The Amazing School talks to the Royal Society

Wow, what an exciting week!

The Amazing School was invited to give a presentation on evidence-based approaches to education to the esteemed British scientists of the Royal Society.

The RS have put together a panel of some of our best academic minds, to think about the future of maths and science education in the UK, with the aim of informing government policy.

Isn’t that thrilling, that we live in a country in which establishments, such as the RS, inform government policy?  Additionally, in order to ensure that the committee thinks outside of their comfort zone, they have been inviting a wide range of people to present to them. How great is that?

The Amazing School was there on the same day as Conrad Wolfram (of WolframAlpha), and we were both talking about the benefits of making maths a more applied subject.

You can watch a version of the talk we gave to the Royal Society here. It’s about 12 minutes long – enjoy!

Amazing School Talk to the Royal Society

We don’t have a copy of Conrad’s presentation to the RS, but we can recommend his TED lecture in which he tells a similar story:

Conrad Wolfram’s TED Talk

We rather like the fact that Conrad presents a compelling argument for computer based maths education,  from a motivational and utility point of view, and that we show that teaching in this way is also psychologically easier. The key point to remember is that we don’t have to choose between a vocational or academic approach, teaching in a vocational way, using practical examples results in students developing better life skills AND developing a better abstract (academic) skills.

Now, all we need is some schools and maths departments that want to explore this space with us. We teach mathematical reasoning and basic programming skills by using Excel ( We think this is a great way to inspire kids as the software is readily available, and it prepares them with skills that employers seek. If you are a school, or maths teach, and would like to see what we have to offer then GET IN TOUCH!

Maths Garden

Our maths education company ( is going from strength to strength, and we have more content coming soon, but I’ve been aware that our courses are for adults and not (currently) for children, and I’ve been wanting to find companies that have developed mathematical training for kids based on established scientific principles.

There are some great arithmetic products out there!  Mostly, they focus on adaptive training and motivational factors, by which I mean they make the sums get harder in response to the ability of the child and create fun, playful environments.  This is FANTASTIC, it has been reliably shown in numerous experiments that optimal learning happens when the task difficult is as hard as you can manage without failing.  A useful analogy is to think about muscles, muscles get stronger fastest if you train at the limit of your ability!

One such company is, which, in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam,  has created a online course for kids based on exactly this kind of adaptive training.  A great benefit of this approach when used within schools is that the teacher has excellent data on the performance of each child, without having to do the marking and so has more time to engage one-on-one with children that need help.

IndexMatch seems to be one of very few companies that provide training in mathematics rather than arithmetic.  Another notable company is Wolfram ( who have created Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica in order that people can engage in mathematics and not arithmetic.

More on them next time, but for a quick experiment try typing “Am I drunk?” into Wolfram Alpha (!