Tuesday 20 February 2018

Connemara Maths Academy: Learning through discovery and adventure

Aengus O'Connor B.Sc., D.L.S., M.Phil., P.D.E.
Director, Connemara Maths Academy
Aengus O'Connor B.Sc., D.L.S., M.Phil., P.D.E. Director, Connemara Maths Academy
Kim Moran, Marketing Executive, Connemara Maths Academy
Kylemore Abbey, Home of Connemara Maths Academy Summer Camps

The Connemara Maths Academy was founded by Aengus O'Connor in 2013.

It provides summer camps and post-primary education through discovery, creative technologies and adventure and is based in Connemara, Co Galway.

It aims to promote mathematical fluency and learning through discovery, creative technologies and adventure in our residential and day summer camps while also offering courses during the year.

List of Top Five Tips

1. A Mentor

It’s vital for any new business to have a mentor, who can advise, help and explore business strategies and plans.

We found at the Connemara Maths Academy that without this opportunity to discuss and evaluate with an expert, we would have missed out on developing international markets for example. 

Our USP was very thoroughly examined, explored and identified with our mentor to be a multifaceted one: not simply our unique approach to learning but in particular, our use of creative technologies, our complementary and in house designed and built student iBooks, our capacity to interweave these technologies into a mathematics centered programme while incorporating amazing adventure activities has now become our established USP while having partners such as Kylemore Abbey and Killary Adventure Centre have only added to our USP .

People can easily differentiate the Connemara Maths Academy from our competitors, both at home and abroad, because of our unique programmes of learning and adventure.

2. Social Media

Without a doubt, this is a vital component to any business, and having an excellent understanding of how it applies to business is simply a prerequisite to setting up any sort of successful business.

While there are very few Irish summer camp providers on social media here in Ireland, there are many schools and teachers now getting involved in social media so we can be in contact directly with parents, teachers  and students around the country and beyond from our mobile devices and laptops.

In fact, almost 60pc of our business has been through social media such as through Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, Google+ and others.  Make sure and use Google+.

3. Data Analysis and Reaction

Constantly analysing any data you have access to, is crucial.

Using Google Analytics for example is an incredible source of marketing information pertinent to our business and has been an invaluable tool for us when ensuring we are reaching our target market as often and as effectively as possible. 

It is also very important to react to such data in the most productive way. We have maintained our early Booking Discount price tag for our late June Kylemore Abbey Summer Camp because of what we were hearing from parents and May bookings are reflecting that demand.

We have made other decisions recently based on our feedback from parents and students, such as partnering up with The Maths Tutor.ie, who will now feature in our complimentary student iBook and NetFreqs.com, who has teamed up with Connemara Maths Academy and given our students access to their technology in a new and again unique collaboration for learning for our students.

Another big decision made was to open another camp for Secondary School Starters in August at Killary Adventure Centre (August 3rd - 9th), which was as a direct response to a particular demographic we spotted visiting our site and how they behaved on the site, coupled with direct enquiries from parents; we are now selling places for this camp, with 50pc of the places gone already.

There is obviously a huge demand for secondary school starters programmes in August and one that fits right in with our mission.

4. Eat, sleep and exercise well

5. #BizParties

We would recommend to new start-ups to get involved in their regional or national Twitter Biz Parties as these are excellent ways of connecting with other businesses and getting your brand out there.

We most certainly would not now be looking at a sold out summer if it wasn’t for this great and enjoyable way to network, and without even having to leave your home! Having said that, it’s particularly satisfying to finally meet the faces behind the handles at the Biz Party meet ups and solidify relationships built up on twitter.

A number of our collaborations and partnerships have been formed from such gatherings.


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