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Mentoring

Our Mentoring Scheme provides sets of challenging and engaging problems each month to help young people develop their problem-solving skills.

There are nine programmes and sample sheets (below) to help students with a range of experience.

Who is mentoring for?

Our Mentoring Scheme provides sets of challenging and engaging problems each month to help young people (secondary school students) develop their problem-solving skills.

Mentees work on a 1-1 basis with a DBS checked volunteer mentor who provides encouragement and guidance about tackling the problems and writing solutions. 

Students can send a message to their mentor at any time throughout the month to ask for hints, tips, help or just discuss the maths.

Teachers from registered UKMT centres in the UK may request a mentor on behalf of their students for the Mary Cartwright programme upwards.

How does it work?

Each month, a new UKMT problem sheet will be released at the student’s level. They will solve the problems while communicating with their mentor, who will provide guidance and share good practice. For maximum impact, the mentoring process should be a continuous and collaborative conversation between the young person and their mentor.

What are the nine mentoring programmes?​

There are nine programmes, catering for students with a range of experience. 

Each programme (except the first) is intended to be more challenging than the preceding one.  

These sample sheets give an indication of the starting level of difficulty of each programme.

  1. Pythagoras
  2. Hypatia
  3. Archimedes
  4. Mary Cartwright
  5. Julia Robinson
  6. Emmy Noether
  7. Hanna Neumann
  8. G. H. Hardy
  9. Srinivasa Ramanujan


Please note that while sheets are available for all levels 1-9, only levels 4-9 (Cartwright upwards) are available as mentored schemes with UKMT mentors at the moment.  Levels 1-3 are available for in-school mentoring only. 

 
 
 
 
Hypatia (born c. 350-370; died 415 AD)

FAQs

Can I mentor my own students?
The suggested time commitment depends on how many mentees are being supported – with this in mind we often suggest starting with one or two mentees. You are not expected to respond to mentees within working hours.

There are eight sheets per programme. Sheets are sent out on the second Tuesday of every month, and the final date for submission is the first Tuesday of the following month.

There is no official criteria, just that the teacher thinks that their student/s could benefit from mentoring and are at the level required. Further guidance can be found in this document.

Mentoring lasts until students withdraw from the scheme, move on to our Olympiad Mentoring Scheme or Advanced Olympiad Mentoring Scheme (OMS/AOMS), or finish secondary school.

So that we can make the scheme fair and equitable, we try to give as many places to as many schools as possible. Mentors are a limited resource, so although all applications will be considered, we can’t guarantee more than one place per school.

Solutions and guidance will be made available to teachers delivering the first three levels of the scheme in schools. Solutions are provided to mentors, and collaboration between mentors is encouraged when extra support is required.

For the first year as a UKMT Mentor, you will be supported by an experienced mentor – we are very lucky to have many volunteers who are happy to lend their experience to new mentors.

No, there’s no associated cost.

The suggested time commitment depends on how many mentees are being supported – with this in mind we often suggest starting with one or two mentees. You are not expected to respond to mentees within working hours.

Google Classroom is the platform we will be using to deliver UKMT Mentoring. Experience with this is helpful, but not essential.

Yes. Please see our Guidance for Teachers document for assistance in selecting the appropriate level. We have further guidance in our Mentor Handbook

As a new mentor you will be supported in your first year by an experienced mentor. A DBS check and safeguarding training is required as standard for all UKMT volunteers.

An enthusiasm for mathematics is essential of course, but also a love of sharing the subject with young people. The ability to adapt your explanations to the online environment is important, and also remembering that your students will learn by doing – resist the temptation to tell them too much!

Finally, it’s essential that you are mathematically competent at the level at which you would like to mentor.

Communication with mentees is via monitored UKMT email accounts, within Google Classroom. In future we may consider other options but obviously there are a number of safeguarding considerations.

We are a volunteer-led charity so we do not provide pay for services such as Mentoring. There are of course a great deal of other benefits to volunteering though!

We do not currently offer UKMT Mentoring to students outside of the UK. Teachers outside of the UK cannot become UKMT Volunteers.

Important Notice: Change in Payment Policy

From 1 September 2024, UKMT will no longer be accepting cheques as a form of payment. This decision comes as part of our ongoing efforts to streamline our processes and improve efficiency.

Thank you for your understanding.

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