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Top-Top Set Maths

The Top-Top Set Maths project is running a pilot in four secondary schools, namely Plashet and Lister Schools in Newham, Bulmershe School in Reading and Ratton School in Eastbourne

The project encourages schools to create a Top-Top Set, in addition to their standard setting, to cater for the top ~7.5% of students.

The aim of the pilot is to maximise the potential of numerate and ambitious students (starting in Year 7), by nurturing and challenging them until they leave school. Students involved in the project will be developing a set of mathematical skills and a passion for the subject that will enable them to earn places on STEM degree courses at the best universities.

If the pilot is successful, the aim is to grow the project rapidly. Our aspiration is that the Top-Top Set Maths become available in all schools, thereby significantly increasing the number of high-performing STEM students, particularly from groups who have been previously under-represented.

The Top-Top Set Maths project was started by author Simon Singh and the charity Good Thinking.

The Newham part of the project is being co-ordinated by Matthew Squire at Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre.

We are very grateful to our donors – John Lyon’s Charity, Winton Philanthropies, London Mathematical Society and Emmanuel College (Cambridge University) – for their generous support.


How to run Top-Top Set Maths at your school

If you are interested in running a Top-Top maths set in your school (and you have a spare maths teacher), then please get in touch and we can share our learning with you.

We might even be able to offer grants to help seed Top-Top Sets.

Introduction to The Top-Top Set

In the past, young mathematicians were able to excel by attending grammar schools and being stretched via O and A levels. This 1960s system was far from perfect, but it created large numbers of talented STEM candidates. The current system fails in this respect, because the maths GCSE does not challenge and stretch the most …

Latest Top-Top Set Maths Results

Over the last 2 years, we have had 4 schools taking part in the Top-Top Set Maths Project. In 2016/17 these schools ran a Year 7 class, which grew into a Y8 class for 2017/18, and a new Y7 class joined. One way to measure the impact of the Top-Top Set Maths Project (TTSMP) is …

Top-Top Set Maths Project Donors

The Top-Top Set Maths Project is a highly cost-effective way of nurturing mathematics excellence across the UK, but schools still require a subsidy. For the first two years of the project, while evidence was still being gathered, Good Thinking covered the entire cost of the project. Indeed, in our third year, Good Thinking continues to …