Maths is Skills, Knowledge, Understanding and Enjoyment! The 'Maths is...' Jugglers Ltd.

Our History

In 1987-8, Barbara Young was an Advisory Teacher charged with introducing the new National Curriculum to schools in Cheshire, advising them how they could adapt their present mathematics courses to deliver the National Curriculum. In doing this she realised that the mathematics curriculum was not always delivered in an engaging manner and the guidance available was, while complete, dry and uninspiring.

When Barbara returned to teaching in 1988, she and Andy Hamilton decided to produce new material to deliver the National Curriculum to their Y7 pupils. The year’s work would be delivered in topics. Explanations and examples would be clear and simply explained. They insisted that the mathematics must be rigorous, but the practice of techniques should be using the most interesting problems, puzzles and games that they could create.

After several years trialling and revising the material, several publishers were approached. Three were willing to publish the material. All was not as rosy however. The company they chose to work with just wanted to take part of the material and turn it into the same format as their earlier publications. This defeated the entire purpose of the material. After nearly a year working, severance was mutually agreed.

The other two interested publishers were approached. They liked the material and the style, but both said that the proposed Y7 book would be too long and wanted to reduce it by 25%. The way the book was structured meant that teachers would run out of material before the end of the school year! Plenty of material had deliberately been included within each topic, including Star Challenges and High Level Challenges, to stretch children and encourage them to achieve the best results possible.

They decided to publish the material themselves and, in 1992, the Publishing Company was formed. The National Curriculum laid great stress on “knowledge, skills and understanding” to which they added “FUN”, later changed to “ENYOYMENT”. The ‘Maths is…’ Jugglers was born. At first the name raised a few eyebrows, but it was quirky and easily remembered!

The mainstream Y7, Y8 & Y9 courses were first published in a topic booklet format, which proved very popular. Later the booklets were combined to make a single text for each year. Further texts were produced, trialled, revised and published for Y10 & Y11. This series of KS3 & KS4 books was given the title, “The National Curriculum… and beyond…” to emphasise that they went further than the basic National Curriculum.

This totally different approach to work for low attainers broke new ground. The only texts previously available for low attainers were simplistic, only providing work for the least able at the current level of ability. Barbara's students wanted more, they wanted to use the mainstream course, rather than follow a ‘dumbo course’. “Can’t you rewrite the course so that we can do it?” Barbara decided to give it a try if they would help her. It was agreed to take the mainstream course and alter it with the aid of these students to make it accessible to them.

The EXTRA texts were born. The style and quality of these texts is entirely down to these students rephrasing explanations, finding missing steps and spending time working out why they couldn’t understand the problems. Low attainers loved this approach and thrived on it. Eventually, there were EXTRA texts for Y7 to Y11.

Barbara had been producing material for her A-Level students for many years. ‘Maths in Perspective: Pure Mathematics’ and ‘Maths in Perspective: Mechanics’ were published in 1989 by Edward Arnold. She continued to develop A-Level material that would be accessible to all A-Level students, but also included extension material to stretch the more able.

In 2000, Jugglers published the start of the Aiming High modular texts, which were developed to meet the new AS/A syllabuses. New editions were produced when the syllabuses changed. The Aiming High texts are waffle free, with plenty of examples to ensure that students achieve the best possible grades. They include lots of A-Level style questions within the text and a complete pack of A-Level questions for revision at the end of each text. Model answers to the revision questions are provided in the Teachers’ Resource Packs.

All maths lessons should INTEREST and MOTIVATE student whatever their level of ability.

Mathematics must be RIGOROUS but it should also be ENJOYABLE.

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Problem: Students enjoyed working with The 'Maths is...' Jugglers texts so much that parents complained that they were doing much more maths than had been set for homework and not leaving enough time for other homework.

Solution: Students were told that they should complete their other set homework before doing their maths.

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The ‘Maths is...’ Jugglers Ltd, The Stables, Verner Close, Headley, Bordon, Hampshire, GU35 8LW
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   -  tel: 01428 717 113  -  fax: 0800 007 3528