Helen Westwood | Arts1

Helen Westwood


The Maths sessions offered at Arts1 are focused on supporting student’s progress towards achieving their individual targets regarding their Maths work. This could be the achievement of a certain grade in the GCSE exams (either in the first instance or as part as a resit opportunity) or to increase their confidence and motivation in the subject.

Each session has a specific focus where the key information is discussed and built on with students ultimately working towards being able to solve complex problems from a range of topics. Misconceptions and problem areas are regularly explored and areas that have been found difficult in individual topics are addressed, going off at a tangent when necessary.

A range of paper based and electronic resources are used in sessions, these include course specific texts and practice materials. Arts1 is also an approved centre for the use of Hegarty Maths – a new online resource and technology such as Qwizdom handsets are also used to enhance the student experience & to reinforce topics in a different way.

As the time for sitting formal exams approaches, past exam papers are also regularly used to help students to prepare for the exam process and to enable them to have the best possible chance to achieve their target grade.

What I have


Initially after graduating from Aston University, I spent two years working for PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Tax Consultant in Cambridge.

However, having volunteered in Maths lessons during my time in Sixth Form, I soon decided that the corporate world was not for me and I started working at a large secondary school in Northampton, where I trained as a Maths Teacher, under the new Graduate Teacher Programme.

After my first year, where I qualified as a teacher while teaching a 50% timetable, I was promoted to the role of Numeracy Coordinator and during my time at that school I taught a range of classes from Years 7 to 13. I also had responsibility for launching and delivering a brand new Financial Capability A’level. I have also held the position of eLearning Coordinator and Head of Key Stage 3 Maths where I was responsible for the progress of students in Maths during Years 7 to 9.

In addition to my classroom role, I have also worked on a number of whole school projects as an Assistant World Challenge Leader on expeditions to China, New Zealand and Venezuela (which included assisting in approximately two years of fundraising prior to each trip).

Having taught for 5 years, I then moved to teach at another secondary school in Northamptonshire where I have taught Maths and Financial Studies ever since. I have worked with students with a range of additional needs and I have also held a number of examiner positions in addition of my teaching role – I have been an examiner for AQA GCSE Maths and I am currently an examiner and team leader for ifs University College for their GCSE and A’level equivalent qualifications.

I believe that Maths is a vital subject and one that anyone can be successful in, given the right support and with the right determination. I thoroughly enjoy working with my students, helping them to understand and develop their mathematical knowledge and ultimately achieve the targets they have for their Maths work.

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