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. There are whiteboards in the maths department corridors where questions are displayed, and you will find pupils discussing the problems and offering solutions. 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.
Mathematics is a core subject to GCSE. At A Level it is hugely popular: typically, over 85% of pupils take Mathematics A Level and around 40% study Further Mathematics. In 2022/23 182 pupils in Year 13 study Mathematics A Level and 83 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.
Mathematics Examination Results Summary 2022
Congratulations to all the pupils who achieved excellent results in the IGCSE and A Level
Mathematics exams in the summer of 2022. The summary statistics are:
89% Grade 9
99% Grades 8/9
100% Grades 7/8/9
A Level Mathematics
84% Grade A*
97% Grades A*/A
99% Grades A*/A/B
It is clear that the pupils appreciate the outstanding teaching they all receive. For more information on the results and comparisons with the last set of results from 2019, see the document below:
Mathematical Olympiads 2021-22
The Intermediate Mathematical Challenge is entered by over 200,000 pupils across
the country. The top 600 pupils in each of Years 9, 10 and 11 qualify for the follow-up
Olympiad round. Year 9 pupils Adavya, Anango and Aman; Year 10 pupils Sameer
and Alexander; and Year 11 pupils Ege, Neil and Haolin, all finished in the top 100
in the country and were awarded medals. Adavya, Neil and Haolin finished in the
top 20 in the country and were awarded a gold medal.
Hans Woyda 2021-22
The Hans Woyda Mathematics Competition is run every year between 64 schools across London, organised into 16 Leagues of 4 teams. Each team consists of one Year 9, one Year 11, one Year 12 and one Year 13 pupil from each school. The challenge is to complete difficult maths problems under timed conditions. St Paul’s were the joint winners in 2020-21. There was no final in that year due to lockdown. In 2021-22 St Paul’s were again very successful in reaching the final, which proved to be a thrilling affair. Click here for the results of each round and a report on the final.
The Mathematics Department is heavily involved in the school’s outreach programme. One of the highlights in the year is a two-day programme of mathematics presentations and break-out activities. We host Year 10 pupils from schools in London (including Bishop Challoner School, Fulham Boys School, Grey Coat Hospital, Hammersmith Academy and West London Free School). For a brief description of the presentations, please click here.
UKMT Summer School Invitations for Haolin and Neil
Haolin Zhao and Neil Prabhu were invited to National Mathematics Summer Schools following their excellent performance in this year’s Intermediate Mathematical Challenge. Read more here.
Investment Management Work Experience
In 2021/22, Lower Eighth pupils Charles, Alexei, Arjun and Shashwat worked on a finance
project with top analysts at investment management company, Cheyne Capital. Click here to read about their experience.
Toller Mathematics Prize
In the two weeks following the Lower Eighth summer examinations, all further mathematicians undertake a short research project, culminating in a presentation of
their work. The best four presentations go through to a grand final which takes place in
the Colet Hall. The four finalists in 2022 were:
Euler, The Basel Problem and Infinite Series
The Mathematics of Poker
Axel La Pira:
Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases
A range of Toller Prize presentations from previous years can be viewed below.