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Headteacher's Blog 3: Happy Holidays
(16 December 2022)

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Happy holidays from ICLMS!

As 2023 draws to a close, I’d like to reflect on everything that has happened this year in preparing to open for our first set of students in September 2023.

Since starting in post as headteacher of Imperial College Mathematics School in June, I have been thinking hard about and planning carefully how we can deliver a first-class mathematical experience to our first set of students in our Maths School sixth form from next September.

  • We’ve had two in person open evenings and one online open evening where potential students we able to ask questions, explore some maths problems, learn more about the school and listen to a guest lecture from Dr Phil Ramsden from Imperial College London.
  • We had around 50 students who met the Early Bird application deadline join us for our in person workshops to help with preparation for the admissions test, and over 100 Early Bird applicants attended the online workshop.
  • We held our admissions test on a freezing cold (literally) morning in December, and met the young people who will be our founding students. The future looks bright…We abandoned plans to do it in the sports hall because of the temperature, and relocated to the cosy library.
  • We’ve designed a website and filmed a video that communicates the type of school we want to be. (And made some free pens which you may have picked up at one of our events, though we have managed to give all 500 away).
  • I’ve visited the team at Imperial College London and we’re working hard to finalise the details of the super-curriculum so students can have access to mentors from university and STEM industries for research projects. We’re planning a series of guest lectures and masterclasses where students will be able to learn about topics beyond A Level Maths. We’re thinking coding, number theory, engineering, general relativity…
  • We’ve started working with local schools and have Year 11s joining us regularly on Mondays for our Getting Ready for A Level workshops. We’re also working with MESME to deliver Maths Circles to Year 7s to 9s in local schools.
  • We've visited Archer Academy, Friern Barnet School, Broomfield School, Woodside High School, Hornsey School for Girls and Willowfield School for A Level Further Maths taster lessons and KS5 fairs.
  • I’ve visited University of Liverpool Maths School, Lancaster University School of Maths, and King’s Maths School to see what they do to ensure their students get an exceptional education, and thinking carefully about we can capitalise on their experience. I’d like to thank all colleagues at other Maths Schools for sharing their expertise. I’ll be off to Exeter Maths School in the new year…

It was a pleasure to meet the students who will eventually form our first cohort at the admissions test. I’m looking forward to the next steps, starting with our interviews in February for our founding students to join us next year.

If you celebrate Christmas, happy Christmas, and I hope everyone enjoys their holidays and new year celebrations.

David Lee

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