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December 13th 2023

Inspiring, empowering & pioneering - our female mathematicians

It’s been an incredibly busy, exciting and productive start to the academic year in the Senior Maths department and students have been making excellent progress. 

Year 7 and 8 have been completing lessons under the new Key Stage 3 curriculum, which aims to promote independent practise, enrichment and challenge.  The new Practise, Retrieval and Challenge (PRC) booklets are being completed in class once a week, seeing students engaging in Maths themed escape rooms, creative enrichment activities and discovering some of the famous Mathematicians that have shaped the way we see the world.  Some students have been attending Maths puzzle club with Mrs Langham, others have been challenging their grey matter with the UKMT challenge with Ms Masters, and some have enjoyed the excitement of learning about cryptography with the Year 12 Society. 

In early October, two of our young Mathematicians from Year 8 & 9 were invited to the ‘Maths4Girls in celebration of Ada Lovelace’ Day at Google HQ. Daisy from Year 8 and Leilani from Year 9 both thoroughly enjoyed the day, as did Ms Masters who accompanied them. Daisy said “I really enjoyed my afternoon at Google HQ, the talks were really interesting and I thought that all the speakers were very inspiring. The talks were engaging and made the afternoon very fun, we had lots of opportunity to ask questions on anything that we found interesting. The building was very cool and both me and Leilani really enjoyed seeing it”. 

Maths4Girls is an initiative run by the Charity Founders4Schools, which is pioneering a national campaign to inspire and empower 11–14-year-old girls to pursue Maths and achieve their ambitions. The mission is to reach 250,000 girls (16% of TAM / Teaching A level Mathematics) with a Maths role model by June 2024.  

More about Maths4Girls at Google: An exciting day with a mixture of stage content and speed mentoring. Our fantastic speakers provided real-world instances that demonstrate the role of Maths in shaping the future, and how it underpins various fields such as technology, gaming, Web3 and architecture. Speakers included: Selasi Setufe MBE (Co-Founder and Director, Black Females In Architecture); Elisa Jabbar (Athlete Marketing Manager, EA Sports); Lauren Ingram (Founder, Women of Web3). The speed mentoring will be themed around technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and finance with the students having the opportunity to speak with a range of business leaders. 

Year 9-11 students have all been working really hard through their new iGCSE syllabus and focusing on honing their skills ready for their examinations. Year 9 have loved making songs about Pythagoras’ Theorem and Year 10 made up some very creative ‘Maths operations’ dances. Of course, there is also the serious side – our Year 11 students recently sat their Mock examinations and we are really proud of how they kept themselves balanced throughout. We hope the “Throwback Thursday” (Year 10 and 11) and “Wise-up Wednesday” (in Year 9), activities have fully prepared them for these examinations and look forward to celebrating their successes. 

Our Senior Mathematicians have also been incredibly busy. Year 12 enjoyed a trip to ‘Maths Inspiration’ talks at the Cambridge Theatre.  They listened to three varied talks, exploring topics such as ‘Are you smarter than Chat GTP’, the ‘Maths of Escape’, and the ‘Sacred Geometry of Chance’.  Sophia particularly enjoyed getting up on stage to take part in an experiment regarding how quickly people walk……when attached to more and more people in an elastic ring!  

Finally, as part of the annual national UKMT challenge, a contingent of our top Mathematicians took part; Alisha from Year 13 and Kani from Year 12, took part in the prestigious Maths Olympiad for Girls, an incredibly challenging task, competing questions in 2.5 hours. Kani achieved a Certificate of Distinction, the highest level awarded prior to qualification. Kani went on to compete in the British Maths Olympiad – we are still awaiting her result, but she had a blast! In the Senior Maths challenge we received a collection of Gold, Silver and Bronze certificates – well done to all. 

Read more about our inspired Junior School Year 6 mathematicians and their visit to the Oxford Mathematical Institute - 'Exploring the beauty of Mathematics and Architecture'.


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