Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School (or ‘the Math’ as it is known locally) is a boys’ grammar school with 1180 students on roll that admits girls in the sixth form. We are a high performing specialist school, with specialisms in mathematics, computing and humanities, and we are also a designated school for children with physical disabilities. In November 2008, we received our second ‘outstanding’ judgement from OFSTED, with the lead inspector noting in her report that ‘a buzz of excitement pervades the school.’
Our aim is to support young people in becoming happy, confident and active citizens, ready to play a leading role in whatever walk of life they choose. We do this by ensuring our students do achieve the best possible academic outcomes, while at the same time encouraging them to play a full role in the wider life of the school.
Five core values underpin our work:
- We ensure the highest standards of achievement;
Our academic curriculum is wide-ranging – the emphasis being upon providing a range of courses which gives all pupils equal access to challenging and stimulating learning experiences. We have invested heavily in Information Communications Technology equipment which is used extensively in all aspects of the curriculum.
The majority of pupils remain at the school for seven years before embarking upon chosen careers or further study. At sixth form level admission is open to girls also. Our extensive Careers and Guidance programme focuses upon individual needs and aspirations right from the outset. Much time and attention is devoted to pastoral care in general with the school being structured in such a way as to allow each pupil to establish quickly a sense of belonging to a form and a House unit.
We provide an extensive programme of extra-curricular activities, encouraging pupils to take advantage of important enrichment opportunities. As well as a wide range of sporting and other recreational activities, we have more than 150 students involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, while our Music Academy provides over 300 extra-curricular music lessons per week. We regard involvement in such activities as an essential feature of school life since this will contribute to their general development as well as give them opportunities to show initiative and take responsibility.
The school is well-equipped with excellent sports facilities. There is provision for a range of activities including hockey, cricket, rugby, basketball, athletics, cycling and soccer. A heated indoor swimming pool, sports hall and gymnasium complete the provision. A purpose built Sixth Form Centre opened in 1996 followed in the autumn term 1999 by a floodlit All Weather Playing Surface and in 2003 a Mathematics Centre was added. Our most recent building project enabled us to open a well appointed Music Block in 2005.
The school library with its full time Librarian is the focus of substantial pupil activity both during and after school.
At the Math we see ourselves as a community of learning with a clearly defined ethos – we adopt a set of standards and values which are reinforced by clear rules and procedures. We expect pupils, through daily membership of this community, to learn important lessons about themselves and others and, as they grow older, to acknowledge the importance of self-discipline in all aspects of their lives.
With a highly-qualified teaching staff, responsive pupils and supportive parents, we believe we have every chance of developing the youngsters in our care into young adults of whom both parents and school can be justifiably proud.
Dr Gary Holden