Mentoring for better maths

Each fortnight an enthusiastic group of Year 10 Bethany College Hurstville girls visit their next-door primary school to tutor Mathematics.

It’s an innovative program at St Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School Hurstville where the Bethany girls mentor children in Kindergarten and Year 2 every second Tuesday in addition, subtraction and basic Maths.

“I’ve noticed an improvement in my students, they’re getting quicker at recalling facts,” said Year 2 Teacher Natalie Amy.

Sharon Bissell, Coordinator of Gifted and Talented at St Mary’s Star of the Sea, said the activity gave the young students a more authentic experience in their own learning space. Kindy teacher Camille Flanagan is delighted with the outcomes from her students who enjoyed the 50-minute visits from the Bethany students. The Year 10 girls spend their first hour at the school with Year 2.

“My children are responding so well and they’re on task… it helps the foundation of Maths,” she said.

Ms Bissell said the Year 10 students were Standard Maths students and the activity not only gives them more confidence in their own Maths but also in communicating and learning additional language skills. She said the Bethany students are also benefitting from their leadership roles. In fact, two girls are enjoying their visits so much they have asked the classroom teachers how they can train to be teachers, too.

Bethany Year 10 student Karolina Petrovska said she is learning from the Kindy and Year 2 students.

“You teach yourself a lot more, you get a lot out of it,” she said.

Jasmine Shaele (Year 10) agreed: “I love interacting with them and seeing how much they know.”

“I enjoy working with little kids,” said Jenae Warn, also in Year 10.

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