Student George Robinson is taking part in a maths summer school in Oxford after coming among the top 40 in a UK competition. He and the other high scorers in the UK Maths Challenge competition were invited to study at Balliol College taking part in maths workshops and social events to give them an insight into university life and work.
George, from Year 11 said: ‘I think it will be mainly small group work but they will also have all 40 of us working together and in team competitions. It is the kind of opportunity that I will put in big letters on the top of my CV when I apply to university.
‘I have done the maths challenges since Year 7. I like being given a question and having to work your way around it, looking at different viewpoints and trying to get the same answer which can sometimes take you through different paths which you have not really thought about before. I want to do maths at university, I don’t know what I want to specialise in, I will just see where it takes me.’
George even studies the subject in his spare time: ‘My elder brother went to Manchester so he used to bring maths texts home and I try to do it. The maths that I am working on at home is beyond what I am taught in our syllabus, but all the teachers here have can answer my questions if I need help. Theories that were written 200 years ago work just as well now; it is not like biology where there is a massive change in thinking, it is very standardised.’
George also mentors younger students with maths: ‘It is quite interesting having to think about how I do basic maths and try to teach that to someone else. Maths at Brooke Weston is quite competitive; it is good to have people around you that understand what you are doing so you can bounce ideas off each other. Here I have got peers who will challenge me.’