We are bidding farewell to Miss Wilson as Head of Maths and Computing after 13 years at Blue Coat School. It will be a sad departure, as she says: “My Maths team have been great. It’s made it worth staying here so long.”
She arrived here in 2008 after her first job, at St Edward’s College West Derby, following graduation from Leeds University. From next term, she will be Head of Maths, Computing and Business at Belvedere School.
Blue Coat School has a strong reputation for its Maths teaching and its successful students, with for example 90 students taking Maths in year 12, with 35 taking Further Maths.
The Department, the largest in the School, has thrived under her leadership with a staff of 11, including herself and two computer teachers. She has been keen to stimulate enthusiasm for mathematics in all sorts of Innovative ways. These have included Maths Relays where an entire year group (from Years 7 to 11) in teams of four have had to race around Shirley Hall solving problems.
She says: “It’s been absolute chaos and almost pointless telling students not to run, but they had a great time and I think they might have learnt something as well! Unfortunately, Covid put a stop to it.”
Another idea was the Fun Maths Roadshows, with a carousel of 15 activities for invited primary school pupils. Four or five Year 10 Maths students acted as maths leaders with Year 7s manning the stands.
She says: “Obviously, the aim was to stimulate interest in Maths, but also to break down barriers and misconceptions about Blue Coat School by bringing primary school children here and perhaps inspire them to apply. I also wanted to do more in-house activities and encourage team groups from Years 8 and 9 and the Sixth Form to take part in the UK MT Maths Challenges.”
Although one assumes teaching Maths must involve an obsession about numbers, she says: “I’m not a ‘maths-geek’. My satisfaction is about the teaching, which I really like. I’ve never been bothered about the ability level, it’s about the satisfaction of getting the subject across to any student. Although obviously the high level of student achievement at Blue Coat is very satisfying to see.”
And there is one other aspect of Blue Coat she’ll miss at Belevedere is the presence of male students as “boys do add to the atmosphere!”