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Mission possible

More than 100 Advanced Higher maths candidates from Edinburgh and Lothian schools are receiving revision tuition from staff and students at Edinburgh University's School of Mathematics.

The pilot programme, launched last year at the request of Edinburgh and Lothian maths teachers, with support from the Brightside Trust, saw a similar tranche of students receive two revision sessions in April.

Expanding the programme and bringing the first revision afternoon forward to December 1 has enabled the pupils to gather at St Thomas of Aquin's in Edinburgh. They begin working with university staff and postgraduate and undergraduate students in time to focus on all aspects of the syllabus and exam paper. A second session will take place in April.

Admissions to Edinburgh's School of Mathematics have risen by 50 per cent over the past three years, defying a national trend which has seen student numbers drop and five university maths departments close south of the border.

Although Edinburgh offers places on the basis of Higher results, it recommends Advanced Higher as a preparation for university-level maths and regards these revision days as "crucial to our mission", says head of school Professor Michael Singer.

The School of Mathematics is now considering sharing its expertise by offering continuing professional development sessions for Advanced Higher teachers.

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