Celebrating Success

Department Focus: Science in action!

Department Focus: Science in action!
10th May 2024
Written by ASM

Learning within a classroom environment is a great way to gather, absorb and process subject knowledge, whatever that subject may be. But most subject leads at school understand that to truly stretch a learner’s understanding, students also need to be exposed to a variety of additional stimuli outside of the classroom –and that’s something that all our teachers here at Southborough endorse.

Our Science Team is particularly keen to encourage students to take part in National Science competitions that are designed to challenge ideas, develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills in new, real world situations. Earlier in the year, A-level Chemistry students competed in the UK Chemistry Olympiad.

Last week our Head of Science Dr White was thrilled to present Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards to our deserving students. This marked them out as doing particularly well in the competition, known for its rigorous standards. Quite an achievement given that they are competing against so many students across the UK! Back in January, A-level Physics students took part in the British Physics Olympiad. Again, the online test is specifically designed to stretch the problem solving skills of our physicists and help them apply fundamental physical principles to novel situations. Once again, our students performed well, achieving a collection of Bronze Awards.

Meanwhile, our Year 10 GCSE students have just completed the UK Biology Challenge. Whilst the questions are set on the school curriculum, the competition also rewards those students who have explored the subject outside the classroom. In short, it rewards those students who are being continually stretched ‘outside of the classroom’ and encouraged to expand their knowledge by being curious – a quality much valued here at Southborough. We wait to hear the results soon!

The department doesn’t just engage with National competitions, though. In March, students attended a Medics Conference at Tiffin Girls School, where they learnt about how to successfully apply to study Medicine at university. Year 10 students also got the chance to take part in a MiSAC (Microbiology in Schools Advisory Committee) competition focusing on ‘Neglected Tropical Diseases –NTD- and Climate Change’, the aim of which is to help develop an understanding amongst teenagers of the impact of NTDs on global health and how climate change may impact their distribution around the world. The students loved this project!

Recently our Year 7 and 8 students took part in an NHS initiative called ‘Step into NHS!’ designed to broaden young people’s knowledge and understanding of NHS career opportunities. This exercise really did open up the eyes of our students, who were rather surprised to find that there are well over 350 different NHS career pathways available, both clinical and non- clinical. The students were t with creating a job advertisement. Our students worked incredibly hard but we think their video below -submitted by Jason B, Jacob C, Ryan C and Layth A is in with a great shot of being short-listed for a prize! The Science Department wish them lots of luck! Lastly, five teams of students (Year 12 and 10) are currently working on five subject specific contests by Imperial, including Cardiovascular, Lung, Scleroderma and Raynaud’s Disease, Vasculitis and Global Health. Each contest is supported by the relevant research centre/ foundations and the prizes are attractive and short-listed teams will be offered the opportunity for an online mentoring session with a leading academic! We will keep you all posted on how our students got on!