Masterclass groups in focus: 30th Anniversaries

Hertfordshire Year 9 Masterclasses are now 30 years old - Dr Diane Crann tells us more. The Gloucestershire Masterclasses also joined the 30 club, with a rather special celebration.

  • Hertfordshire students at a Masterclass

    Hertfordshire students working hard during their Masterclasses

    Credit: Royal Institution

Hertfordshire Masterclasses reach 30

It was only while looking up the early newsletters from John Crank that I discovered that the Hertfordshire Year 9 Masterclasses started in the autumn term 1983, making this the 31st year. As there was a year missing in 1992, the series we have just finished was our 30th. Sadly, we forgot to celebrate our milestone!  But plans are in hand to rectify this in 2014.

Arnold Burdett is still on the Organising Committee, having been with the group since the beginning. Alan Davies and I took over at the University of Hertfordshire from the previous chairman and secretary, respectively, in 1993, so we’ve also missed celebrating our own 20th anniversary with the group.  1993 was our introduction to the Ri Masterclass concept (and I started working at the Ri as London Masterclass organiser in 1997) so perhaps we should celebrate next year in 2014 when we’ll both have retired and be able to attend every session as we did in the beginning.

Arnold also supervises the London Year 9 spring series in the Ri, as well as presenting primary and secondary Masterclasses, helping out at celebrations and other Ri maths events.

Further Hertfordshire series

A primary series organised by Malcolm Williams at Fearnhill School in Letchworth has been running for over 20 years.

About 10 years ago primary Masterclasses were started in Rickmansworth primary schools once a half-term on a Friday morning, the five schools still participating enthusiastically with alternate maths and science topics. More recently a similar primary series in Hemel Hempstead has started on Tuesday mornings once every half term.

Last but not least, an Engineering Group has been set up at The Paper Trail, in Apsley, near Hemel Hempstead. Organised by David Lane, who is also a regular helper at the Year 9 maths sessions, the first series was piloted successfully in the summer term this year. A second series is being organised in the spring term 2014.

30th Anniversary celebrations at GCHQ

The Gloucestershire secondary Mathematics Masterclass series also celebrated their 30th anniversary this year with a special Masterclass at GCHQ, who are one of their sponsors.  Read more about it on their website.