The Science department celebrated British Science week 2023 with a full week of activities that were highly participated. From Year 7 to 6th form, a very high number of students participated in the different activities, that were delivered by our enthusiastic science teachers.

Ms Mpofu-Tavugara (AKA Professor Starlight) delivered a session called Methane bubble where she, literally, set arms (of the volunteers) on fire. Note, no one got injured.

Mr Bradley (AKA Professor Crackalackin) transformed our Science labs in space room controls, and the courts into our own rocket launch base. Loud explosions were heard.

As Science is not only fire, explosions and launching rockets, Ms Gaskin decided to bring some Biology and do some heart dissections. As a bonus, a brain was also provided for the activity.

Using a less conventional fuel, Mr Dingsdale (AKA Payload Commander Sherlock Ohms) used Alka seltzer tablets to power rockets made by students.

Mr Tewari (AKA Professor Subject Catalyst), decided to go big and squishy and invited students to produce elephant toothpaste (we can assure no one used them on their own teeth).

To complete the week in a relaxed way, Mr Araujo (AKA Dr Rock(y) Stardust) invited students to watch a NASA live stream from the ISS (unfortunately due to a signal loss, we were not able to watch it live, Instead we watch a recorded stream).

Another high of the week was the highly disputed Science quiz competition.

11S2 was the winner of the KS4 quiz and 9K1 the winner of the KS3 quiz.

We are already looking forward to celebrate British Science week 2024.

World Book Day was on March 2nd this year and it turned out to be World Book Week for us here as we had a full programme of activities for students.

On the Monday of that week we were lucky enough to secure an author visit from Steve Skidmore, one of The 2 Steves writing team. They have penned over 260 stories together and their books have always been very popular in our School library. Steve ran talks for years 7 and 8 in the morning, and then a writing workshop for selected students in the afternoon. The talks were brilliant, very engaging, and year 7 even got to re-enact one of his books. Congratulations go to Theo and Aston who stole the show with their magnificent leading rolls. The afternoon workshop was to encourage and support our promising writers selected from year 7 and 8. Steve gave great advise on story construction, key elements and the golden rules of writing.

On Tuesday we launched our ‘Adopt a Book’ incentive which was very well received and the ‘Date with a Mystery Book’. For the book adoption we had a selection of books which we were giving away to good homes. After students had made their choice of book they were issued an adoption certificate. By signing their certificate, they promised to take care of their new book and share their opinions with their friends. There was also the option to swap with their peers if they were happy to do so. Mrs Evans in the LRC will be contacting all students who participated to see if they enjoyed their selection and encourage them to provide a book review. Mystery Date with a Book, involved selecting a book that had been wrapped in brown paper. Student didn’t know the title, author or even the genre, but had undertaken to read whatever was inside. This is a great way of introducing new genres to students, enabling them to broaden their future reading choices. The importance of reading cannot be understated. Statistics provide by Engageeducation.org prove that students ‘who engage in reading 20 minutes a day, …are likely to score better than 90% of their peers on standardised tests’. ‘Reading can increase your IQ by up to 50 points if you do it for 30 minutes a day. The effect is even greater if you read 5 books in a month—this could increase your IQ by 30 points. The National Literacy Trust states, ‘Strong reading skills have been shown to improve children’s academic attainment across a range of subjects, including English, maths and science.

Wednesday was a strike day but students were set detective exams in Google Classroom. These were set as a warm-up exercise for the murder mystery event due to take place on Thursday. There were two sets of questions available and they were based on lateral thinking problems. With standard and advanced levels available students could choose to challenge themselves with the more difficult questions.

Thursday was ‘Murder by the Book’. A dramatic crime scene was set up in the LRC and clues were posted all around the room. All students had to do was collect the clues to solve the murder. There were a few red herrings too so it really tested their sleuthing abilities but it was greatly enjoyed. Special thanks go to Emily (year 12) who was our chalk outline model.