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The King's A-Team

Some of the country’s brightest young maths stars from the King’s College London Mathematics School have achieved outstanding A Level results this year. But they all have different stories to tell. Here, the class of 2018 talk about the difference the school has made to their lives and their hopes for the future. 

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Ife has created a piece of King’s Maths School history by becoming the first student from the school to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.  

The 18 year old from Epsom, secured a place at the prestigious institute with A* grades in Mathematics, further  Mathematics, Extended Project Qualifications (EPQ), A* in Physics, and an ‘Outstanding’ in the Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP 1), the Cambridge University Maths entrants exam.  

Although Ife hasn’t decided whether to study Mathematics, Physics or Computer Science it was the subject flexibility that attracted her to MIT, as there the scope to try different subjects before making a final decision on which to focus on. 

After her four years at MIT Ife’s keen to undertake research into artificial intelligence and may go on to undertake a Masters or a PhD, as she’s a fan of academia. 

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Levi is a young career from South London who has been so inspired by his time at the King’s College London Mathematics School (King’s Maths School) that he’s set his sights on a career in teaching, in order to help change the lives of other young people like him. 

With an A in Mathematics, B in physics and a grade C in further Mathematics, Levi has secured a place at Newcastle University to study Theoretical Physics.  

As the first in his family to attend university, basketball loving Levi is hoping that his educational success will inspire his nine-year-old brother to aspire to greater things. 

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Siana, always knew that maths was the subject for her. She’d set her sights on attending King’s Maths School when she was in Year 11, so she could study maths at a much higher level. 

Hailing from North East London, Siana is quick to praise the teachers who helped her achieve A* grades in Mathematics, further Mathematics, EPQ, Physics, an A in AS further additional Mathematics, and Grade 1 in the STEP entrance exam to Cambridge, where she’ll be studying  and computer science with Mathematics.  

‘My time at King’s Maths School was genuinely amazing. We have a set of outstanding teachers who have helped us throughout the two years and challenged us academically in lessons and this really helped when we took on more challenging exams like STEP.  

‘One thing that was really helpful was the assistance and support they provided us ahead of university entrance interviews. They organised a lot of mock interviews to ensure our interview skills and confidence were high.’ 

After university Siana is considering a career in system engineering, although she is very interested in research into artificial intelligence.  

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Amateur footballer Taiwo will be joining her twin sister at Oxford where she’ll be studying engineering after securing A* grades in Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics. 

After initial concern from her family about her attending the school, Taiwo is sure that she made the right decision  

‘My family were apprehensive about me attending King’s because it’s made up of such a select group of people and subjects. There were concerns that everyone would be the same and that they wouldn’t have a wide range of interests.  

“The reality is that everyone here likes maths and were all really interested in maths, and that means that we can talk about it at depth with each other.  That said, everyone at the school has other hobbies and other things they’re interested in, so you still get exposed to a broad range of different experiences and interests.’ 

Before heading up to Oxford to study engineering Taiwo has a message for those students who aren’t sure about attending King’s Maths School: ‘Definitely come to KMS, everything that you think this school is going to be it surprises in so many different ways. Everyone comes in with some preconceptions, but you get here and you realise it’s fun and stimulating. I’m going to miss it.’ 

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One of the areas that King’s Maths School prides itself on is the way it raises the aspirations of its pupils, and Jim from North West London is no exception. 

Jim accepts that he’s never done badly in exams, but both he and his family were still shocked at his success. With A* grades in Mathematics, further Mathematics and physics, and an A in EPQ Jim’s results place him among the highest achievers in the country, and have secured him a place at Oxford university to study engineering science, but it for Jim his success wasn’t a given. 

‘When it came to applying to university I originally didn't think I was good enough to apply to Oxford, but the school encouraged me to apply. Throughout the entire process they were very supportive, giving us all preparatory sessions for the PAT (physics assessment test) as well as mock interviews.  

‘The teachers are all really friendly, and I feel like I knew them all, even though there were some who never taught me, and I probably only spoke to rarely. I also liked that teachers weren't afraid to teach things that went beyond the syllabus, just to interest students, rather than teaching for the exams.’ 

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Katherine from Hampshire’s mum was so happy when she heard about her daughters outstanding A level results that she was hugging anyone and everyone. 

The teenager who gained an A* in Mathematics, further Mathematics, physics, EPQ, and an A in Further Additional Mathematics AS, and top marks in the Cambridge Mathematics exam, described her time at King’s Maths School as ‘utterly amazing’.  

She added: ‘They have been two years of exceptional teaching in the most supportive community  around people who like the same things and therefore find it very easy to work together 

‘King’s Maths School was definitely the right school for me. I didn’t know it was possible to be as happy anywhere as I have been here.’ 

Katherine, will be studying Mathematics at Trinity College Cambridge.