King’s Factor is an after-school maths club that gives sixth-form students from 170 schools and colleges in London the chance to enhance their mathematical skills in a challenging and supportive environment.
Aimed at young people from under-represented groups, it brings together Year 12 and 13 students to tackle stimulating maths problems with academics and student tutors from the Department of Mathematics in the Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences. The programme offers a space to solve problems that require serious mathematical thinking and develop analytical skills while making maths fun.
To date 1,000 young people have taken part in the programme, connecting them with other students who enjoy mathematics and introducing them to university life. It aims to break down the barriers young people from under-represented backgrounds face when pursuing maths to a higher level. This includes a lack of peer interest in doing well at mathematics and a limited understanding of university education, including the bursaries, scholarships and other access opportunities that are available.
During their time in the King’s Factor club, the sixth formers experience life as an undergraduate, joining lecture-style events, exploring the latest mathematics research and discovering its relevance to our everyday lives.
The in-depth mathematics tutoring provided through King’s Factor also aims to help the students to achieve the grades they need to progress on to university or their chosen career path. A Year 13 student who took part in King’s Factor said, ‘The past two years have been a great help to me and my friends. You gave us support, a structured environment, maths, food and chalkboards and helped us to get through our exams and into university.