On Wednesday 20th December students and staff enjoyed their Christmas lunch. There was a lovely festive atmosphere in the dining hall with Christmas music, crackers and party hats. Many thanks to the catering team, the midday assistants for ensuring it was such an enjoyable lunchtime for everyone.
After winning the PTA auction, 7-6 were treated to a wonderful afternoon tea on the 11th of October. The hall was beautifully decorated, confectionary and cakes adorned the stunning table and delicious sandwiches too. The fizzy lemonade was served by the staff and the food was delicious. The best thing about the afternoon tea was knowing the fact that the staff and parents had organised this just for 7-6. That, and of course being called madam! Overall, the afternoon tea was just exceptional and everyone in 7-6 had bucket loads of fun.
On Saturday 14th October 98 keen biologists, from Y11-Y13, came into school for a postmortem study day to finish our Biology Week activities. Over the course of four hours, they watched a postmortem of a semi-synthetic cadaver. They were able to get hands-on experience of handling brains, lungs, digestive systems and much more (from ethically sourced animal remains) whilst learning a huge amount about human body systems, the causes and treatments of disease and the language that forensic scientists and medics use when describing injuries and incisions. No-one fainted, despite some pretty pungent moments, and this invaluable experience will be really beneficial to many hoping to pursue scientific careers in the future.
On Thursday 19th October, we took 10 Year 9 students to Barclay’s annual ‘IT Girls Allowed’ event at Radbroke Hall. The event is put on each year to inspire young girls into the ever growing world of computing and technology.
The day began with a talk from a young female apprentice who works in Barclay’s cryptography team. From there, the 10 attending schools were spilt into three groups and headed off to their first activity for the day. For us, it was to program robots to manoeuvre around a course. In pairs, the girls set out to program their robots to firstly follow a solid back line course – similar to a self-driving car. After much programming and testing, we all managed to successfully manoeuvre around the tricky course. Following this, the robots had to use their inter-red sensors to move around a space with objects in the way – similar to the mars rover.
Activity two was to design the future. The challenge was set to design a new piece of technology, the most innovate three from each group to present their idea at the end. Christabell and Lois’ ideas took them through to the final in their group, taking home 1st and runner up prizes – with the first prize being an Amazon Kindle Fire!
The last activity of the day was cryptography, in which the girls work in their school groups to crack as many encrypted messages as possible. In the 20 minutes they had, the team managed to crack a staggering 45 messages, crowning them the winning team for the day.
An enjoyable and inspiring day was had by all. Once again, the girls doing the school proud.
On Thursday 12th October, Dr Hartwell from Liverpool University spoke to biologists about the problems we face in food production if global warming continues. He explained that his lab is attempting to genetically engineer crops to carry out alternative mechanisms for photosynthesis that have evolved in cacti, that allow crops to withstand droughts and produce a greater yield. After the talk, Dr Hartwell emailed school to compliment our sixth form students, saying “You should be very proud of such a bright set of students; they were asking questions that were comfortably at second year undergraduate level!“
Professor Roberts from Manchester University joined us on Wednesday for a fascinating talk about the challenges of antibiotic resistance and the current research to overcome these problems in the search for new ways to prevent diseases spreading. With so much in the news about the misuse of antibiotics and the lack of new sources, this talk was well attended by students, who were struck by the potential crisis the medical world faces if we cannot find new drugs for some very old bugs!