Secondary Network news

News from across the Secondary Mathematics Masterclass Network in spring 2014

  • Masterclass students exploring spherical geometry

    Masterclass students exploring spherical geometry

    Credit: T Mitchell

New groups

The spring term has once again been busy across the Secondary Mathematics Masterclass Network, with new series throughout the country and several groups celebrating anniversaries. New groups started this term in Lancaster (covering North Lancashire and South Cumbria), Southampton (covering Hampshire and the Isle of Wight), Newcastle and Bedford.

Feedback from the Lancaster Masterclasses, which were aimed at Year 10 and 11 students and finished in March, was extremely positive. One student said: “[the Masterclasses] have encouraged me to explore for more interesting aspects of maths in my spare time and re-ignited the passion I once devoted to mathematics”. The series in Newcastle and Southampton finish on 5 April and in Bedford on 3 May; we hope that their final sessions go well. New groups are also organising their first series in Berwick-upon-Tweed and Sheffield, due to start after Easter.

We have been working hard to support these new groups and have many new secondary speakers across the country; Paul Sant, a new speaker in Bedford, wrote about his experience for the Ri blog.


Several of our existing groups reached milestones this term. The series in Bangor celebrated its 30th year, and in Truro the group celebrated their 20th birthday. Sam was lucky enough to visit both series, and said it was a privilege to take part in their celebrations.

She has had great fun visiting different Masterclass groups again this spring; she has enjoyed both delivering sessions and seeing other speakers present their Masterclasses. This term Sam has made twelve Masterclass visits from Stirling to Jersey, travelling over 4,500 miles, and is looking forward to more visits after Easter.

Ri-managed Masterclasses

The London Year 9 and Sixth Form series have all finished this month, bringing to an end another successful year of Ri managed Masterclasses, reaching over 750 students.  There was a final session held in the historic Lecture Theatre in the Royal Institution, bringing together both the Year 9 Ri and Gresham College series along with the students’ family members. Both our new Year 9 series at Greenwich University and new Sixth Form series at Queen Mary University of London ran smoothly and were well attended by bright and enthusiastic pupils. We now organise a total of ten Year 9 series and three Sixth Form series within London. Our Year 10 and Year 11 series each have two more sessions to go before the end of the year.

Unfortunately, spring has seen the departure of Graham Hoare as Chairman of the London Organisers’ Committee.  Graham attended the final session at the Ri to present the students with their certificates and was himself presented with a framed picture of his fellow Cornish man, Humphry Davy.  We thank Graham for all his hard work as Chairman of the Committee.