Cambridge HOTmaths bridges the lockdown mathematics learning gap

Alan Vesty

South Africa is approaching the six-month mark in lockdown, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only will the lockdown have long-lasting effects on the economy, it is also be evident that this will have a sustained impact on education. During a large part of the lockdown, most learners were left without any access to instruction or to learning materials, despite the heroic efforts of teachers, education officials and the generous support of the educational publishing and EdTech industry, not to mention the unsung efforts of embattled parents.

Speaking in August at Lethlabile, the Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, revealed that it will take at least three years to catch up the missing work. That is going to be particularly challenging in a subject like mathematics, which depends upon a strong foundation, with each year building on all the preceding years. To succeed at the higher-level mathematics taught in the FET (Further Education and Training) Phase, it is essential that learners master the skills, concepts and applications taught in the Foundation Phase, and critically, in the Intermediate and Senior Phases.

As classes return, mathematics teachers will be faced with having to teach learners based on their level of understanding, not just on the grade they are in. Both procedural and conceptual understanding will be key to success. Ideally, this will require assessing learners, and providing differentiated learning solutions to each of them. This will be, to say the least, considerably challenging for many schools.

To remedy this, Cambridge University Press has released an affordable, world-class solution to assist teachers and learners. Cambridge HOTmaths, an online maths platform used by schools and individuals around the world, has been extensively redeveloped to support CAPS Mathematics.

Cambridge HOTmaths CAPS Edition is an interactive online maths learning, teaching and assessment resource for learners and teachers, for individuals or whole classes, for school and at home. A suite of flexible resources (print and online) is provided for all types of classrooms, ranging from those with no technology to those with full computer access, and includes projectable material in all lessons for interactive and non-interactive whiteboards.

The Cambridge HOTmaths CAPS platform features interactive lessons for each topic covered in the Intermediate and Senior Phases. This is supported by interactive walkthroughs, quickfire quizzes, as well as games and widgets that are especially useful to visually oriented learners. There are also printable worksheets and solutions that accompany each lesson, which can for instance, be WhatsApped to parents to support remote learning. Four levels of difficulty are available, to help struggling learners to master key concepts, as well as provide a suitable challenge to those learners who are ahead of the curve. The Cambridge HOTmaths platform includes a mathematics dictionary, powerful test generator as well as analytics, reporting tools and task manager.

The new Study & Master Cambridge HOTmaths (3 years) licences for the Intermediate or Senior Phase include downloadable Study & Master Maths Online Activity Books for each grade, plus Parent/Teacher Guides. These resources were developed with South African mathematics educator and author, Marelize Barnard. Unlike many monthly subscription-based models, this incredible package provides three years’ access to three grades for a once-off purchase of R250.00*.

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*Recommended Retail Price, including 15% VAT. Price correct as at 15/09/2020. Prices subject to change.