This May, TalentEd partnered with best-selling author and mathematician Simon Singh to pilot our new concept – online Maths Masterclasses.

The Maths Masterclasses pilot brought together 65 top performing young mathematicians from across the country for online advanced maths tuition. Sessions were delivered in groups of 3-5 students by TalentEd’s expert tutors and focused on stretching students and exposing them to new and different Maths problems that developed their lateral thinking and complex problem-solving skills.

Fortunately we had designed the Maths Masterclasses to be delivered online even before the UK went into lockdown, so there was limited disruption caused by the pandemic.

The pilot was a huge success!

The primary objective was to improve the students’ Maths ability, and this was clearly demonstrated by the data. We tested the students at the start and end of the pilot and saw an average improvement of 25%.

Furthermore, any concerns that the online format would be a barrier proved groundless – 87% of students thought their sessions were engaging and stimulating, whilst 86% believed that their understanding of Maths had improved after just four weeks.

See our pilot report here for more.

This pilot also showcased many of the benefits of the online tuition model. Students mixed with peers from around the country, and they enjoyed the collaborative approach to learning that they had missed whilst their school was closed.

As one parent reported:

“They loved interacting with kids from other schools… They can learn from the others. It was just four classes, but they’ve made a big difference.”

A student agreed:

“[I enjoyed] having a small group so we got to have a go at trying the problems and sharing our methods. It was fun whether you got them right or wrong.

With an emphasis on challenging mathematics, these superstar students also appreciated the level of complexity offered by problems they encountered, as one student commented:

“I enjoyed the fact that there were questions that I actually found hard, creating a nice challenge for me.”

Given the success and positive feedback from the pilot, we are eager to move on to the next phase. We are currently planning for a larger roll-out in the Autumn, where we plan to increase the number of students, and focus more on students from a disadvantaged background. Watch this space for more!

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