A peek behind the scenes for new mathematics school’s first students

Students visiting the Lancaster University School of Mathematics building alongside an artist impression of what the building will look like
Students visiting the Lancaster University School of Mathematics building alongside an artist impression of what the finished building will look like

Students set to be among the first cohort of learners at the £8.5 million Lancaster University School of Mathematics (LUSoM) have had a special behind the scenes tour of the school’s state-of-the-art buildings being built near Preston city centre.

A group of 22 students, of the 70 so far who have been offered places at LUSoM and will begin their studies in September, were guided around the prestigious new four-storey landmark building on London Road by a representative of the design and build contractors, Galliford Try.

When completed later this year the building’s exterior will feature a mixture of brown and lack brickwork, glass and distinctive bronze metal cladding, providing a unique and iconic look along one of the gateways to Preston’s City Centre.

The students were shown where their new classrooms and cutting-edge computer laboratories will be, as well as its airy open spaces such as a rooftop terraced relaxation and study area. They also got to see the beginnings of the specially designed 400-seater auditorium that will play host to lectures, events and masterclasses, and they got a chance to see the large space that will form the school’s three-storey atrium which, as well as helping to provide a light and welcoming ambience, will be used for open learning.

“The facilities are really modern, I am now really excited to see it in its final form,” said Paige Mitchenson, one of the students on the tour. “I know LUSoM can provide me with the best opportunities for developing my maths skills and furthering my education.”

Amaan Kauji said: “I loved the trip – it has made the school feel so much more personal…

“The focussed, academic-centred orientation of the school makes it an ideal stepping platform for me to pursue my academic dreams.”

Josie Martin said: “I love the open spaces and auditorium – the modern feel makes it complete.”

They were accompanied on a sneak preview of the school’s exciting new facilities by the school’s recently appointed Head Teacher, Peter Tiltman.

He said: “We can’t wait to get started and welcome our first cohort of students in September. It’s brilliant that we have been able to offer them the opportunity to get a sneak preview of the incredible facilities that will be available to them. The building will be a flagship for maths and science education with state-of-the-art classrooms and top-end science and computer laboratories and we’re delighted that we have it here in Preston.”

Also accompanying the students visit was Professor Alex Belton, Head of Lancaster University’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

He said: “This is the first building designed especially for a Specialist Maths School. It's tremendously exciting to see how its first-class facilities will come together to provide an environment perfectly suited to help LUSoM students excel in their studies while also supporting their extra-curricular activities."

Nick Burnham, Principal of Cardinal Newman College, said: “We are so excited to be opening the Lancaster University School of Mathematics right next to the college campus. This incredible building will provide a unique environment for Lancashire’s talented mathematicians, and also allow them to benefit from the excellence of Cardinal Newman too.”

The LUSoM is set to be a new specialist school delivering world-class mathematics education for the most able 16 to 18-year-olds from across Lancashire and the North West. The school opens for its first cohort in September.

During their first year the students will learn in existing facilities at Cardinal Newman College, the other key partner institution behind the new school, until the new building is completed.

Applications to enrol for this September are still open and applications can be made from the website https://lusom.ac.uk/how-to-apply/. More details on the application process are available on the school’s website www.lusom.ac.uk.

LUSoM, which will recruit up to 130 students each year, is a collaboration between two outstanding education providers, Lancaster University, which is consistently ranked among the best in the UK and top 20 in national league tables, and Cardinal Newman College, one of the highest performing Sixth Form Colleges nationally, based on A-Level progress.

Providing a modern and safe, inclusive and inspiring learning environment, and informed by a uniquely broad, rich, challenging and stretching curriculum, the school will attract students from all backgrounds, helping to raise aspirations throughout Preston and the wider area, unlock potential and propel young people on their journey towards successful careers.

LUSoM will also enable the most mathematically able students from Lancashire and the surrounding areas in the North West to access the best support when applying to the most selective universities.

Strong links will be made with the Maths Schools already in operation at Liverpool, Exeter and Kings College London, sharing knowledge and working towards encouraging Mathematics in the entirety of the UK.

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