Beyond the classroom

Students' work


Click here to go to a page dedicated to students' own work beyond the classroom.


All these books can be found in the school library.
While a book may be in the Lower School section it will
still provide enough challenge for older students and
adults alike.

Lower School


50 mathematical ideas you really need to know
Tony Crilly

Download this book for free here.
The concise chapters in this fascinating book cover ideas
in mathematics, some of which you will know about
(such as zero and pi) but many of which will be new to you
(like chaos, topology and game theory). This is a
great way to look beyond the school curriculum.


The Simpsons and their mathematical secrets
Simon Singh

A great, fun read that starts simple and grows into
some fairly complex ideas in the second half.
A must for all Simpsons fans and
suitable for 3rd Years or confident 2nd Years.

Find out more here.


Upper School


​1089 and All That: A Journey into Mathematics
David Acheson

Find out more here.


Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction
Timothy Gowers

This is an excellent little book that introduces some big
mathematical ideas in a concise and understandable way.
Find out more here.


Why Do Buses Come in Threes?
Rob Eastaway and Jeremy Wyndham

In this entertaining book you will see where
mathematics can be used in everyday life.
Find out more here.


Alex's Adventures in Numberland
Alex Bellos

Find out more here.

6th Form


Cambridge reading list

Cambridge University produce a thorough reading
list for anyone wanting to study Mathematics,
but there are some gems in here for all readers,
many will appear above and below. You can find most
of these books in the school's library.

Find out more here.


Fermat's Last Theorem - Simon Singh​

Find out more here.


The Music of the Primes - Marcus Du Sautoy

This is a highly readable book on the purest of pure
mathematics, number theory and prime numbers,
whose backbone is the race to prove the Riemann
Hypothesis, which has stood for nearly 200 years.
The book is filled with interesting anecdotes about
the lives of great mathematicians.

Find out more here.


Any book by Ian Stewart

Ian's books are also suitable for 6th Form students.
Find out more here.


Euclid's Elements

Find out more here.


A Brief History of Mathematics

In this series of podcasts from the BBC, Marcus du Sautoy
reveals the personalities behind the calculations and argues
that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science

1. Newton and Leibniz

Listen to the story of the rivalry between the great,
but rather unpleasant, English mathematician and his
Swiss counterpart, Leibniz, over who first invented
one of the most important areas of mathematics - calculus.

2. Leonard Euler

What do the seven bridges in Königsberg have to do with
the internet? Listen to how the remarkable mathematician,
Leonard Euler, laid the foundation for new branches
of mathematics - graph theory and topology.

3. Joseph Fourier

How can your headphones produce the sound of heavy
metal one moment and classical music another? Enter Joseph
Fourier, the mathematician who made sense of waves and
find out why he liked heat so much.

4. Evariste Galois

Listen to how Galois paved the way for quantum mechanics
and how he met a tragic and early end in a duel.

5. Carl Friedrich Gauss

The mathematician who, amongst other great discoveries,
came up with the most important curve in statistics
- the normal, or Gaussian, distribution.

6. Mathematicians Who Helped Einstein

Arguably the greatest physicist of all time, Einstein,
needed great mathematicians to help him produce his
ground-breaking theories. Learn about Bernard Riemann
and non-Euclidean geometry.

7. Georg Cantor

Find out about the mathematician who described infinity
and proved there were different types of infinity, some
bigger than others. Prepare to have your mind blown.

8. Henri Poincare

Why is the weather so hard to predict? What is the butterfly
effect? Listen to the story of Henri Poincare, the
mathematician whose error in a prize-winning proof led him
to discover chaos theory.

9. Hardy and Ramanujan

Why are prime numbers so important to mathematicians?
What is their link to cryptography (the mathematics
of codes)? Listen to the relationship between the Indian
prodigy and Englishman revive the fortunes of mathematics
in this country.

10. Nicolas Bourbaki

The remarkable story of the French mathematician who
managed to publish so much work in one lifetime, which
led to the first proof of a theorem that had stood
for over 350 years - Fermat’s Last Theorem.

In Our Time

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss key mathematical
principles and theories, and the role of key figures in their
development. Originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Ideas met before A level
1. Zero - once denounced as the devil's work
2. Negative Numbers - a history of mystery and suspicion
3. Prime Numbers - their mysterious role in the universe of numbers
4. Pi - the history of the longest and most detailed number in nature
5. Probability - its strange mathematics
6. Pythagoras - the ideas of the Pythagoreans
7. Symmetry - the idea of symmetry in art and nature
8. The Fibonacci Sequence - its mathematical and cultural mysteries
9. Euclid's Elements
Ideas met during A level
10. e - Euler's number
11. Calculus - the dispute over who invented calculus
12. Infinity - its nature and existence
13. Imaginary Numbers - what are they?
Important mathematical ideas
14. Cryptography - the origins and history of codes
15. Chaos Theory - how it has affected our understanding of the universe
16. Fermat's Last Theorem
17. Game Theory - the mathematical study of decision-making
18. Archimedes - his life and work
19. Carl Friedrich Gauss - one of the great mathematicians
20. The Poincare Conjecture - can it explain the shape of the universe
21. Godel's Incompleteness Theorems
22. Logic - its history
23. N vs NP - the mathemaical problem of P versus NP
24. Random and Pseudorandom
What is mathematics?
25. Mathematics - its importance in relation to other sciences
26. Mathematics Unintended Consequences
27. Mathematics and Platonism - maths: invention or discovery?
History of mathematics
28. Indian Mathematics - its 5000 year story
29. Maths in the Early Islamic World - the flourishing of maths from C8th
30. Renaissance Maths - when maths moved from art to a science

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