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UKMT Mentoring Schemes

The UKMT mentoring schemes provide via email a series of challenging mathematical problems, requiring full written solutions, to stretch and inspire the most able and willing secondary school pupils. Participants are provided with a mentor who will be able to discuss the problems and other mathematical ideas, and read and return their solutions with helpful comments.

Who are they aimed at?

The schemes are aimed primarily at those pupils who have reached Olympiad follow-on rounds from the maths challenges.

There are three mentoring schemes:

Scheme Name Approximate age Mentor
Junior Mentoring Scheme (JMS) Ages 11 – 13 School mentor
Intermediate Mentoring Scheme (IMS) Ages 13 – 16 School mentor
Senior Mentoring Scheme (SMS) Ages 15 – 18 External mentor

For the Junior Mentoring Scheme (JMS) and Intermediate Mentoring Scheme (IMS), participants are normally mentored by their own maths teacher at school, and it works best at this age if they are mentored by someone they know and see regularly. For the Senior Mentoring Scheme (SMS), students are mentored via email by a volunteer, usually a maths undergraduate or postgraduate or maths teacher. External mentors for the JMS and IMS can be provided subject to availability.

How the schemes run

The schemes run from October to May each year.

For all schemes, a sheet of varied maths problems is emailed at the start of the month to pupils (either directly or via the school) and their mentors, with solutions also sent to the mentors. The students tackle as many of the problems as they can over the course of the following three weeks, consulting with their mentor as they wish for advice and hints. By the agreed deadline, the student returns written solutions to their mentor, who marks the work and returns it with constructive comments. At the end of the month, students are given the official solutions.

Aims and Objectives

The UKMT mentoring schemes have six key objectives:

  1. To provide challenging mathematical problems which will stretch and inspire school pupils and help develop their ability in and love of Mathematics.
  2. To provide participants with a mentor who will be able to discuss the problems and other mathematical ideas and read and return their solutions with helpful comments.
  3. To provide school teachers with supplementary material and to provide opportunities and inspiration for such teachers to involve themselves in Mathematics beyond the curriculum and training for Mathematics competitions.
  4. To harness the abilities and enthusiasms of past IMO students and provide a framework which will enable them to pass on to others most effectively the inspiration which they have received.
  5. To provide additional and more continuous practice on Olympiad-style problems to build on the foundations laid down by the National Mathematics Summer School and other training programmes.
  6. To help to identify talented and enthusiastic pupils who might be candidates for the UK IMO team.

Mentoring Scheme Resources

NRICH articles:

If you would like to join one or more of these schemes please contact us, specifying which
scheme(s) you would like to join.


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