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A programme to develop problem solving with one-to-one support

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

Students on the Mentoring Scheme work with a Mentor whose role is to provide encouragement and guidance about tackling the problems and writing solutions.

Who are they aimed at?

The Mentoring Scheme is open to any student who is keen to improve their problem solving and mathematical reasoning skills.

Before joining, students should attempt some problems from the following sample sheets in order to determine their most appropriate starting point.

Programme name Most suitable for Mentor
Pythagoras Those new to problem solving and writing solutions In-school
Mary Cartwright Those with some experience of problem solving In-school or external
Hanna Neumann Confident problem solvers, probably post sixteen External

How does the Scheme work?

The Scheme is free to join and runs from October to May each year.

Students on the Pythagoras and Mary Cartwright programmes are usually mentored by a teacher in their own school. We do have a small number of Mentors on the Mary Cartwright programme but most of our Mentors work on the Hanna Neumann programme.

For each programme, a sheet containing a range of maths problems is emailed at the start of each month to students 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 deadline, the student returns written solutions to their mentor, who reviews the work and returns it with constructive comments. At the end of the month, students are given model solutions.

How to join

Signing up a student

If your student is interested and would benefit from having a Mentor, please complete the student application form (Google Form). We will then be in touch.

Please note that our Mentors are all volunteers and we only have a limited number. It may not always be possible for us to link up a student with a Mentor.

Joining as a school group

Teachers may use the Mentoring Scheme sheets in school, perhaps as material for a school maths club. Sign up as a School Group (Google Form).

How do I become a Mentor?

If you would like to volunteer as a Mentor, please complete our volunteering form (PDF).

Mentoring Scheme Resources

We publish a number of books to help students develop their problem-solving skills. See our online shop for more details.

The following NRICH articles are excellent:


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