Study Mathematics with our Oxford Summer School 2017 | Students aged 13-15

Also available for students aged 16-18.

Class Summary

The Maths course is designed for students with knowledge equivalent to GCSE level. The focus is on strengthening fundamental skills and techniques as well as introducing new and advanced topics. The aim is to strengthen existing knowledge and to give the students more confidence in dealing with more sophisticated topics in future. Moreover, new techniques for solving well-known problems will be introduced. In addition, the students will be faced with completely new concepts such as those arising from the history of maths. Mathematics is relevant and important for a huge variety of subjects, so will be useful to students regardless of the path that they are interested in taking in future – and if they are budding mathematicians, then so much the better.

Students will have the opportunity to present work in small groups, to practise graph drawing, and to learn about general logic using mathematical puzzles and riddles. The class will also give short ‘previews’ of the mathematics taught in higher classes and an explanation of the practical importance of the subject. In this way, it helps prepare students for further studies in Mathematics, and may even assist them in deciding whether it is something that they would like to study at degree level.

The course introduces students to GCSE-level mathematical concepts: algebra, geometry and trigonometry; the ability to work with variables and functions; calculating probabilities; solving various algebraic equations using familiar and more advanced methods; calculating the angles, area and circumference of geometric shapes and constructing the circles of the triangle; the concepts of sin, cos and tan and the application of these theorems to calculations; how to produce graphs of various functions and interpret transformations; to understand basic concepts of calculating probabilities and tree diagrams; and quadratic equations. Along the way, students also practise teamwork and collaboration to produce presentations in groups, summarising and explaining the history of a mathematical topic to the rest of the class. The course concludes with a quiz, testing the students’ knowledge in a more informal way. In this fast-paced and engaging environment, students who have studied any of the course topics before are given differentiated activities in order to deepen their understanding further.



A basic background in Algebra as well as Geometry will be expected. In particular, students should be familiar with the techniques to substitute, expand, factorise, and simplify to solve algebraic equations of one or several variables as well as simultaneous equations of two variables. Geometrical knowledge of triangles, squares and circles is also required, as well as familiarity with angles, areas and circumference.