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Maths Schools

(17 Posts)
SqueeksAway Tue 02-May-17 07:44:54

Does anyone know anything about the maths school initiative at Kings and Exeter?

Do any mumsnetter's teens go to one? And can they give an idea of what its like?

alittlebitprivateforthis Tue 02-May-17 22:15:26

My dd goes to kcl maths school in year 12. She's incredibly happy there. What would you like to know?

SqueeksAway Wed 03-May-17 11:04:26

Well that's the main one are they happy there!

What do they feel the quality of the experience is? Is it more than going to the local sixth form? Or a private sixth form. Are there a lot of extra opportunities? Is it just very very hard Mathematics? Is it a big range of students there in outlook and attitude united by a common love of maths or is everyone v studious and quiet from v similar backgrounds - I guess I just want to know more about the student experience and any information would be really helpful

evenstrangerthings Wed 03-May-17 12:04:39

Mine is Year 13 at Kings Maths School:

What do they feel the quality of the experience is?

My DD loves it. Being such a small school the kids do get a great level of education at the individual level too. .

Is it more than going to the local sixth form?

Yes - of course the maths teaching is fab (they run math inset courses for teachers from outside). Teaching in other subjects is good but the maths teaching stands out.

Also, over the next few weeks instead of having full blown study leave, each student is given an individual timetable for revision sessions based on their individual needs/weaknesses. This seems to work very well for pulling in a few last minute marks in the exams

Or a private sixth form.

My DD had been in private schools previously. We chose Kings over the private system.

Are there a lot of extra opportunities?

In term 1 of year 12 they have language sessions choosing from Mandarin, Arabic, French and maybe a few others. They can then continue with that language by using the KCL Uni language lab. Sports are once a week with options such as the usual football and running and the not so usual rick climbing and badminton to name a few. School clubs have included Art club, Robotics club, magic club, dungeons and dragons club, knitting club. Students can set up a club if they can drum up interest.

Is it just very very hard Mathematics?

DD describes it as:

Set 1: Do seemingly impossible math
Sets2 and 3: Do some hard but cool maths
Set 4: Do enough to get A stars in both maths and FM

Is it a big range of students there in outlook and attitude united by a common love of maths or is everyone v studious and quiet from v similar backgrounds

Students come from all sorts of backgrounds - not all studious and quiet but many are likely quirky in their own way. There are regular cool kids and nerdy cool kids and everything in between but they all seem to get along.

This year they had 300+ applications for the 70 or so places so students there are going to love maths and/or be good at maths.

There was a recent OFSTED so once that report is published there'll be more information for prospective parents and students.

alittlebitprivateforthis Wed 03-May-17 12:50:09

Evenstranger your dds description made me giggle.

dd came from a comprehensive background. The local sixth forms cannot compare at all. Evenstranger has written a very good reply.

One thing I really like about the school is it's diversity. dd has friends from all different faiths and cultures. They share openly about this. It's very inclusive. I think it's fair to say that's there are more than the usual number of quirky kids there, but the non quirky kids fit in as well. And it turns out when kids get excited about maths they often don't remain quiet and studious. My dd has discovered more of an extrovert side to herself that none of us knew about. The dropout rate from her year group has been tiny as far as I know, just one or two kids.

They don't have a canteen, just a vending machine, so most take in their own food or go to the local costa or other places. When the weather is nice they sit out in the park opposite.

They are timetabled much more than 6th form colleges, far fewer free periods. I wouldn't say the maths is necessarily just harder - it's interesting maths, much wider ranging than the curriculum. Group chats about maths extend far beyond just the lessons.

If your child absolutely loves maths and is good at it, if they intend to do double maths and physics as their a levels then I think it's really worth looking at it. As I said in my first post, my dd couldn't be happier.

SqueeksAway Sun 07-May-17 13:28:10

Thank you evenstranger and alittlebitprivate I really appreciated your responses and the kclms sounds a fantastic place for any 6th former (who loves maths).

My dc actually has an offer but I was concerned for him as he doesn't come across as especially intelligent, just a bit easy going and clueless. It sounds so fun though that I hope he will be able to relax and really enjoy learning with a wide mix of people in an exciting academic environment.

I think if it was too pressured and there was absolute focus on academic success with little diversity he might not adapt well but it does sound really like an atmosphere that encourages the whole person to succeed.

Thanks again for your responses - we'll see if he gets in!

MrsJoBangles Sun 07-May-17 13:37:45

DS1 is also in Y13 at Kings.

I agree with what everyone else who has teens there has said.

DS1 is a dreamer and not hugely driven but he loves Maths. He has made real friends there and has blossomed. He is scatty and has huge issues with organisation. Kings have worked incredibly hard to support him with this.

He is extremely happy (and far too relaxed) there.

spababe Mon 15-May-17 11:30:56

Is there a specialized maths school at Kings? can't find anything on their website.

We are going to the EMS open evening next month - there are limited places and you have to book so get tickets now if you need to.

I have 2 friends with DC there and both sing its praises but say if your DC does not get in then it is not the right place for them

alittlebitprivateforthis Mon 15-May-17 11:53:37

kings maths school

Quick question to the Year 13 parents. When they take the year 12s to different universities what sort of arrangements do they make?

evenstrangerthings Tue 16-May-17 07:03:17

From what I remember - for the London Unis - they visited KCL and Imperial. They told the students to meet at a meeting point at the university and then they split them up into groups to visit different departments.

They also took the students to Oxford and Warwick (they were supposed to got to Nottingham but the school coach had mechanical issues so they they changed plans and went to Warwick) Again - I think the students visited the departments they were interested in in groups.

In addition they gave time off to students who wanted to visit other unis as post AS exams they switched the regular timetable to group/project work so that students wouldn't miss curriculum work if they were away on a visit.

Perhaps someone else will chime in with more info/details.

spababe Tue 16-May-17 07:30:15

I think there is some confusion in this thread. Maths schools are probably not widely known about unless you have one near you. They are specialist 6th Form schools concentrating on maths A levels. It's not university courses we are discussing (although the 2 maths schools I know about have links to their local unis)

alittlebitprivateforthis Tue 16-May-17 08:01:05

Who is confused spababe? everyone here is fully on topic and talking about Kings and Exeter maths schools.

Thank you Evenstranger. There must have been some early starts! Will have to get dd to stay with a friend the night before I think.
I absolutely love the school, but they don't appear to believe in advance warning.

spababe Tue 16-May-17 08:17:23

Oh I see! Sorry it's me that's confused! I thought Evenstranger was talking about uni visits per se but now I have re-read in light of your comments I assume she is talking about visits to Unis that the maths school took them on.

alittlebitprivateforthis Tue 16-May-17 08:20:54

smile
Kings takes them on a few trips after the exams. Must be a fun atmosphere.

evenstrangerthings Tue 16-May-17 09:44:03

I just dug out the email from the school regarding post AS trips (dated 14 June 2016 - yes - not a lot of advanced notice)

Anyway - the students had to be at school by 7:45am for the Oxford and Nottingham (switched to Warwick) Uni visits.

Other in-school sessions included careers talks, company visits and getting started with their EPQ (if they wanted to do one)

alittlebitprivateforthis Tue 16-May-17 11:36:39

That's manegable! and really helpful of you, thank you! It sounds like a good use of time after the exams.

evenstrangerthings Wed 07-Jun-17 01:17:11

The Kings Maths School Ofsted report has just been released http://www.kcl.ac.uk/newsevents/news/newsrecords/2017/06-June/King's-Maths-School-graded-Outstanding-by-Ofsted.aspx

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