The Mathematics Department of St Paul’s School has an international reputation. We don’t teach to the examination, we teach mathematics – and exam success is a consequence.
Our pupils are not just highly skilled but show enthusiasm and real understanding, and there’s a vital mathematics culture in the school. On any day you will hear pupils of all ages discussing mathematics with knowledge and interest, and the mathematics staff equally find time to throw mathematical ideas around every day. The powerful intellectual curiosity characteristic of St Paul’s School is exemplified by the passion for mathematics shown by staff and pupils alike.
A central part of the school’s educational creed is that we do not accelerate our pupils by entering them early for public examinations. Instead we stretch them by providing extra depth, and in particular by using a wide range of harder questions and problems. We have consistent outstanding success in national competitions such as the British Mathematical Olympiad, and in this century we have provided more members of the UK team for the International Mathematical Olympiad than any other two schools put together.
Mathematics is a core subject to GCSE. At A Level it is hugely popular: typically, well over 80% of pupils take Mathematics in the Lower Eighth (Year 12) and in any year group between 50 and 75 boys study Further Mathematics.
In the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth forms (Year 9 – 11), all boys take a course leading to the EdExcel International GCSE. The teaching programme incorporates an innovative extension programme based on problem-solving skills required for Mathematics Challenge competitions and the Olympiads.
At A Level, we follow the OCR A Linear specification for both single mathematics and further mathematics. All exams are at the end of the two year course. The single mathematics A Level has three, two hour papers which include pure mathematics, mechanics and statistics. All our further mathematicians sit the statistics and mechanics options, with our most able pupils sitting the further pure mathematics option. Those further mathematicians who study computer science A Level may also opt to additionally sit the discrete mathematics option.
Preparation is offered both for those seeking to read Mathematics at top universities and also for those for whom Mathematics is an important element of their intended degree course, such as Physics, Natural Sciences or Engineering. Not surprisingly, we have a high rate of success at Oxbridge.
Central to the school’s mathematical profile are the various national mathematics competitions run by the UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) – the Intermediate and Senior Mathematics Challenges, the Intermediate Olympiad (Cayley, Hamilton and Maclaurin) and the British Mathematical Olympiad rounds 1 and 2. The Mathematics department also offers a wide range of co-curricular mathematical societies. Further details can be found here.