Today I get to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, and address the discrepancy that has arisen between how much I write about my sister on my blog, and how much I write about my brother. While it’s true that, when I go to visit Dom, I don’t get to see dancing fountains or drink cocktails in the world’s highest bar, he’s been my main dude for over 30 years and it’s about time I did something to acknowledge that here.
Also, menswear from Jacamo doesn’t suit me, so who better to ask to model it?
Growing up, my brother always had a strong creative and entrepreneurial streak. He is now one of the small team of passionate maths teachers behind Rigour Maths, founded to help tackle the decline in numeracy skills in Scotland, as highlighted by the OECD. Rigour combines interactive teaching software for schools with online learning portals and pupil-specific interactive electronic profiles – and, this being 2018, there’s plenty of fun, free stuff available for pupils, parents and schools too, available via an engaging social networking presence that was recently honoured with a second “like” from none other than Mark “Luke Skywalker” Hamill.
“Discipline and hard work are qualities required of Jedi Knights and we share these values at Rigour Maths,” says Dom, only half joking.
“Rigour is built on the principle that every child, with the right attitude, can be successful in numeracy and mathematics. We’re delighted with the feedback we’ve received from pupils, parents and schools this year, who are celebrating record exam results. Seeing that our inclusive education service really seems to be making a difference gives us the drive to continually improve the programme, and as the new school year begins we’re once again working on new initiatives that we’re excited to launch this year.”
Rigour is built around the concept of differentiated learning, with the idea being that pupils at any stage or ability level can access the framework and feel a real sense of achievement as they clearly progress though the different maths skills. Electronic profiles for pupils allow them to share the learning journey with teachers and parents and easily prepare for next steps, while the comprehensive online platform gives children access to the full Scottish mathematics curriculum from CFE level 2 upwards.
Dom explains that, as the profile of the business began to grow, the team began to receive frequent inquiries from pupils and parents who wanted to benefit from the system, but whose schools weren’t offering it.
“After a lot of hard work, we’re now in a position where parents can subscribe to the website and access full support for the whole Scottish maths curriculum for a full year, for roughly the same price as one hour with a maths tutor,” he says.
“At the same time, we offer free resources to benefit your learning.”
Those free resources include monthly CFE calendars, incorporating a daily maths problem and Rigour’s overarching philosophy of “practice little and often being the key to long term success”, and weekly numeracy newspaper The Daily Rigour. With real-world problems based on items in the news, The Daily Rigour has an army of devoted fans on Twitter – including the Chasers (yes, that’s new Doctor Who companion Bradley Walsh posing with a copy of the paper, something my brother is yet to lord over me!).
Rigour has also recently finished its second annual Maths Week Scotland competition, run to coincide with the Scottish Government initiative. “We’re in the middle of the judging process and are looking forward to announcing the winners very soon,” says Dom.
A JD Williams company (so, from the same people behind my faves Simply Be, among others), Jacamo specialises in quality menswear across a wide range of sizes, from S-5XL. They also stock plenty of your favourite brands including Levi’s, Adidas, Ben Sherman and French Connection – I even spotted the new Celtic top while browsing the site!
What that meant was my brother was able to order a new pair of Adidas Duramo trainers at the same time as new workwear, and he’s been putting them to good use at the gym since they arrived. “I’m the least fit person in the world, but applying the Rigour approach to my exercise – regular practice, little and often – means I’m building up my stamina and resilience just like the pupils,” he says, ever on brand.
This post contains PR samples, but all views are my own (or Dom’s) and unbiased.