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Maths in Context

A trial to explore whether delivering GCSE mathematics in a greater financial context can improve learner attainment.

Project Background

Analysis of past GCSE papers shows that up to 25% of a paper can contain questions framed in a financial context such as calculating the cost of a gas or electricity bill, or working out the commission paid to an individual based on their sales. Examination of national results shows that students perform poorly on such questions, achieving less marks on these questions compared to the rest of the paper.

A pilot study involving 26 London secondary schools, conducted between 2013 and 2015, found evidence that delivering specific areas of the mathematics curriculum using a greater financial context led to an increase in attainment of approximately 18% on those GCSE questions which used a financial context.

Student and teacher feedback showed that students were more able to understand the context of these types of questions following the intervention, and therefore better able to access the maths, which was the main reason for the increase in attainment observed.

This Maths in Context project aims to scale up this research, to include 130 secondary schools throughout England, in order to conduct a wider evaluation of the impact that delivering maths in a greater financial context can have on maths attainment at GCSE.

Who can be involved?

The project is open for all maintained secondary schools and academies in England.

Each school involved would need to commit to involving a minimum of four maths teachers and four classes of year 10 students to take part in the intervention over the 2017/18 academic year, with training for one of those maths teachers taking place at the beginning of the academic year (September 2017).

Is there a cost?

No. The project is fully funded by The Education Endowment Foundation and the Money Advice Service.

education materials.

How long will the project last?

The project will take place in schools from September 2017 until July 2018. The timeline below provides further detail.

Next steps to get involvedI

If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone about what’s involved please contact Mathilde Fell, Project Coordinator at Mathilde.fell@y-e.org.uk / 020 7078 0738.

Please also visit: YE Maths in Context – Overview(1)

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