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”