The Romsey School

Mathematics Department

January 2022

Romsey School Maths department have recently sent boxes of old text books to Books2Africa, they were lucky enough to be able to buy new key stage 3 text books for the start of the academic year so have taken the opportunity to pass on older books to this worthwhile charity.

University of Southampton Maths Challenge 2021

Three Romsey School students have been named as winners in the prestigious Southampton University Maths Challenge 2021!

Congratulations to Garam, Year 10, who has been awarded First Prize in the Senior Challenge and to Jessica and Kinshuk, Year 7, who have both been awarded a Certificate of Merit in the Junior Challenge.

The challenges involved completing a booklet of interesting and amusing maths problems that students had to solve, showing any working out. The standard of entries was exceptionally high this year, with 33 schools participating in the Junior Challenge and 25 in the Senior Challenge. There were over 1000 entries in total.

Maths Teacher, Miss Moore, was delighted to submit 31 entries from our school in the Junior Challenge and 26 in the Senior Challenge. They were then, of course, also up against many other schools’ entries.

All winners and their families attended a virtual award event on the evening of 30th June to celebrate their success. They were also interested to hear a talk by Professor James W. Anderson on “Pythagoras, Fermat, Beal and a question worth $1 000 000”.

My Money Week 2021

Year 7 students at The Romsey School enjoyed My Money Week activities during maths lessons in June.

Students learnt about making purchasing decisions. This involved thinking about whether purchases are ‘needs’ or ‘wants’ and what different people need at different stages of their life.

Insurance was the topic for another session. Students learnt about which insurances are needed by law and which ones are optional and how to evaluate whether insurance is worth paying for.

The last session focused on the different types of accounts available to young savers and to adults. Students heard about the differences between standing orders and direct debits and when they are useful.

One student said ‘these lessons are really helpful for me as I am saving up at the moment’

During July it is the turn of year 10 students who will be learning about taxes on income and about budgeting including calculating household bills and mortgage payments.

My Money Week is a national activity week for primary and secondary schools.

The Romsey School is recognised as a Centre of Excellence for financial education. This is a nationally recognised accreditation showing the school is committed to embedding financial education.

Welcome to the Romsey School Mathematics Website

Congratulations to the class of 2019

28% attained top GCSE grades 7, 8 and 9 in their mathematics GCSE

80% achieved grade 4+

61% achieved grade 5+

Well above the national average!

"Financial education for our pupils means appreciating the value of money, being able to budget and knowing how to use debt wisely"

PFEG Award

The department has renewed its accreditation as a PFEG Centre of Excellence in Financial Education 2019-2022. This has seen the school develop its financial education programme to include projects run by community members and has enhanced the financial literacy and capability of all pupils at the school.

My BnK session with year 9

Earlier this academic year, all year 9 pupils participated in the My BnK session Money Twist

Money Twist involves writing, presenting, drawing, maths and problem-solving.

Sessions cover:

  • Session 1: The functions of money, understanding their relationship with money and the impact that advertising, peer and media pressure, and shopping deals can have. Alongside comparing costs and benefits of a range of goods and service.

  • Session 2: Creating positive money mindsets through exploring money motivations, budgeting, minimum wage, needs and wants, and making financial decisions based on their circumstances.

  • Session 3: Making good money decisions based on current and savings accounts, interest, low of money, understanding bank statements, overdrafts and the future of money.

Pupils really engaged with the sessions and took a particular interest in the fact that someone had the audacity to sell pet rocks as a business idea. They were also very open about their spending and saving habits.

PI Day 2018

By Stanley Witt



1st/£25 Archie Parton 8L

2nd/£15 Bronwen Josty 8L

3rd/£10 Julia Garstka 7P

Pi, the ancient letter, important ratio to the key to interplanetary civilisation

Every year we are reminded of the quirky little number of Pi as the dates of the calendar clock to the first three digits of this exact number. And while it is not super pi day-when the year ends in 15, the next two digits of Pi - it’s still a time when mathematicians from all round the world turn to appreciate this key part of the extensive web of maths as a subject. But while most people are familiar with Pi (there are even some who dread it) few people really understand just how large of a role it plays in our world.

Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference (The distance around the edge of the circle) divided by its diameter (The distance across the centre) and this equals very closely to 3.14159265… We can never truly know the exact value of Pi, as it goes on infinitely, but mathematicians have managed to get a very close approximation. In fact, only 39 digits are necessary for calculating the circumference of a circle surrounding the known universe to the accuracy of the radius of a hydrogen atom. But how exactly was Pi whittled down to its first one million digits or so? There is no pattern to the digits of Pi and you can’t exactly measure it with a piece of string? Early civilisations like the Babylonians, Greeks and Egyptians got close. The Babylonians and Greek mathematicians like Archimedes estimated pi to be around 3 and the Egyptians managed to get it to 3 and 1/7. But fast forward a few thousand years to 1950 where, with the invention of the computer, the calculations necessary for working out a digit of pi could be done in nanoseconds (in fact it’s faster than 500,000 digits a second now). And while it’s a bit unnecessary, it shows just how far some mathematicians will go to solve unsolved problems.

