'The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated but to make complicated things simple.' -Stanley Gudder

The standard is very high at St Paul’s Juniors but the pupils are not accelerated through the key stages.

Pupils are naturally numerate, very inquisitive and hungry for knowledge. They grasp concepts rapidly and are challenged with rich, sophisticated problems. The Maths Department aims to keep pupils enthused by inspiring them to think and to realise that ‘being temporarily stumped’ marks the beginning of the problem solving process, rather than a reason to quit. Building mathematical strength and resilience is one of our greatest challenges as teachers, and we aim to do that in a realistic and sympathetic manner.

Clubs and Enrichment

Every year the Mathematical Association rolls out nationwide challenges for all age groups. The challenges comprise 25 multi-choice questions, which are designed to stimulate and challenge the brightest minds. Those with a high enough score go on to sit another, more challenging, paper.

Primary Maths Challenge

In 2019, just over 25% of our Second Year pupils qualified for the final round of this competition (known as the PMC Bonus). Invitation to this stage means a top 1400 finish and this year 25 pupils reached this standard (including 2 gold medals).

Junior Maths Challenge

The JMC is a huge event with over 270,000 pupils taking part nationally. Roughly, the top 6% are awarded Gold certificates, and in 2019, 62% of our Third Year pupils received Gold. The top 1200 pupils are invited back for final round of this competition (known as the Junior Maths Olympiad), and this year 25 pupils reached this standard. Receiving an award at this stage means a top 200 finish and this year, seven pupils reached this standard (including 2 gold medals).


The Maths department is involved in two partnership programmes for local primary school pupils. In the autumn and spring terms, we run 4 Maths classes, each 90 minutes long. The course offers an opportunity to enrich the pupils’ learning through studying ‘number’ and ‘shape and space’ in greater depth. They will also have the opportunity to work in a fun, collaborative environment, working on logic puzzles and PMC-style problems. In the summer term, we run a Maths team challenge afternoon; here the pupils get an opportunity to work in pairs solving a cross number and working their way through a series of difficult problems.