Academic excellence remains one of the tenets of Repton School as faculty and leadership stress the importance of pursuing skills that can take students forward in the competitive global job market. The success of this endeavour shines through in the successes of pupils who demonstrate exceptional mastery of complex subjects in their coursework as well as head-to-head competitions.
A recent example of this was Repton School student participation in the annual UK Mathematics Trust Challenge. Designed to showcase and motivate students with aptitude for maths while also promoting “problem solving and team work and other mathematical enrichment activities,” this year’s contest proved fruitful for Repton School representatives and a moment of pride for everyone involved.
Repton School Students shine in National Maths Competition
Each year, a select group of Repton School pupils who demonstrate an aptitude in maths are encouraged to enter the UK Mathematics Trust Challenge. This event blends competition with collaboration as students advance their education in maths and related subjects. Participating students
The 2021 competition resulted in new achievements for both the students and Repton School as a whole. Year 5 participant Mana-Mae became the School’s youngest competitor and the winner of a Bronze Award. Also notably, Year 8 [JM1] student Fisayo [JM2] won a Gold Award in the Junior Mathematical Olympiad. The Olympiad is used to further whittle down the selection of students to represent the UK in international competitions. For students of this calibre, the question design requires “mathematical reasoning, precision of thought, and fluency,” according to the Challenge website.
Fisayo placed in the top 50 out of over 1,000 global students who qualified for the Olympiad, which are narrowed down from a pool of over 300,000 Challenge participants. With the top-50 accolade, Fisayo received a Certificate of Distinction along with a Silver Medal. Repton School faculty celebrated his additional achievement as the first student from the School to place that highly in the Olympiad. Mr. Davis, head of maths for Repton Prep, shared, “The Olympiad requires pupils to use mathematical ideas in an unfamiliar context or combine techniques in a novel way, so really is the ultimate test for gifted mathematicians.”
The pursuit of academic excellence at Repton School
Repton School positions mathematics as a foundational subject that not only incorporates practical knowledge but also helps students hone their reasoning and problem-solving abilities. These core skills can translate into other areas of student life, making them an essential part of the curriculum. In fact, the maths curricula are extensive with options for Further level classes in Sixth Form and A Level-options for both Pure and Applied Mathematics. While admittedly maths can be a more challenging subject for some, teachers meet every pupil where they are and encourage them to enjoy the subject while underscoring keep skills to instill stronger comprehension and subject mastery.
Repton School Headmaster Mark Semmence underscored the School’s dedication to this academic pursuit, describing coursework and instructors that “instill a culture of intellectual ambition which shapes potential, drives academic progress and engenders confidence in the individual.” Rather than encouraging students to pass tests or achieve minimums, faculty encourage them to become genuine mathematicians who engage with problems rather than skirting around them.
Bright futures for maths-savvy Repton School students
Fisayo has set the bar high for future Repton School competitors while also following in a strong tradition of academic excellence. A number of maths-centric students from the School have gone on to renowned universities to further their studies.
In 2018, pupil Serena Cole qualified for the Senior Kangaroo as part of the UK Mathematics Trust Challenge, just one level below the Olympiad. Now a Repton School graduate, Cole has gone on to become the first female black President of Trinity College Student’s Union.
Another strong example is Repton School graduate Alasdair Hastewell, whose love of maths began at the School and carried him toward his current PhD work in Applied Mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hastewell recalled the support of his faculty mentors at Repton encouraging him to look deeper into maths, which ultimately directed his future academic plans.
Headmaster Semmence commented on the strong legacy of students who achieve further academic and career excellence beyond graduation: “Nurturing talent in specialist areas whilst providing pupils with the opportunity to flex their interests across literature, history, STEM subjects, languages as well as the creative arts and sport enables our young people to perform better in every sphere.”
About Repton School
Repton School is a co-educational independent school for boarding and day pupils aged between 13-18. Mathematics is just one of many foundational subjects designed as an essential part of the student curriculum at every level. Teachers incorporate technology to enhance lessons and ensure student engagement and comprehension throughout instruction.