Exeter Mathematics School officially opens

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 3:47pm

A prestigious new specialist school, designed to act as a regional centre of excellence for gifted young mathematicians, has been officially opened.

The Exeter Mathematics School, a sixth form school jointly sponsored by the University of Exeter and Exeter College, has been created to meet the needs of Maths students throughout the South West region.

It was officially launched on Friday19 September, when around 50 delegates gathered at the school, located near Rougemont Castle in the heart of Exeter city centre.

Guests at the launch included representatives from the Department of Education, city and county councillors, local business leaders and staff from both the University and Exeter College. Mr Graham Cole CBE, chairman of AugustaWestland, formally unveiled a plaque to mark the celebratory event.

Speaking at the launch, Professor Janice Kay, Provost of the University of Exeter, described the new school as “a truly leading example of innovation.”

She said: “Mathematics is vitally important for the further study of a range of subjects and research and enables this country to produce scientists and professionals across a range of disciplines.  Our ambition for the school is to raise aspirations for the young people of the region and open up the possibility to link beyond our national boundaries to all equivalent maths schools across the world and become a beacon for excellence right here in the city.

Head Teacher Kerry Burnham said the school had been established to “serve the community in which it sits, and provide able students, regardless of their background, the opportunity to explore the subjects they love in an environment which is both academically challenging and highly supportive”.

She added: “Through partnership with schools, ours sponsors and Industry leaders, we aim to deliver excellence in this region. We don’t have all the answers but we are determined to find them. We will research the best teaching methods for able students and share our findings with others, we will innovate with our curriculum and will explore the boundaries of what can be achieved.  We will develop tomorrow’s mathematicians and scientists through excellence today.”

School Governor John Laramy, added: “Sometimes in our culture, excellence is not always aimed for, or celebrated. This school is aiming for excellence and with a key element of the school being outreach and the outstanding work already going on at the

University, I hope this school, working in partnership can act as a catalyst for a renewed drive for excellence in Mathematics.”

The Exeter Mathematics School opened earlier this month, and offers an environment and curriculum conducive to the development of brilliant mathematicians from Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

The school forms a learning community in which students’ needs are at the centre. EMS students can expect high levels of challenge coupled with thoughtful support and guidance. They work in an atmosphere that fosters creative and rigorous thinking, encourages enquiry and engenders confidence in problem solving.

One of the school’s first intakes of students, Embla Hocking, said the school has already “been everything that I could have hoped for.”

She said: “Being at this school for even such a short time has opened my eyes to all the opportunities available out there for you if you are a mathematician, and has also increased my confidence whilst challenging me and pushing the limits of what I previously thought I was capable of. I look forward to experiences yet to come and being able to provide new students with the same opportunities being fortunate enough to attend EMS has given me. “

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