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King's Maths School Reigns Supreme

Students at King’s College London Mathematics School (KCLMS) celebrated their A-level results today with 100 per cent receiving an A* or A grade in Mathematics, including 83% gaining an A*. The students, who have their university destinations confirmed today, gained strong results across all the subjects taught at the School, with 95% attaining the highest A-Level grades (A*, A or B) – placing the School amongst the very top performing state schools in the country. Nearly a fifth of this year’s leavers have accepted offers from Oxford or Cambridge, and 85 per cent from 21 of the 26 Russell Group universities including King’s itself.

Two students holding their results.
Two students holding their results

All 65 students graduating from the specialist state-funded School for mathematicians aged 16-19 were selected for their particular enthusiasm and aptitude for Mathematics and received their results along with around 300,000 students across the country. The School’s average point score per A-level entry (272.9) is in fact higher than any other UK state school’s average point score in 2015. 43 per cent of the first leavers are girls, who just outperformed their male counterparts both on average point score per entry and on Oxbridge offers.

Dan Abramson, Head Teacher at the School said: ‘Today is a momentous day for our students: so many of them have achieved so well. I’m immensely proud of them, and admire them for the ambition, courage and determination that took them to such evident success. I’d like to join them in thanking the hard work of their teachers as well as all the people at King’s who have supported and helped to nurture our young school, that after just two years has shown it is one of the top state schools in the country.’

One happy student is Shaams Dally who studied Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science. He lives in Shepperton with his parents and 3 sisters. His parents are both musicians, teaching violin and Piano. Shaams was home schooled throughout his early education, up to and including GCSE. Shaams took 5 GCSE’s English, Maths and all 3 Sciences. He speaks very positively of his home-schooling experience, saying there was much more flexibility and meant he had a lot of time for extracurricular activities.

Before Shaams attended the School he says he was very nervous but quickly settled in and loves it at KCLMS. He enjoys learning with other people who have a similar passion for maths and are always on hand to solve problems together. Outside of School, Shaams is a keen rock climber, attending the Whitespider Rocking climbing club. He enjoys the challenge of a new wall and the demands for planning ahead. When Shaams was younger he was also a Gymnast but felt he wasn’t able to pursue this further due to the level of commitment required. So rock climbing has given him a great opportunity to push his physical strength and flexibility.  Shaams is also a board game enthusiast, and often meets up outside of school to play. Shaams plans to go to Oxford university after receiving A*, A*, A to study Computer Science, with the view to work in either the software industry or (to fulfil his childhood dreams) as a games designer.

Kirsty Land is another mathematician planning to start at Oxford in the autumn after achieving all A*s. Kirsty is from North London and lives with her Mum and Dad and 2 sisters. She found out about KCLMS after attending the Outreach programme which was run at Highgate School, where she met Head Teacher, Mr Abramson. Outside of school Kirsty takes part in maths competitions and has travelled to Hungary with the British Mathematical Olympiad, Athens and Belarus (for the European Girls Olympiad) to compete. Kirsty says she enjoys the competitions most of the time but does find them nerve racking. She explains how most competitions involve a 3 hour exam which can either be great - you get on with 3 questions over 3 hours, or stare at them trying to make sense of them. 

Kirsty enjoyed the lessons at KCLMS as they go beyond a textbook, she finds the lessons challenging as teachers always create their own questions and explain things themselves. She was also involved in the school robotics club and has recently programmed a Robot to play football. She is very animated when explaining the differences in programming software Python and Mindstorms, and the problems the infrared sensor caused. Kirsty is not sure what she wants to do after university, but it will definitely involve maths and perhaps programming.

It is not just the leavers who are celebrating, however, as 92 per cent of the School’s new student intake welcomed last autumn attained an A or B grade in their AS results and over half of the year group achieved at least three A grades.

King’s have been involved in the development of the curriculum at the School, which combines Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Economics and Computing A-Levels with the Extended Project Qualification that will enable students to pursue individual research and construction projects. A relatively high proportion of girls at the School shows that it is improving historically under-represented girls studying these STEM subjects (39 per cent in Maths, 29 per cent in Further Maths, 21 per cent in Physics, 9 per cent in Computer Science, 32 per cent in Economics). Mr Abramson’s aspiration is for students to be motivated by inspirational staff as well as by each other, and to learn in a dynamic space designed to nurture creative thinking.

Mr Abramson concluded: ‘I’m proud to have worked with such bright young dynamic minds, who no doubt will go on to great things. I wish them all every success in their future endeavours.’