GDST Guinness Book of World Records Science Practical
On Tuesday 13th November, 28 OHS girls took part in a huge science experiment involving over 2,000 students from the 26 GDST schools across the country as part of the GDST’s 140th anniversary celebrations.
The ever accurate and reliable (and amazing!) 7S measured acceleration due to gravity in their bid to help set the record for the world’s biggest practical science lesson in multiple venues.
They swung pendulums masquerading as yo-yos and dropped bean bags from the upper floor of our brilliant new library. Data was collected, entered onto spreadsheets and saved, and the whole process was kindly overseen by Dr. Amy Webber and Eleanor Grieveson from the Oxford University Department of Physics.
Our day ended with Davina Kourdi and Joana Baptista giving a splendid interview on BBC Radio Oxford’s DriveLive. Physics was never so much fun, and with luck, 7S will be part of GDST science history!
Salters Chemistry Challenge 2012
Four of our Year 8s participated in the ‘Salters’ Chemistry Challenge at Oxford University. They did extremely well competing against 15 other schools and came second in the ‘University Challenge’ competition; they then attended an exciting Chemistry lecture.
International Chemistry Olympiad
Every year, chemists compete in the International Chemistry Olympiad (run in January) in which several students in the past have obtained excellent results, ranking amongst some of the best students in the country. This year we had a record entry of eighteen students (many from year 12). There were some excellent performances including one from a member of OHS which received a Gold award.
Year 8 Birmingham Science Museum trip
Year 8 recently enjoyed a trip to the Science Museum in Birmingham (‘Think-tank’). The students watched an exciting 3D IMAX presentation and enjoyed the palaentology . They were also able to take their own fingerprints and do a forensic science workshop to investigate a theft.
Y9 Scientist of the Year
Congratulations to Nisha Hare (Year 10) who was selected as Oxford High School ‘Y9 Scientist of the Year (2011)’. Nisha represented the school at an award ceremony at the beginning of November. Another girl in Year 13 attended a similar ceremony becoming Oxford High School’s ‘Chemist of the Year’; she is currently applying for Natural Sciences at Cambridge.
Cambridge Chemistry Challenge
In the summer our AS students competed in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. Seventeen students took part; both Jennifer Collister and another girl in Year 13 were particularly successful gaining a Silver award, with most others gaining Copper awards.
‘Salters’ Chemistry Camps
Congratulations to Maya Fooks, Jemima Gassonm Tara Sehmi and Persephone Tapper who all successfully obtained places at this year’s residential ‘Salters’ Chemistry camps at a variety of Universities across the country. These courses involve groups of 50 students doing lots of exciting chemistry experiments.
Chemist of the Term
The current ‘Chemist of the Term’ award for students who have made excellent contributions in class were awarded to Emily Tough, Ella Rechter and Agnes Carrington-Windo.
|Dr M R Rushton (HoD) FT||Teaching A level and GCSE. Enjoys travel and lots of sport. Takes extracurricular chemistry club.|
|Mr J Hobbs FT||Teaching A level, GCSE and general science. Enjoys skiing, surfing and takes extracurricular junior science club.|
|Mrs N Westwood||Teaching GCSE and general science.|
|Mrs C M Creak PT||Teaching GCSE and General Science. Enjoys all types of sport and takes general studies squash and badminton.|
|Mrs C Carder||Senior Science and Chemistry Technician: Enjoys badminton and learning bridge. Supports the junior and senior science club.|
Facilities and Resources
The department occupies 3 of the 8 science laboratories. Independent learning is strongly encouraged and there are several software packages (networked) as well as other resources for students to access in order to support their knowledge and understanding. There is also a small suite of computers within the science department which is extensively used.
The department now benefits from the purchase of a periodic table display and interactive console which is proving very popular amongst the students.
All girls take chemistry as part of their General Science course in Years 7 and 8. Topics include Purification, Elements and Compounds (Year 7) together with Acids, Metals, Hydrogen and Rocks (Year 8). The emphasis is on plenty of practical work, learning skills and enjoyment.
In Years 9-11 Chemistry is taught as a separate component from the other science disciplines. In Year 11, students study the Edexcel ‘Double Award’ iGCSE specification which involves a terminal 2 hour Chemistry paper. There is no an internal assessment of practical work, but over the 3 years students do a variety of exciting experiments; practical skills are assessed in the written paper. Throughout the course, students will experience ‘enrichment’ work which is meant to be both enjoyable and challenging and help provide an excellent preparation for A-level, should students wish to opt for this subject.
Sixth form chemistry is a very popular option with 39 students in Year 12 and a further 34 in Year 13. Some go on to take Chemistry as a degree whilst others wish to do Medicine, Veterinary Studies, Dentistry and other Chemistry related courses. In August 2011, 7 students obtained places to read Medicine including Matilda Carr, Rebecca Littlewood, Rachel Spiro and Lynn Zheng who all obtained places at Cambridge. 3 students went on to do Chemistry or Chemical Engineering with Abigail Schofield obtaining a place at Oxford. 5 students successfully applied to do either Natural Sciences or Biochemistry with both Poppy Mallinson and Sophie Stowell obtaining places at Cambridge.
Junior Science Club
Junior Science Club has been a great success this term with Y7 and Y8 students enjoying some extracurricular science activities, including a visit from an expert who gave a talk on Owls.
Senior Chemistry Club
Senior Chemistry Club has also been very enjoyable with a group of students who have been investigating Olympiad style problems. Many thanks for all the help from Mrs Whittington and Mr Hobbs as well as the considerable input from Mr Barlow, Mrs Bell and Mrs Carder.