The Encyclopedia Britannica describes mathematics as the science of structure, order, and relation that has evolved from elemental practices of counting, measuring, and describing the shapes of objects. Doctor Robert H. Lewis, Professor of Mathematics at Fordham University describes maths as not about answers but about process. Sounds scary but it does not have to be!
Maths is often described by teachers and tutors as the building of a brick wall; if a few bricks are missing the whole thing can fall down. A good teacher or tutor should be able to spot these missing bricks on initial assessment then put a program together that fills the gaps. Maths it is a subject that is used in every walk of life and can be key to unlocking an exciting and challenging future for your child.
Maths arose from the practical need to measure time and count.
Ancient Egyptians are believed to have used complex Mathematics as far back as 3000BC. There is evidence of them using arithmetic, geometry and algebra.
The abacus was used from as early as the 3rd millennium BC by Egyptians, Sumerians and Chinese for calculations and writing numbers.
The Greek philosopher Pythagoras was the first to explore the nature of numbers. He is known for his Pythagorean theorem which related to the right angle triangle.
The invention of printing in the mid 1400's resulted in the speedy and widespread communication of mathematical knowledge.
Maths contributed to Galilei and Keplers’ important discoveries in planetary motion and orbits in the 17th century.
Alan Turing was a mathematician and computer scientist who cracked German codes in the Second World War. This contributed to Mathematical logic and played an important role in the development of algorithms, artificial intelligence and the modern computer.
Mathematics is split into two areas Pure and Applied. Pure Mathematics is said to work towards the advancement of knowledge rather than any practical use. Applied Mathematics works towards solving specific problems and is used in business, engineering and other fields.
The first electronic calculator was created in the 1960s.
Mathematics is essential in many types of jobs, including those related to engineering, business, architecture, science, medicine to name a few.
Some practical points to check are:
Do you need to provide stationery or equipment? Do these need to be purchased before the lessons start?
Are there any text books that you need to order/pay for in advance?
Do you have to book a term or half-term of sessions? Can your child have sessions over a short period, for example, just prior to exams?
There are three examination boards accredited by Ofqual. These are:
AQA – One of the leading providers of GCSEs and A Levels. Used by most secondary schools and colleges in the UK.
Edexcel – Considered the UK’s largest awarding organisation, they offer both academic and vocational
qualifications and testing to schools and colleges.
OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) – Over 13,000 centres’ choose OCR for their A Levels and GCSEs.
There are many course available to study Maths at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level. This could incorporate Maths with subjects such as statistic, economics and physics. Visit Maths Careers to find a comprehensive list of Universities currently holding Maths degrees.
There is no minimum qualification required to tutor Maths at home in the UK at present, however we would recommend you ask to see copies of qualifications held.
There are many benefits to introducing your child to a maths tutor. By closing some of the holes in their learning you may enable them to catch up with, or creep ahead of, their peers, building their confidence and enabling them to enjoy the subject. Whether building a child’s confidence or assisting them with exam preparation, a maths tutor is your way of helping them gain control of their learning.
Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist and theologian and is considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived. While on leave from University Isaac began revolutionary advances in mathematics, optics, dynamics, thermodynamics, acoustics and celestial mechanics and he was only 22!
Archimedes of Syracuse (287 BC – 212 BC) was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor and astronomer. He is most noted for his work in calculus, by determining the centres of mass of hemispheres and cylindrical wedge, and the volume of two cylinders' intersection.
Carl Gauss (1777 – 1855) was a German mathematician and physical scientist who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, statistics, analysis, geophysics, electrostatics, astronomy and optics. He was known as the "Prince of Mathematics," and as a child of 3 years old he would he correct his father's arithmetic! At the age of 24 he published ‘Disquisitiones Arithmeticae’ which is known as the greatest book of pure mathematics ever.
Leonhard Euler (1707 – 1783) was a pioneering Swiss mathematician and physicist who now ranks #77 on Michael Hart's famous list of the Most Influential Persons in History. He was known by his peers as “Analysis Incarnate” and the “master in everything." Euler was the most prolific mathematician in history and is often judged to be the best algorist of all time.
Bernhard Riemann (1826 – 1866) was an influential German mathematician who made lasting contributions to analysis, number theory and differential geometry and inspired the development of physics.
BBC News reports on a British school taking outsourcing to a new level - using a call centre in India to help with Maths lessons. Children at Ashmount Primary school in North London have one-to-one computer sessions with tutors in the Punjab to supplement their school work.
Destination Math - White paper and research.
I think there are definite benefits to using a Maths Tutor if your child is struggling or they are coming up to exams. It is not always possible to go back through specific topics with children as the class needs to move forward with the set curriculum. This is where a good tutor comes in. Good research is essential.
My concerns arose with my eldest, who, although it appears is doing well and is on the top table for maths, seemed to have some problems with his basic mathematic skills, so I decided to get him assessed. It turned out he had some holes in his knowledge which, if not addressed, could have had a real impact in the future. I was really surprised at what the holes were and decided the cost of a tutor was worth it and have signed all 3 children up.
I don't find maths that hard but I struggle with it sometimes. My tutor, Sarah, has helped me to focus and come up with new ways of finding solutions that my teacher does not have the time to do as we have a big class. I don't have lessons with her all the time but hope Mum and Dad let me have her when I get to exam time.
I love my tutor he does funny games that help me count, I didn't like maths before.
I used to really enjoy maths but in the last year have found some bits tricky. After talking to my Mum she decided to get me a tutor. I was really scared at first but love it now as I am beginning to understand the new stuff we do and I feel more confident.
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