One thing is clear though, pupils need to be show that there is meaning to Maths, that it can be fun and that it can help with everyday situations.  Even the head of exam board, Edexcel, has come out in favour of a change to the Maths curriculum and approach to teaching the subject; claiming that the widespread apathy to Maths could damage the economy as people are not developing the understanding or skills needed for both their work and personal lives.


At Tutors4GCSE we believe in getting children engaged with maths from an early by offering workshops in primary schools to help pupils discover meaning within the subject and see that learning can be fun. If you would like to find out more about our primary workshops or any of other specialist tuition options, contact us today.

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