Excellence in Mathematics has always been a hallmark of Shrewsbury International School Bangkok's success. Each year 95% of the Sixth Form cohort study either Maths or Further Maths at A-level, and the examination results achieved are consistently much higher than the global average. Building on this impressive track record, Shrewsbury is excited to announce that the Sir David Lees Innovation Centre houses 16 brand new Maths classrooms. Alongside these new spaces, the school is further increasing its complement of specialist maths teachers to meet the demand for continued exceptional academic provision. This investment will ensure Shrewsbury students continue to lead the way, affording them pathways to some of the best STEM university courses worldwide.
With Shrewsbury City Campus Year 6 graduates guaranteed places at Riverside's senior school, the increased classrooms will quickly be in full use. Each teacher will have their own space, making lesson transitions more straightforward, and the proximity to 'linked' subjects such as Computing and the sciences will allow greater curriculum collaboration. The increased floor space will also better promote an environment that actively encourages creative pedagogy. As Head of Maths, Mr Chris Redman explains, the department will utilise the specially designed zones for large and small group work, breakout discussions and interactive activities. He comments:
"The facilities at Riverside are already world-class, but this upgrade is an exciting development for everyone in the Maths department. We will be able to use the technology at our disposal to achieve the very best results - choosing which devices to use, encouraging students and teachers to move around the larger space and, of course, the incredible views over the Chao Phraya river will be a great inspiration to all."
Mr Redman is the leader of 15 Maths specialists from varied backgrounds such as engineering, computer science and pure Maths. Teachers understand the requirements of their students' potential career paths and tailor lessons to deliver a primarily individualised approach by reflecting on what their students enjoy studying. Indeed, many of Riverside's Maths teachers, including Mr Redman himself, are graduates of prestigious universities such as Cambridge and Oxford - the same institutions many of our Sixth-Form students aspire to attend.
This unique situation gives Mr Redman and his team the ability to be mentors inside and outside the classroom. The department not only delivers excellence from a curriculum standpoint; they also work closely with Shrewsbury's dedicated Higher Education team to advise on how to assemble applications and prepare for interviews. Every teacher understands the requirements set by universities and are regularly approached by students for specific advice.
Mr Redman continues, "We are a well-educated group of professionals, grounded in British educational values. We can adapt our teaching style according to all ages and abilities, and perhaps most importantly, we all love mathematics and teaching! I consider myself very lucky to work with such a great team who benefit from each others' strengths and are always looking at the newest ways to extract positive results from lessons."
Focusing on the whole student has created a culture where our young men and women are motivated to work with enthusiasm, in teams and individually. Of course, with sustained success comes increased expectation, but support is readily given, and an open-door policy is always in effect should students need extra assistance. One example of this is our 'Maths Clinic' programme, where groups of students work on specific parts of the curriculum that some find particularly challenging. Individuals are encouraged to ask questions and deepen their understanding of the relevant areas.
"The increased physical space will be invaluable, enabling the delivery of regular maths clinics for students who require additional support, at the same time as extension activities being provided for students who show a real aptitude for Mathematics."
Mr Redman also speaks effusively of the effort that goes into ensuring continuity across the curriculum. As Head of Maths, he encourages input and information sharing across all department's staff, whether they are teaching Year 7 - the entry point to the Senior School, or Year 13 students preparing to depart for tertiary education.
"We all understand how important oversight of each level is so that students are developing at the rate at which they should. I make special mention of the work of our Head of Key Stage 3 Maths - Ms Alpgüner. She does a fantastic job ensuring students who come from the junior school at either Riverside or City Campus are prepared for the change in setting and teaching style - as it is a big leap."
The importance of Maths in the Shrewsbury curriculum cannot be understated. A crucial requirement in many higher education degrees, the school continues to invest heavily in excellent staff, resources and now a brand new space in the Sir David Lees Innovation Centre that will ensure that students continue to achieve at the highest level.