The story of HegartyMaths
Necessity is the mother of invention...
In 2011 we started making YouTube Maths videos to support our own classes with their maths homework and revision. We believe that, often, students just need to hear a maths concept one more time. In class students find it embarrassing to say they don’t understand something and so having that explanation in a place they can view at home really helps. In a few years we made close to 1,000 videos covering Key Stage 3, GCSE and A-Level Maths. All this was done whilst full-time teachers and most videos were made in the very early hours of the morning or at weekends. We used the videos in many ways for our classes and these included homework, extra revision, and in a flipped learning model that produced our school’s best A-Level and GCSE Maths results.
But then something amazing happened…
Since the videos were freely available on YouTube, students from all over the country and the world started using our videos in many ways. In particular, we found it was helping students who lacked confidence in maths or could not afford expensive private Maths tuition.
With the help of the most wonderful charity SHINE (Let Teachers SHINE), we won £15,000 of funding to make a website to host the videos and make more content to help as many students as we could. We made our old website called mathswebsite.com which hosts all our old videos (about 2,000) and it remains a place where students can learn and revise their maths for FREE. Our old site has been used in over 200 worldwide territories and had over 6 million views, with on average about 5,000 students using it everyday to support with their learning and all for FREE.
We knew we could do better…
We had a bigger dream to make an online platform that taught, assessed and tracked everything a child needs to learn in school maths from upper primary to IGCSE level. Our vision was to try and take as much of what makes a great classroom teacher and put it into an online format so this included: well-thought out maths explanations with carefully modelled examples, all learning built on pre-requisite knowledge, all videos followed by bespoke assessments perfectly matching the video and finally a simple and easy to use tracking system that allowed teachers to focus on pupils' mistakes whilst making the collection of tracking data easy. We built what we wished we always had as maths teachers. We believe that technology will not replace teachers, nor should it. However if we built a well-designed system, obsessively focused on the science of teaching and learning which allowed teachers to spend their valuable time on the things that matter, we could make a scaleable difference in maths education.
It has taken 12 months to build and we are excited at the journey ahead….
HegartyMaths Press Kit
The Press Kit(.zip) includes press release, HegartyMaths Logos and product images.
Meet the team
Colin Hegarty Founder
I love maths and teaching it! I was the first person in my family to attend university, going to Oxford University and obtaining a First Class degree in Mathematics. For six years after university, I worked in finance in the City but always felt the urge to fulfil a radically different ambition. I left my job in finance and began training to become a maths teacher.
Over and above my enjoyment of the beauty of maths, the main reason I wanted to teach it was that I understand that being skilled in it is a life differentiator. Often good skills and qualifications in maths open up access to well-paid and desirable jobs. All too often, I believe that many students just don’t end up with the chance to access these jobs through a lack of confidence in maths and lack of a little bit of extra support along the way in their studies. I believe that if you work hard and have access to the right support you can achieve anything. One of my favourite quotes is from a book called Bounce, by Matthew Syed who says “If you want to bend it like Beckham or fade it like Tiger you have to work like crazy, regardless of your genes, creed or colour. There is no shortcut to success in life”
The reason I am a teacher and the aim of HegartyMaths is to help kids who need a little extra support in maths and provide them with a platform to work hard and access to the opportunities and choices to be successful in their lives.
Brian Arnold Co-founder
I’ve wanted to teach all my life and was inspired by my dedicated maths teachers in secondary school. After graduating school to complete a BSc. in Mathematical Science, I ventured across the water from Dublin to London to pursue my dream. As a technology enthusiast, I quickly explored various different ways to enhance my teaching.
I always had a keen eye on Khan Academy and was an admirer of what they do. Powered by this inspiration but determined to ‘do a better job of it’, I decided to make my own videos. These would be tailored to my students and the students of the UK and Ireland. Colin mentored me when I was an NQT and since then, we have formed a strong friendship and worked tirelessly to expand our reach to as many students as possible.
My favourite quote, and I don’t know exactly who can lay claim to this one is, “You make your own luck”
Dan Keeble Lead programmer and former student
Firstly, I would like to say how privileged I am to be a part of the HegartyMaths team to help develop this product.
As someone who has learned using Colin and Brian’s maths videos, I can vouch for how hugely beneficial these resources were to my studies.
I am extremely proud of how the website currently looks and functions. It is the culmination of many many hours and some very late nights.
My background in web design and development goes back about 9 years when I began self learning various web languages. I am now fluent in HTML, CSS and PHP. I enjoy the challenge of being faced with real world problems, and having to find a way to solve them.
“You only get out what you put in”
Meet our great interns
The HegartyMaths team at its core is about teaching and learning. As teachers, we felt there was an excellent opportunity to give real, relevant and exciting work experience in a new and upcoming EdTech enterprise. With that in mind, we created the HegartyMaths intern program. Here we have a team of school students aged 15 - 17 who work with us everyday after school. They have gained skills in many aspects of our business including programming, web testing, business administration and of course, mathematics.
