There is a great mathematical tradition at King Edward’s School and our most notable mathematician to date is Richard Borcherds, winner of the Fields Medal, the mathematical equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Continuing that tradition, in 2015 and 2016 two teams of mathematicians have won the Senior Team Maths Challenge by gaining a perfect score in the National Finals and overcoming 1,000 school teams from across the UK along the way.

In Year 7 and Year 8, boys are taught maths in their form group. They are then placed by ability in six sets during Year 9, 10 and 11, as they work towards IGCSE Mathematics, which provides a more challenging course than GCSE and is better preparation for Sixth Form study.

Boys in the top sets also study the topics for IGCSE Further Mathematics and a decision is made in Year 11 as to whether to sit the examinations for the additional qualification.

Nearly all boys sit one of the annual Maths Challenge papers each year, with many qualifying for the ensuing Olympiads. KES also enters teams of boys in the various Maths Team Challenge competitions. There is a thriving Maths Breakfast Club for extension work beyond the curriculum and a Lower School Maths Playground one lunchtime a week.

  • Sixth Form

    All boys continue to study mathematics as part of the IB Diploma, choosing one of the three principal maths courses.

    Higher Level is a rigorous, stimulating and challenging problem-solving course, which is designed to meet the needs of those who intend to pursue careers in the sciences, mathematics, economics, computation, engineering and technology.

    Mathematics Standard Level is also a demanding course and is suitable for those wanting maths as a support subject. Mathematical Studies Standard Level is intended for those without a preference for mathematics along with those whose future plans do not specifically require knowledge of areas of maths.

    For the most able mathematicians there is a supplementary Further Mathematics Higher Level course, which must be taken in addition to Mathematics Higher Level. The Further Mathematics course is aimed at those with firm plans to study maths in the future, as well as those with inclinations towards natural sciences, physics or engineering at the very top universities. The course is an extension of Mathematics Higher Level, with modules in geometry, series and differential equations, linear algebra, discrete maths and set/group theory. The demands of the course are high and much of the syllabus overlaps with the early part of a university degree course.

Latest maths news


A Year in… Maths Challenges

In the academic year 2021/2022 the cycle started in October with a Senior Maths Challenge, followed by the Senior Kangaroo and the British Mathematical Olympiad for the most successful students, who are certainly not faint of heart – the BMO lasts 3.5 hours!



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