Currently Pi is being used in many areas around the world:

· Astrophysics – determining the volume of stars and planets.

· Engineering – design of Vehicles, Efficient use of materials and building designs.

· GPS/satellite TV – Orbit of satellites.

At School pupils have been celebrating pi day by creating elaborate Pi day celebratory pies and cake for the Pi Day Bake off competition. There were 36 entries of a fantastic quality. The maths department, and of other selected judges, found it extremely difficult to find a winner. The entries were judged on taste, appearance and mathematical content.

And so while many people may spend today tucking into a steaming dish of steak and onion pie, it’s worth sparing a thought to this little Greek letter as without its discovery we may be living in a very different world indeed. A world full of wonky circles that.

ABP Year 10 Maths competition Success

Four pupils from year 10 competed against 18 other teams from the local Hampshire region at The Port of Southampton on Tuesday the 6th of February. The competition staged by Associated British Ports (ABP) and Applemore college included rounds on Sequences, Number pyramids and Simultaneous equations. The competition was designed to allow students to apply broader aspects of mathematical thought processes rather than simply to do the same sort of questions they will see in their GCSE exams.

The team emerged as winners, with Applemore College in second place. A cheque for £500 will be presented to the school’s maths department and the team will be treated to an exclusive trip on a Harbour Master’s launch to show them the port from the water. Congratulations to Kira, Subhaan, Gareth and Richard.

Women in Mathematics

On Wednesday 24th January a group of 14 year ten girls went to Hampshire Colligate School for a day to celebrate women in Mathematics. Hampshire Colligate School was the perfect location for the day as it once was the winter home of Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale was the first woman to join the Royal Statistics Society due to her statistical analysis of the Crimean War and the first woman we celebrated during the Celebration of Women in Mathematics Day. Noel-Ann Bradshaw played a convincing Florence, educating us all about Florence’s mathematical achievements and showing us some of the statistical diagrams and reports Florence herself had made.

The rest of the day was made up of three workshops. The first, entitled ‘Outbreak’, was a talk from Professor Christl Donnelly CBE, who is a statistician and epidemiologists studying the spread and control of infectious diseases. She told us all about her very interesting job and some of the big cases she has studied in recent years, such as the Zika virus, Ebola, bovine tuberculosis and foot and mouth disease. Christl has used her research to advise the government on how they should respond to different outbreaks. She was awarded a CBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours for her work on epidemiology and control of infectious diseases.

The second workshop, ‘It’s a disaster’, was led by Cath Moore. During this workshop the pupils were transported to 2010 when the earthquake in Chile had just occurred. The pupils had to work out how much aid the people affected by the earthquake would need and how they were going to get it there. They were acting as the strategists for an aid organisation. Cath explained how there were lots of jobs that involved mathematical strategists, such as jobs working out what would go on each lorry.

The final workshop, ‘bubbles’, was led by Dr Avril Steele. The session started with a branches problem where the pupils have to connect all the points using a few branches as possible. This lead into a Steiner problem, where the pupils have to connect different points (which represented towns) using the least amount of roads as possible. At the end of the workshop Avril showed us all that if you take four points, in between two Perspex sheets, and dip them into soapy water, the bubbles in the water will automatically find the shortest route between the four points.

Throughout the day we learnt about lots of different jobs that involve Mathematics and got to meet some of the wonderful women who are currently doing those jobs.

National TES Award Shortlist 2017

The Times Education Suplement (TES) shortlisted Romsey School's Mathematics Department as part of their 2017 awards.

The TES Schools Awards, now in its ninth year, celebrates the extraordinary commitment, quality and innovation shown by teachers and support staff across the UK. They celebrate teachers and teams within schools who are raising the standards of education and making a positive impact on the personal and academic success of students and the wider community.

Congratulations to Richard on placing 36th in the UKMT maths challenge Olympiad for year 9. To qualify Richard, along with 60 of his year were entered into the UKMT intermediate challenge aimed at encouraging mathematical thinking. Four pupils progressed form this phase. Gareth, Subhaan and Lottie got to the Grey Kangaroo with Richard Qualifying for the Olympiad (approximately the top 1000 in the year group). Richard completed all 6 questions of the challenge (3 is what would be expected) and scored an outstanding 51 out of 60. Placing him joint 36th in the country.