News Article

GCHQ hosts a celebration of the Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses

Last Updated: 07 Dec 2013
As sponsors of the Royal Institution Maths Masterclasses, GCHQ hosts a celebration event for Gloucestershire students at its Cheltenham headquarters, rewarding them for their expertise in mathematics.

News Article - 07 Dec 2013

Run as a national programme by the Royal Institution, the Maths Masterclasses are intended to inspire Year 9 students (aged 13-14) to get interested in maths with a view to hopefully taking its study further when they leave school.  GCHQ, with its strong commitment to encouraging the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in schools has supported this initiative in Gloucestershire for over 30 years and so were pleased to open its doors to host this year’s award giving ceremony.

The final session held at GCHQ is the culmination of some hard work by students, from a range of Gloucestershire schools. Throughout the Autumn they attended numerous classes at the University of Gloucestershire which introduced the students to mathematical ideas they wouldn’t normally cover in standard maths classes.

Those students attending the final session received a certificate presented by Samantha Durbin of the Royal Institution in a ceremony attended by their parents.

Kevin, GCHQ’s organiser for this year’s finals said: "We are delighted to be bringing the Maths Masterclass students into GCHQ, an organisation where maths is routinely applied to issues of national importance. From my own experience GCHQ already employs people whose interest in maths was stimulated through past Masterclasses, so I am hopeful that some of the students here today may eventually join us as part of our mathematics teams."

Sam Durbin, manager of the Royal Institution National Secondary Mathematics Master class Network said: "The Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses aim to engage young people in the fascinating, beautiful and valuable world of mathematics. We hope that today’s celebration at GCHQ of the 30th Gloucestershire Masterclass series will help inspire the students and show them that maths can lead to exciting and varied careers."

Whilst in GCHQs ‘doughnut’ headquarters building the students were also able to listen to a presentation by one of GCHQ’s senior mathematicians and get some hands on experience with one of GCHQ’s famous wartime Enigma machines. There was also time to mingle and talk to some of GCHQ’s mathematicians about the opportunities that a good grounding in maths can provide to those who follow a maths career.

The schools taking part in this year’s Masterclasses were:

  • Tewkesbury School
  • Winchcombe School
  • Thomas Keble School, Stroud
  • Cotswold School, Bourton-on-the-Water
  • High School for Girls, Gloucester
  • Balcarras School, Cheltenham
  • Marling School, Stroud
  • Dene Magna School, Mitcheldean
  • Maidenhill School, Stonehouse
  • St. Edward’s School, Cheltenham
  • Barnwood Park High School for Girls, Gloucester
  • Kingshill School, Cirencester
  • All Saints Academy, Cheltenham
  • Cheltenham Ladies College


The Royal Institution's Sam Durbin explains mathematical theories to Gloucestershire Maths Masterclass students at GCHQ