Exeter Mathematics School A-level results 2017 - Dan Ley

Dan Ley will study engineering at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge

Students at unique mathematics school achieve outstanding A-level results

Students at a unique South West sixth form for mathematicians have once again scored some of the best A-level results in the country.

A total of 13 per cent of students at the Exeter Mathematics School will attend Oxford or Cambridge universities to study for degrees in science, technology or mathematics subjects, including mathematics, artificial intelligence, physics, engineering and geophysics.

A total of 59 per cent of examinations taken by teenagers at the school, which is sponsored by the University of Exeter, were graded at A or A* and 81 per cent were graded at A*, A or B.

The students will now attend the best universities in the country after two years of studying a rigorous academic curriculum, including completing work of undergraduate-level difficulty.  

The Exeter Mathematics School, which opened in 2014, is one of only two “free” schools for enthusiastic young mathematicians and scientists in England. The sixth form offers young people in the South West who show potential to do well in STEM subjects the chance to study in an exciting and challenging environment, and work with leading academics at the University of Exeter.

Students who live too far away to commute daily live together in supervised accommodation during the week.

Mia Keast, from St Ives, will now study mathematics and statistics at the University of Bristol after scoring two A* grades and an A in mathematics, further mathematics and physics. Mia said: “I’ve really enjoyed living here. Every student really wants to learn and cares about doing well. The teachers are really friendly and treat you like an adult.”

Dan Ley, who lives near Crediton, got four A* grades in mathematics, further mathematics, physics and chemistry. He will study engineering at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge. Dan, who is also a talented musician and football and chess player, said: “The teaching has been really interesting, and I’ve worked really hard for these grades. It’s been great working among other people interested in maths, we feed off each other.”

Emily Keenan, from Sidmouth, will study physics at the University of Manchester after achieving two A* and one A grades in mathematics, further mathematics and physics.

Tim Parker, from Stithians in Cornwall, will study mathematics and philosophy at Jesus College, University of Oxford. Tim’s mother Karen said: “Tim was so lucky to have a teacher at his secondary school who encouraged him to get involved with competitive maths, and that really got him engaged in the subject. It has been hard having him away from home during the week but he is now so independent, he can manage a budget and do his own laundry. The teachers here are so considerate to parents and passionate about their subjects too.”

Will Huxtable, from Torrington, will study computer science at City, University of London. Will has been computer coding since he was eight and first met teachers from the Exeter Mathematics School when he went on a residential trip they organised three years ago.

Will said: “I’m looking forward to the fact that when at university I’ll be very near to Silicon Roundabout in London, and lots of technology companies.”

Fiona Pascoe, from Redruth, will study mathematics and statistics at the University of Bath after achieving an A*, two A grades and a B. Fiona said: “I really love working with statistics and analysing data and hope to make that my career after university.”

All students at the school, which is also sponsored by Exeter College, study three A-levels at the School, in mathematics, further mathematics and physics or computer science, and take a fourth subject to at least AS level at Exeter College. Students also study for the Exeter Mathematics Certificate; a separate qualification designed to prepare pupils for independent study and the world of work. Students work with academics to research a question or problem posed by lecturers and professors and present their answer to hundreds of people at lectures hosted by the University of Exeter.  They then complete a piece of individual research of their own choosing.

Exeter Mathematics School headteacher Kerry Burnham said: “We are delighted for all our students.  The progress they have made is truly incredibly and we’re thrilled so see them reap the rewards of their enthusiasm and hard work.  It’s a joy to have worked alongside them these past two years and to know that they are leaving us well prepared for their next steps.”      

Professor Janice Kay, Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter, said: “My congratulations go to all Exeter Mathematics School students on their dazzling set of A-Level results yet again. Exeter Mathematics School is designed to cultivate the talents of the next generation of mathematicians and scientists and to act as a springboard for their future successes. This fantastic set of results is testament to the success of Exeter Mathematics School and the genuine partnership with the University and Exeter College which stretches, challenges and nurtures mathematic and scientific ability.”

Entry is based on the pupil’s mathematics problem-solving ability and potential and decided through an application form and entrance test. A third of pupils are female and almost all have previously attended state schools, with almost 40 per cent having grown up in areas of the South West where few people go on to attend university.

Date: 17 August 2017

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