Q&A fact file: The National Mathematics and Science College



How many international students does your school have?

The National Mathematics and Science College is very proud of its international boarding community, with students from all around the world currently covering 25 different nationalities, alongside a relatively small number of day students and UK boarders.  This means that coming to NatMatSci is similar cultural experience to that which they will have in the top performing universities they leave us to go on to.

Who does my child go to if they are upset or home sick

Whatever the age or stage, young people are sometimes homesick or upset.  Being a small family-like community here at NatMatSci there are lots of informal as well as formal routes to support.  Tutors and the boarding team are always there to offer help and support, or students can speak with Miss Charlie Turner, the Assistant Principal (Pastoral and Boarding), or Mr Les Noble, our College Counsellor in confidence.  There’s also the ‘wellness corner’ in the college which provides space for students for students to relax and chat with their friends. We also look to celebrate as many cultural days and events from across the world so our students don’t feel they are missing out so much on events back home.

How do I know they will make friends; are the students supportive of one another in the boarding house

NatMatSci is a very special community of like-minded people.  Whilst in many schools there will be just a few students who are passionate about STEM or coding, here this is how we all feel.  Students at NatMatSci will find others who share their passions, and are excited to spend time working on challenging problems together.  This shared passion makes it easy for them to find friends with similar interests, and creates a mutually engaged and supportive community both in boarding and more widely across the College. Alongside this there are plenty of clubs and societies such as Robotics or Chess, alongside social opportunities students to hang out outside of class.  They are also allocated a buddy when they first join the College to help then quickly find their feet and feel like they are part of the NatMatSci family.

Who will help my child with their university applications

The university application process is overseen by Dr Penny Robotham, our Vice Principal.  She leads the whole college aspects of preparation, with further bespoke support and advice offered, particularly around choosing the right course, and preparing their personal statement, by our expert teachers and tutors.  Our small size, and specialist nature means we are experts in providing the bespoke support necessary to help get our students in to the best universities – as shown by almost 1 in 5 gaining places to Oxford and Cambridge over the last 3 years. Students will be supported through any university admissions assessments (e.g. MAT, PAT, STEP, ENGA etc), and provided with lots of individual interview support and preparation, including mock interviews. We also run a bespoke support programme for those applying for Medicine or medical related degree paths – which has led to all our medics gaining offers this year.

How do we know our child will do their prep if we are not there to encourage them

The ambitious nature of the College pulls students along.  Whilst it’s possible to try and be lazy, it’s hard to keep it up here!  The students encourage and support one another, which means that we don’t often have to intervene to put in place for directed support.  However, when necessary we can, and will, put in place bespoke support programmes to ensure they don’t fall behind – this might be supervised study times, or additional checks in College or within boarding as required.  Like you we want the best for your child, and that means teaching them to own their responsibilities, but also scaffolding that process when they aren’t yet ready to do it themselves.

What makes your school special?

NatMatSci is unique.  We are a vibrant, multicultural community of passionate mathematicians and scientists, staff and students alike where excellence is the norm. We empower each other to break intellectual boundaries, celebrate individuality, and create exciting opportunities to do practical science.?  Looking around the College you will find the place alive with conversations about mathematics and science; students and staff excitedly gathered together, challenging themselves to tackle difficult problems; and looking for new ways to engage with each other and cross boundaries.? All of this happens in small classes where we can work with you as an individual, within our state of the art boarding and teaching facilities. You can learn maths and science in any school, but here at NatMatSci you get to be a Scientist or a Mathematician.

Questions answered by Dr Andy Kemp, Principal of The National Mathematics and Science College