Extra-curricular STEM enrichment

Science and Maths students were busy right up to the end of term with a range of trips and activities to extend their learning in and outside of the classroom. Students studying Applied Science visited the University of Bournemouth for an Insight day into Forensic Science. Students were treated to a campus tour and talk about Bournemouth University, a session on UCAS applications and personal statement writing and then spent the afternoon in the Forensic Science department. The students had the chance to examine two potential "crime scenes", search for evidence and discuss their ideas about the scene with the forensic science lecturers. They also spent some time in the forensic lab learning about blood spatter patterns and carrying out presumptive tests for blood. They also went into the darkroom to look at a chemiluminescence test for blood. The students enjoyed seeing a university campus, for most students this was their first visit to a university and also found the forensic activities fascinating. The university staff told our students how impressed they were with their level of knowledge about chemical techniques which could be used for evidence analysis, something they were studying in class.

Maths students also visited one of the local universities with a trip to the University of Portsmouth for a Year 12 Problem Solving Day as part of their Further Mathematics Support Programme. The one-day conference for sixth form students and their teachers was aimed at students being able to develop deeper mathematical problem solving skills, including sessions on STEP/AEA/MAT (Oxford and Cambridge University entry papers) and was thoroughly enjoyed by all participants, students and staff alike.

First year Biology A level students took part in the Intermediate Biology Olympiad 2018 and a large number received awards for their outstanding results. The competition consists of a one-hour multiple choice paper covering topics students have covered at GCSE and in their first year of A level study. Of the 64 students who participated, eight received a gold award, four received a silver award, thirteen a bronze award, eight students were Highly Commended and fourteen received Commendations. These fantastic results are considerably higher than the national average with 39% of participants receiving medals compared to the national average of 34%. Congratulations to all who took part.