Primary Maths

Year 6 Royal Institution Masterclasses

Target Audience: year 6 students who are able and enthusiastic about maths and are within easy reach of Exeter.

Format: five workshops at EMS that run approximately fortnightly from 1630 to 1730 in the autumn or spring term.  Please note that we are unable to offer this programme in the autumn term 2020 owing to the Covid-19 situation. We will determine nearer the time if we can operate it during the spring term.  Schools will be kept updated.

Aim: to have fun, provide inspiration and challenge, and help sustain enthusiasm for maths.

How to get involved: Nomination info will be sent out to primary schools once we know we are able to run the programme.  Please email if you wish to add your details to the mail-out list.

Capacity: 100 ( four groups of 25)


Children enjoy lively sessions, which, through games, activities and investigations, develop their mathematical reasoning, problem solving and communication skills.

Within each class, children have the opportunity to explore the subject individually and in small groups, with help always close at hand. The children in a Masterclass always come from a number of schools in the area, so it’s also a great chance to make new friends.

How it works

Classes are free of charge and, owing to the popularity of the programme, we usually run the programme in both the Autumn and Spring terms.  Unfortunately, it is unlikely that we will be able to run this programme during the 20-21 academic year.  Up-to-date information will be posted here.

Students nominated should be interested and enthusiastic about maths, as well as being from among the most mathematically able students in Year 6 at your school (though not necessarily as measured by test success).

How to join

We contact local schools directly to ask for nominations.

We cannot accept a student to participate unless signed forms are returned to teachers and subsequently passed to us.  Without this, students cannot be accepted for nomination. 

As the programme runs straight after-school, local schools are invited to join. However, should you be a teacher at a school outside the Exeter area without a nearer Ri host school and you would consider travelling to EMS for the course, do please get in contact:

Those from further away may find a masterclass series closer to home; an interactive map with the network of masterclasses is available here.

Year 6 Poster Competition

Target Audience: all year 6 students from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

Format: students create an A3 poster on a theme selected by us. The posters are judged by EMS students and winners announced at the end of the summer term.

Aim: to get creative with maths.

How to get involved: information is sent to all primary schools in our catchment area, timed perfectly to use post-SATS. Teachers can request to be added to our mailing list by emailing

Capacity: no limit at the moment!

Natural Occurrences of the Fibonacci Sequence was the theme for this year’s poster competition, leading to some eye-catching designs from our primary school competitors. We were as delighted as ever by the quality of design, research and mathematics on display; well done to everyone that took part.

Marks were awarded for mathematical content (50%), creativity (25%) and overall presentation (25%).  After much wrangling and careful analysis, the following posters emerged triumphant:

First Place: Finn, Molly, Mimi and Alex, Silverton CoE Primary School, Devon

Second Place: Amelia, Esme and Daisy, Ermington Primary School, Devon

Third Place: Isla, Evan, Sofia and Georgia, Trythall Community Primary School, Cornwall

The winning poster impressed with a combination of detailed research and unique ideas which were well combined to create an interesting poster.  The poster included a good range of links to the Fibonacci sequence, including art, fir cones, flowers, rabbits, spirals, cabbages and honeybees.

The second place poster scored highly for its combination of clear explanations and eye-catching design. The use of a tree and its branches was particularly appreciated for its uniqueness.

The judges appreciated the effort that the third place team had gone to in getting out in nature and taking photos of the plant they found that linked to the Fibonacci sequence.  The inclusion of the angle-o-tron also raised a smile.

Special Mention to:

Evie-Grace, Erin, Millie and Eben from Chumleigh Primary School in Devon who narrowly missed out on a place in the top three.  The judges appreciated the level of information contained in your poster in addition to its attractive design.


Molly from Flushing Primary School in Cornwall deserves particular congratulations for her artistry, illustrating the formula for the Golden Ratio.

Thank you to all the students who submitted a poster for consideration and thank you to the teachers that supported them to part.  We hope they enjoyed exploring this creative area of mathematics, we certainly loved reviewing their work.

Triangle mountains