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Students and their families celebrated the presentation of the Exeter Mathematics Certificate along with exceptional A-level results at the University.

Exeter Mathematics School Cited as Model by Prime Minister

The Exeter Mathematics School, sponsored by the University of Exeter, has been cited by the Prime Minister as a model for spreading specialist maths schools across the country.

Launching the government’s industrial strategy, Theresa May said she wanted to see specialist maths schools throughout the country, mentioning the Exeter Maths School as a model of how this could be done.

The Exeter Mathematics School is one of only two sixth forms in the country to specialise in mathematics and physics, and is sponsored by the University of Exeter and Exeter College. Last summer 79 per cent or students got an A*, A, or B in their A-levels, and half of all A-level results were an A* or A grade. A total of 18.3 per cent of students secured Oxbridge places.

One of England’s first mathematics free schools, it was last week named among the top one per cent in the country for the progress made by students during their studies in a Government statistics published last week.

Several academics from the University of Exeter are governors and feed into the curriculum. Some of their projects are pitched at a similar level to undergraduate assignments. Topics have included the creation of a ‘statistically perfect’ pop song.

Students are awarded the Exeter Mathematics Certificate as well as A-levels when they graduate from the school, in recognition of the undergraduate-level work they do with University of Exeter academics.

The sixth form offers young people in the South West from all backgrounds who show potential to do well in maths and science the chance to study an exciting curriculum, and work with leading academics at the University of Exeter. It was set up to boost the supply of capable undergraduates in mathematics, statistics and computer science.

Professor Janice Kay, Provost of the University of Exeter who was instrumental in setting up the school, said: “The University of Exeter is delighted to see students at Exeter Mathematics School, who come from a variety of backgrounds, thrive and produce such excellent results. The University is proud to sponsor the school and is very pleased the Prime Minister is keen to see more schools like it around the country and we are pleased to do our best to help.”

Professor Pete Vukusic, Associate Dean for Education of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the University of Exeter, and a governor of the School, said: “Many University of Exeter mathematics lecturers have supported Exeter Mathematics School staff with the delivery of a range of teaching activities and extended project work. This has enriched the Exeter Maths School students' educational experience and provides a detailed flavour of just what studying mathematics and physical sciences is like in higher education.”

The school’s progress score for all subjects – measured by comparing the achievements of children at GCSE to A-level - is higher than any other state sixth form in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

Exeter Mathematics School headteacher Kerry Burnham said: “We are so proud of our students and their achievements. We are delighted that these statistics show teachers and all those involved with the school are making a real difference to children’s lives.”

The students, based in the centre of Exeter, come from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. Some board at the school during the week. They study Mathematics and Further Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science and other scientific disciplines and have the opportunity to take a different fourth subject at Exeter College.


Date: 19 January 2017

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