Maths mentor scheme

Intervention, intervention, intervention! If your department is anything like ours, you will be doing all you can to help your year 11 students achieve that magical C grade. With all the strategies that we use it is often difficult to pin down which ones are most effective.

One of the strategies we have been using over the past few years that we are confident has been effective is giving our 6th form mathematicians the opportunity to work with our C/D borderline year 11 students. The buzz caused by this scheme has been phenomenal to say the least! For the 6th formers, it is an opportunity to take on extra responsibility in an area they feel comfortable with. For the year 11s, it is an opportunity to get the one-one help they need from somebody they can talk to on their own level. Last year, of the 30 students who were mentored, 27 of them went on to get C grades in the March exam. By June all of them had managed to achieve it. This year I have around 40 mentors and it looks like we are going to get a similar level of success.

When launching the scheme this year, in preparation for November exams, I delivered a brief session to the mentors where we discussed strategies they could use when working with their mentees. This focused not only on things like how to ask questions that scaffold (I was impressed with how they took to this) but also on how to raise confidence. This year’s scheme has been running for a couple of weeks now and I have just taken feedback from both the year 11 and 6th form students involved and things are going exceptionally well.

If you are thinking of starting a similar scheme at your own school and what more information, feel free to get in touch.

Photo credit: Marco Nedermeijer cc


4 thoughts on “Maths mentor scheme

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Liam Johsnton

    June 24, 2015 at 11:21am


    I’m a maths teacher and i’m interested in setting up a similar scheme wherby current year 11’s mentor y 9’s and 10’s who are at risk of not achieving a grade C. I’d be grateful for more information and if you could answer the following questions?

    How do you choose which pupils become mentors?
    What is the ratio of mentors to mentees?
    What time of the day is the scheme run? After school etc?
    How do you measure and evaulate progress?

    Many thanks.

    Liam Johnston

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      June 28, 2015 at 9:09pm

      Hi Liam, thank you for your message. I will try and answer some of your questions below.
      A1: I have an application form that they need to fill in. I select those that I feel would be able to do it without interfering with their own studies. I ask their teachers too.
      A2: 1:1 ratio. It is the most effective way in my opinion.
      A3: Due to the structure of our day, I was able to run it during tutor times. 30 minutes a week was the expectation. The structure of our school has changed now so will review this for next year.
      A4: It is obviously difficult to accurately measure progress. I have compared those without a mentor and those with and there is obvious benefit to those students with a mentor. I get regular feedback off the mentees and the mentors to ensure quality. I also go round and drop into some of the sessions.

      Overall it is definitely a strategy that I recommend. The feedback from the year 11 students is always positive and the year 12s, knowing how it has benefited their peers the previous year, are always enthusiastic about being involved. Please let me know if I can be of any further help.

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Liam Johnston

    October 19, 2015 at 8:56pm

    Hi, spoke quite a while ago and I’ve managed to get some of our year 11’s from last year to get on board after school on Wednesday’s to mentor current year 11’s.

    When you were speaking with your mentors about strategies they could use to help mentees, could I have information on this please?

    Also, any other information you feel may be useful is greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks


    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      November 19, 2015 at 7:41am

      Hi Liam, I’m sorry I have only just picked up this message. I’ve just launched this with our y12s for the fifth year. The kind of strategies we give the students are things like developing confidence of year 11 students and motivating them. We also talk about how to scaffold questions when students are unsure rather than just giving them the answers. If you send me an email, I will send you through our application forms and a study programme.

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