Mathematics

We aim for every pupil, whatever his ability, to fulfil his mathematical potential. In order to achieve this, we strive to make our teaching inspiring, clear and positive.

There is no doubt that mathematical knowledge provides an important key to understanding the world in which we live and plays a vital, often unseen, role in many aspects of modern life. Such aspects include safeguarding credit card details on the internet, modelling the spread of epidemics, predicting stock market prices and business decision making. It extends into many chosen professions: artists need to learn about perspective, musicians need to appreciate the mathematical relationships within and between different rhythms; economists need to recognise trends in financial dealings; engineers need to take account of stress patterns and for scientists, Mathematics is a language that is vital to our understanding of events that occur in the natural world.

The prevalence of Mathematics in people’s lives thus provides a clear and sufficient rationale for making the study of Mathematics at Bedford School as enjoyable as possible as we believe that this is absolutely fundamental to success. The atmosphere in the department is positive, disciplined and most importantly fun; we are dedicated to ensuring that every boy, whatever his ability, gains some sense of mathematical fulfilment and reaches his potential during his time at Bedford. 

Facilities

The Mathematics Department is situated in the Main Building.  Our twelve classrooms are fully equipped with excellent software resources and our expert teachers are committed to making full use of these facilities to enrich the learning atmosphere. We are firm believers in the value of ICT and mobile device technology to support and enhance learning, but numeracy skills remain fundamental to all that we do.

Enrichment Opportunities

Mathematical enrichment is fundamental to our approach at Bedford School. We have a wide range of activities for boys at all levels and encourage all to take part. Below are just some of the examples of the activities that take place throughout the year.

  • Intermediate and Senior Maths Challenges: Up to 140 pupils enter each of these demanding multiple choice competitions which involve entertaining maths puzzles each year and we are proud of their outstanding successes.
  • UKMT Team Maths Challenges: We enter a team in the regional finals of both the Junior Team Maths Challenge and the Senior Team Maths Challenge each year. In recent years our teams have qualified for the national final competition which takes place in London.
  • Senior Mathematics Club: Sixth Form Mathematicians have fun preparing for the UKMT Senior Team Maths Challenge regional final which usually takes place at the University of Cambridge.
  • Junior Mathematics Club: Year 8 (from the Prep School) and Year 9 boys prepare for the different rounds of the UKMT Junior Team Maths Challenge regional final.
  • Year 10 Team Maths Challenge: An annual event where a team of four pupils from Year 10 are invited to compete in a competition organised by Cambridge University and is similar in style to the UKMT Team Challenges.
  • Year 10 Enrichment Day at University of Cambridge: Year 10 mathematicians attend a mathematical enrichment day at the University of Cambridge in July. This is a great opportunity for boys to interact with Cambridge students and staff, and spend a day away from school focusing on Mathematics.
  • Pythagoreans: The senior boys in the Sixth Form organise a Mathematics Society (Pythagoreans), with regular talks by staff, external speakers and boys. Pythagoreans provides Sixth Form boys with an opportunity to research, prepare and present a short talk to their peers on any area of Mathematics that interests them.
  • Maths Workshop: There are two weekly clinics to assist pupils who need some support with their studies. One of our clinics is run by the Sixth Form mathematicians.
  • Maths Mentors: Sixth Form mathematicians also help support boys who need some assistance at GCSE by helping in the classroom.

Computer Science

Our philosophy in the Computing department is for boys to learn by doing.

We aim to impart computational thinking through abstraction (modelling, decomposition, generalisation) and programming. With a wealth of experience and knowledge on hand, the course can be tailored to the interests of committed students.

Using microprocessor simulators, boys discover how computers work, how basic programming is at the lowest level and why Computing as a discipline has developed in the direction we see today. This learning experience is enriched through various programming languages, and environments are used to demonstrate abstraction, the implementation of algorithms and how to create real-world, practical applications.

Facilities

The Computing department has one dedicated and well-resourced teaching room. Boys also have access to robotics kit within the department, and the joint robotics programme with the Design and Technology department.

Enrichment Opportunities

For boys who wish to get involved outside of the classroom, we offer the Babbage Society (Computing) and the Robotics Club: a joint initiative run with our DT department. We also encourage boys to take part in the annual British Informatics Olympiad, a challenging competition in which they must solve three problems within three hours. Younger students are encouraged to enter the UK Schools Computer Animation Competition.