GEP Academies and the University of Surrey have joined forces to open a new sixth form, specialising in Maths and STEM subjects. The plan is for the school to open in September 2023 and for the school to increase the number of talented students applying for STEM degrees at university.
We are particularly keen to recruit girls and other under-represented groups to widen participation in Higher Education. SuMS will also play a key role in developing maths teachers across the region – bringing together GEP Academies’ outstanding expertise in teacher training, together with the University of Surrey’s subject specialisms, we are committed to improving the quality of maths teaching across the area.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How can I apply to attend?
We are currently keeping a register of students and families who are interested in SuMS. We will keep you updated on when the formal application window opens.
2) What grades will I need to attend SuMS?
We want SuMS to be a beacon of excellence for up and coming mathematicians and will want to attract young people who are passionate about maths.
Students admitted to SuMS will be expected to have achieved each of the following criteria (or equivalent if not following GCSE examination at 16) in GCSE examination:
|1||Grade 8 or 9 in GCSE Mathematics*|
|2||Grade 8 or 9 in option subjects**|
|3||English Language at a grade 6 or above|
|4||At least 7 GCSEs at grade 5 or above|
*We may flex this criterion to accept students with lower predicted / actual grades depending on context and encouraging students to apply from underrepresented groups and / or from schools that have traditionally not had particularly high mathematics outcomes.
3) What is the process for applying?
- Stage 1 Written Application: A written application will be completed by each applicant detailing their predicted GCSE outcomes, why they want to study at a specialist mathematics school and who their current school point of contact for mathematics aptitude is.
- Stage 2 Aptitude Test: Those applicants that are likely to meet the admission criteria will be invited to sit an Aptitude Test. The test will be designed such that it does not just test current GCSE knowledge. The Aptitude Test will contain searching problem-solving questions from more elementary mathematics, but will also explore student knowledge beyond that normally expected of Year 11 students. Problem solving ability and advanced algebraic skills are the primary indicators of A level success, so these will feature highly on the assessment task.
- Stage 3 Interview: Applicants will undergo an individual interview, in two parts, to explore their suitability for a place at SuMS.
- a) Each applicant will be given the opportunity during a mathematics interview to showcase the depth of their knowledge and understanding, alongside their love and passion for mathematics. The focus of this interview will be on how well an applicant is able to learn and apply a mathematical technique when guided by a SUMS teacher.
- b) The personal part of the interview will determine how well the applicant fits SUMS’s values and ethos.
- Stage 4 Mathematics Reference from Feeder School: We will ask the applicant’s points of contact in their current schools to comment on their mathematics ability and likely potential. We will design specific questions to give us an unbiased overview of each student’s potential. This is the opportunity for the school to alert us to any individual contextualised circumstances that will be factored into the decision-making process.
- The Aptitude Test will take place on a fixed date after the deadline for applications. Those successful in the Aptitude Test will be invited for interview on one of a small number of dates (within a week). Following the reference stage, successful applicants will be given a conditional offer.
- Oversubscription Criteria: If more than 90 students meet the threshold criteria on test scores, then priority will be given to interview answers and the candidates’ potential to thrive and succeed on the course.
- Supporting Students with Strong Potential but Grade 7 in mathematics: Those students who are selected with Grade 7 in mathematics, perhaps due to environmental circumstances will be provided with support from SuMS staff.
4) How many places will SuMS have?
There will be 90 places in Year 12 and 90 places in Year 13.
5) Where will SuMS be located?
We have not yet finalised a site, though the Department for Education has made clear that they would like the school to be on the university site.
6) Other schools with sixth forms will suffer though won’t they? You’re going to take the best students, which will have a negative impact on existing sixth forms.
We are extremely mindful of the importance of SuMS complementing existing sixth form provision and working collaboratively with local schools. For that reason, we will restrict ourselves to offering a small number of places to students from the same school.