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What says..

We encountered a group of students playing cards… until we realised that what they were actually doing was maths. We didn’t encounter a single serried rank in any of the classrooms and the observable status gap between teachers and students is close to zero. But make no mistake, there’s masses of maths going on - in the head’s words, ‘There are no dutiful learners here’. Pastoral care is shared among teachers and a specialist team who spoke to us with full-strength seriousness and much fervour about their role and its importance, because ‘these students spend a long time outside their comfort zone’...

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What the school says...

What could be more creative than exploring the secrets of the universe?

At EMS we love getting our teeth into the mind-bending challenges and revelations of maths, physics and computing. So we have set about designing the perfect environment for this special kind of creativity to thrive.

That means minimising the things that often stifle enthusiasm for our favourite subjects – classmates who don’t care; lessons that are just about passing exams. And it means bringing together a really eclectic, intrepid group of students who share our enthusiasm and have the grit to get stuck in.

Our special formula has three key ingredients…

No-one needs forcing to do anything – you wear what you like, work with teachers as equals and build the confidence to pursue the ideas that really interest you without the normal scaffolding you would expect in sixth form study.

We push you further – with awesome teaching, opportunities to work with top Exeter University academics and loads of big, baffling, open-ended (and sometimes unsolvable) questions.

And you’re part of one big family – we’re close-knit and we all know each other, so even when you’re boldly exploring new horizons, you’re looked after every step of the way.
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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2014, Kerry Burnham, founding headteacher. West Country through and through, educated at Plymstock School and Exeter university, BSc in maths and education. Accredited advanced skills teacher. From 1998 maths teacher and gifted & talented coordinator at Torquay Boys’ Grammar. Not imbued in the least with a sense of manifest destiny and had never considered going for a headship until the Exeter Mathematics School (EMS) job came up. It’s the maths that got her blowing the moths off her CV; she just can’t get enough of it. Like any maths teacher anywhere she is perfectly certain that hers is the most important subject of them all.

A big step up, starting a new school from scratch. She’s at ease with the responsibilities and conspicuously good at people. Warm, cordial, intuitive, fun...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Special Education Needs

Exeter Mathematics School is committed to providing the structure for a student-centred process that engages student, family, school and other professionals in planning for and implementing high quality, needs-led provision that is appropriate for our high attaining students and consistent across the school. This is to ensure all of our students are able to access the same opportunities for learning and social development achieving maximum progress, fulfilling their potential and promoting their well-being. Where a student is identified as having SEN, we will take action to support effective learning by removing barriers to learning and put effective provision in place. This SEN support will take the form of a four-part cycle known as the graduated approach – assess, plan, do, review.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia Y
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL) Y
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment Y
Hospital School
Mental health Y
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability Y
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health Y
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
VI - Visual Impairment

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