A programme of 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.

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, and can enhance and develop their mathematical skills through enjoyable, although often challenging, questions.

Who is the Mentoring Scheme aimed at?

The Mentoring Scheme is open to secondary aged students based in the UK who are keen to improve their problem-solving and mathematical reasoning skills.  

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 and to require more prerequisite knowledge.  Which scheme is most suitable isn't just about the age of the student, but their experience with this type of problem and written maths- each tier has something different to offer. 

Please read the Guidance Document for teachers, to help decide which scheme would be best for your student. 

Sample sheets for each programme

The following sample sheets (PDF) 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 (sample pending)
  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. 

How does the Mentoring Scheme work?

At the beginning of each month, a new UKMT problem sheet will be released, at the level of the scheme the student has been allocated. As they begin to solve the problems, they will communicate back and forth with their mentor, who will share good practice and coach them on how best to solve the problem. In order to maximise the impact, the mentoring process should be a collaborative and ongoing conversation between the student and the mentor.

How do I apply for a place for my student/s?

The Mentoring Scheme is aimed at students based in the UK. Teachers from registered UKMT centres may request a mentor on behalf of their students for the Mary Cartwright programme upwards.

Our mentors are all volunteers and are limited in number. Depending on demand, we may not be able to meet every request for a mentor.  Places will be allocated in early September and we will be in touch with all applicants at that stage. 
If you would like to familiarise your students with mentoring style problems on Pythagoras, Hypatia or Archimedes, or mentor your own students in school at any level, please register here, to receive all the mentoring sheets each month to use in school. 

Policies and safeguarding

UKMT’s data protection policy can be found here. Additionally, UKMT’s privacy notice can be found here.

All UKMT mentors are DBS checked and receive safeguarding training every 2 years. More information about this can be found in UKMT’s safeguarding policy. Additionally, this policy details all procedures UKMT follows, along with how to report a concern should you ever need to.

Other Options

Teachers at registered UKMT centres can also sign up to receive the Mentoring Scheme materials to use with their own students in school (for example in maths clubs or as extension questions). These sheets will be sent out on the second Tuesday of each month from October.

Can you help us?

Find out more about volunteering with us.

If you or someone you know has benefited from our activities then please consider making a donation.