King's Maths School graded Outstanding by Ofsted
Posted on 06/06/2017
Students at King’s College London Mathematics School (KCLMS) receive an Outstanding education according to the school’s first Ofsted Report published today.
With approximately 140 students at the sixth form centre, KCLMS is run in partnership with King’s College London and combines mathematics with physics, economics and computer science to give students the key understanding and skills they will need to study mathematical courses at university. The report recognises the unique and excellent benefits that students, staff and managers receive from the partnership between King’s and the school.
Dan Abramson, Head Teacher, said, ‘We’re delighted with the Ofsted Inspectors’ recognition of the quality of education we offer our students here at King’s Maths School. They saw that the talented young mathematicians we work with engage with a well-planned curriculum, are effectively challenged, make outstanding progress and develop into accomplished learners who exhibit a strong mental resilience and understand how they might make a positive contribution to the world around them. I am proud that our continuous focus on excellence in teaching has been ratified by this report, and want to congratulate everyone in the school – staff, students and governors – for their success.’
A team of four Ofsted inspectors used a mixture of group and individual interviews, observations of learning sessions as well as assessment and progress reviews to form their judgements. They concluded that the ‘Learners make outstanding progress when compared to the grades they achieved previously at GCSE level’. Among the strengths highlighted were that ‘Aspirations set by managers and staff at the start of the programme motivate learners well to ensure that they gain entry into respected universities with exacting entry requirements’ as well as the positive input students receive from the broad array of educational opportunities on offer as they ‘successfully raise learners’ awareness of wider life and society’.
The inspectors highlighted the high expectations the KCLMS teachers have for their students and the influence this had on lesson planning, emphasising ‘Teachers know the abilities of individual learners very well and plan a range of tasks and activities accordingly…lessons progress at an appropriately rapid pace, while allowing time for learners to think about the mathematical problems set and to reflect on accurate solutions.’ The culture of collaborative learning that has so impressed visitors to the school was also praised in the report: the students’ ‘collaborative teamwork both inside and outside lessons is outstanding’.
Pastoral care and support at the school is described as ‘extremely effective’, with inspectors recognising that ‘Tutors focus on ensuring that learners develop good personal and social skills in addition to becoming confident and capable scholars’.
One of the key recommendations in the report is that the school further extends its links with industry partners. Mr Abramson commented, ‘The report is excellent news and demonstrates how effective we are as a teaching institution. We are now in our third year and the next big journey for the school is to build on our links with King’s as well as with industry through the King’s Certificate, a programme that will enable students to engage in a substantive research project guided by either an academic at the university or a professional in the workplace. We’re still at the planning stages, but this looks like it will be an exciting way to train mathematicians and scientists of the future that goes well beyond the standard A Level curriculum.’
The full Ofsted report is available online
Notes to editors
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- King’s have been involved in the development of the curriculum at the School, which combines Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Economics and Computer Science A-Levels with the Extended Project Qualification that enables students to pursue individual research and construction projects. A relatively high proportion of girls at the School (34 percent of students are girls) shows that it is widening participation in subjects in which girls have been historically under-represented girls studying these STEM subjects (the current national proportions are, at A-level, 29 per cent in Further Maths, 21 per cent in Physics, 9 per cent in Computer Science, 32 per cent in Economics).
- KCLMS is an example of how universities can play a more meaningful role in the wider educational ecosystem. Read how King's Director of Widening Participation Anne-Marie Canning explores the ways higher education should continue to do so enthusiastically, to ensure our classrooms are filled with the most diverse and talented students, but also as our contribution to the common good.
- For more information on King’s read our ‘King’s in Brief’ pages