Liverpool gets first specialist maths school in north of England

The specialist maths school in Liverpool
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The first specialist maths school in the North of England – the University of Liverpool Mathematics School (ULMaS) – is opening its doors to the first cohort of students.

The school welcomes 30 pupils who will study an innovative and challenging A Level curriculum in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science in a supportive environment where talented and passionate young mathematicians can thrive and excel.

The curriculum has been specifically devised to give students a deep and flexible understanding of mathematical sciences alongside courses in problem solving, research, communication and teamwork. It will equip students with the knowledge, skills and confidence to study mathematics-related disciplines at top universities, and pursue mathematically intensive careers.

Located in the Alastair Pilkington Building on the University of Liverpool campus, students at ULMaS will benefit from its close association with the University including masterclass sessions with University lecturers, support from PhD and undergraduate students, research projects and careers guidance.

Headteacher, Damian Haigh, said: “I’m so excited to realise our plans to create an exceptional school for the most able young mathematicians in the Liverpool city region.

“Through our extensive outreach programme, talented staff and the commitment of the University of Liverpool we are going to enable the children of Merseyside, from all backgrounds, to achieve global impact through careers in the mathematical sciences.

“Our first cohort of students contains students from Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Halton and Wirral. They will benefit from a challenging curriculum with a great deal of close support from expert teachers and support staff and we’re confident that the work those students will do in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics over their lifetimes will make a difference to our region, our country, and the world.”

The school will deliver an ambitious outreach and engagement programme to raise aspiration and attainment levels across the region. Outreach activities began during lockdown with live online lessons delivered to over 200 Year 11 students preparing for A-level study.

The first cohort of ULMaS students consists of 37% female students as opposed to nationally around 23% for Physics A-Level students, 28% for Further Maths A-Level students and 13% for Computer Science A-Level.

Sophie Hall, who is one of the students starting ULMAS, said: “Throughout lockdown I’ve been taking part in online classes with ULMaS which has been really beneficial.

“I’m excited to be joining the maths school and looking forward to meeting the new students and staff.

“I think it will be a really nice community to be part of and that we’ll all have a lot in common with a lot of ambition to do well.

“I’m really glad that there are going to be a lot of other girls there as well.”

Pro Vice Chancellor for Eduction at the University of Liverpool and Chair of the University of Liverpool Mathematics School Board of Trustees, Professor Gavin Brown, said: “I am thrilled to see Liverpool’s new centre of excellence for mathematical education open its doors to its first cohort of students.

“The University of Liverpool Maths School has been established to provide a world-leading maths education for talented young mathematicians from all backgrounds in the Merseyside region.

“Through its rigorous curriculum, its close partnership with the University and its extensive outreach activities, I look forward to it becoming one of the premier institutions for maths teaching in England.”

Maths is a skills area which is one of the most highly in demands by employers and the Government wants to raise the number of people studying it at A-Level.