Suresh Singh, Senior Leader: Curriculum Lead for Mathematics at MPS, has been working closely with Surinder Panesar, BDSIP Associate Adviser: Maths, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and POoR (Power Out of Restriction) to teach maths in the context of an architectural design project. We are sure you will agree that the impact of their work for our young people has been truly outstanding.
“But why do I need to know this?”
It’s not an unfamiliar question, particularly from the most disengaged learners in our classrooms, but it can be quite a challenging one to answer in a way that makes sense to children or young people, irrespective of whether it relates to cultural capital or practical application of knowledge or skills in real life contexts.
Mr Singh, working in partnership with Surinder Panesar and the BDSIP-facilitated Maths Hub, is tackling this challenge head on. His work with RIBA and the POoR Collective in 2021, and current project, Design Future London, provide students at MPS with the opportunity to apply both their mathematical knowledge and their creativity to real life projects that help to raise their aspirations for the future.
The RIBA Project was born out a grassroots movement of architects, teachers and designers who believe that harnessing the creativity and imagination of the under-twenties to build youth-friendly public spaces is a force for social good. Consequently, RIBA commissioned POoR to work with local school children to design an inviting local hang out to mark the centenary of the Becontree estate.
Through the project, MPS students were able to learn about architecture, create a design of their own and, most significantly, have their design constructed in Regents Park. While the opportunity to apply both their learning from maths and art was invaluable for the students, the project was also a vehicle for them to practice working collaboratively; develop resilience and problem-solving skills in the face of challenges; develop their critical thinking skills; and give presentations, all of which will serve them well in further learning or future employment.
The project was celebrated in FT Weekend and subscribers can read the article online: What teenagers can teach us about creating better places to live.
Bringing Home to the Unknown was erected in Regents Park last October and now stands proudly as a permanent reminder of the students’ achievements in the grounds of MPS.
To find out more about BDSIP’s Curriculum Support offer or to discuss your curriculum support needs, please contact:
Paul Hammond, Senior School Improvement Adviser: Secondary
Kate Gooding, Senior School Improvement Adviser: Primary