HegartyMaths has been a phenomenal experience. My hard work here has led to an appreciation of start-up companies. I got to know the ins and outs of running a successful enterprise, from managing workers to structuring work. It has had a motivational and somewhat inspiring effect on my academic life, while reinforcing my future aspirations of pursuing an entrepreneurial life.
Throughout my time at HegartyMaths I have developed a much more profound understanding of how a start-up operates first-hand and the effort and commitment it takes to create something as unique and valuable. The skills that I take away from this experience will certainly help me in my future business career and I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the HegartyMaths team.
Working with HegartyMaths has been a privilege and has taught me many useful skills and has helped developed my programming skills and appreciate maths more. I am thankful to the team at HegartyMaths for this great opportunity and hope all the best for them in the future.
It was a great and valuable experience, that I will remember for years to come. Taught me exactly what goes into a start-up and how hard the team at HegartyMaths work to get it off the ground.
As a programmer, it has been loads of fun helping to create HegartyMaths! It has come to help me with my programming for my A levels and programs that I make outside of school. Also, as a mathematician, it has helped me to revise personally for my subjects at school. It has been a valuable experience as well as a privilege to work for HegartyMaths.
I have deeply enjoyed working with the HegartyMaths team. I feel as if they have taught me a lot and it has been very beneficial to my learning. I have prospered as a person and a student in these last couple of weeks. I have got a better understanding of business start ups and I have improved dramatically in maths. It has been a fantastic experience.
It has been a privilege to have work experience with HegartyMaths. I have enjoyed my time working in the team to help with their fantastic website. I have gained many transferable skills needed for future jobs and have become more confident with coding in multiple programming languages which has helped me greatly in AS-Level Computing.
I had a great time programming for HegartyMaths! It has taught me new programming languages and helped me to improve in the current ones I am doing. It has also showed me the reality of a start-up and how important having determination and a strong character is.
It has been such a fantastic experience to watch and be a part of something so incredibly passionate and impactful to people. Experiencing it from both sides, the development end and actually using it first hand in class, and at home, has proven how effective and essential this tool will become. It's been invaluable experiencing development, both of the site and of my maths skills.
Maths has been my passion for the majority of my school years so being part of the start-up of HegartyMaths has been an enlightening experience to see it all come to life. Being involved in this amazing organisation has taught me many core skills such as working together efficiently, delegating work as well as user experiences and improving my programming and algorithm skills. I wish HegartyMaths the best for the future and able to help many more thousands of students.
As someone who loves both maths and computing, working at HegartyMaths has been a fantastic experience and one that I have thoroughly enjoyed. The hard work that has been put into starting this website from nothing has been incredible and has inspired me to work harder. It has taught me so much about both programming languages and learning to work together efficiently as a team, and I am so glad that I was a part of it.
HegartyMaths provides us with the opportunity to put our programming and computer skills in action, with a strong emphasis on teamwork and efficiency, most notably by dividing and breaking down more complex problems amongst ourselves. The feeling that the work we do will benefit many students who want to improve their mathematical ability is extremely satisfying. It was a privilege to work with Colin, Brian and Dan who have provided us with this opportunity and work tirelessly for HegartyMaths to succeed. Overall, programming for hegartymaths has been a truly rewarding and unforgettable experience.
Programming at HegartyMaths has been incredibly enriching. It has allowed me to develop my understanding of programming languages that I already know and learn new languages as I work. I have also had the taste of working with peers towards team goals. The opportunity to see how the website develops from behind the scenes has also been a valuable experience.
Working with HegartyMaths has taught me so much more about building and implementing a website. As a computing student it has shown me more about different languages and how they work together. It has helped me with my A Levels and has encouraged me to focus more on helping younger students with maths and showing them how to enjoy it. I am so glad to be working with the HegartyMaths team.
HegartyMaths has been a fantastic opportunity to experience work in the real world. By learning how to operate in a start-up business, it has made me realise how vigilant and strategic you have to be to be successful. Working in the team has been an exhilarating experience, they have taught me so much. Overall, all the expertise and skills I have found here at HegartyMaths has enabled my academic studies and future to be lived at full potential and I thank the whole HegartyMaths team for that and I know there will be more of this in the future.
It has been an amazing experience for me as I have learnt lots of new skills and it helped me a lot whilst I was doing my Maths and Computing GSCE's.
I have really enjoyed working at HegartyMaths as it has been a new experience for me and I had no idea about how hard setting up a start-up business would be but I now realise that a lot of hard work is required to operate a start-up business. I also learned many new skills which will help me in my future career.
This has been a truly incredible and enjoyable experience and I am extremely grateful for the chance. It has helped me to see first hand how to grow a business and exactly how much work is put into it. HegartyMaths has taught me a lot about how to put my knowledge into practice and I will never forget it.