William Farr Church of England Comprehensive School in Lincolnshire has a mixed intake and 1477 pupils. It joined the PTI Schools Programme for Mathematics in 2009 and after attending the PTI Maths Residential in Cambridge, the Head of Maths, Steve Ellis, took it upon himself to write new, more rigourous Programmes of Study for his 11 to 14 year olds.

“Taking part in the PTI Schools Programme has been an opportunity to move Mathematics forward within the school. It has given my department a wider focus, a different measure of success and a real sense of achievement.” 

- Steve Ellis, Head of Maths

As part of a drive to engage students further, Steve encouraged his pupils to take part in UK Maths Team Challenge inter-school competitions, at which they have seen great success.

Below: Pupils with their winners' certificates at a regional Maths Challenge competition.

The school also has a peer-to-peer mentoring programme, where 6th Formers mentor Year 8 pupils, helping the younger children with Maths. At the end of the programme, the mentors receive a peer mentoring qualification from AQA.

Steve feels that his students now “genuinely understand Mathematics rather than just demonstrate the ability to reproduce what they are shown”. This has been reflected in improved exam results. In 2010, 90% of Year 11 Maths pupils gained a grade C or higher at GCSE (80% in 2008); 86% of Year 13 students gained A* - B at A2 level, (79% in 2008).