Witness a spectacular display of fireballs and amazing chemical reactions by Peter Wothers, following the popular 2012 CHRISTMAS LECTURES at the Ri and ‘The Modern Alchemist’ series on BBC Four.
Echoing the explosive stunts and sense of spectacle created by medieval alchemists for their royal masters, Peter will perform equally impressive feats. But unlike the showmen of the Middle Ages – who never gave away the secrets behind their spectacular stage tricks - he will explain and explore the extreme frontiers of our material world.
This show is on tour across the UK, produced by the Royal Institution, supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and hosted by partners across the country.
On Friday 11th December we had a visit from Zoo Labs to talk to us about animals. They told us lots of interesting facts that gave us a better understanding of the animals. There were six animals: a corn snake, a cockroach, a rat, a golden tree frog and a tarantula but our favourite was the giant African land snail (even though it made our hands slimy!). We also held the cockroach and corn snake and we stroked the rat. Everyone asked lots of questions such as “How long does it live?”, “Where does it come from?” and “How big does it grow?”. We asked the rest of year 7 for their opinions on the visit and they said “It was a fun lesson and we loved holding the animals!”. We really enjoyed this visit and hope that they come again.
As soon as we got to @t bristol you knew we’d have fun, with life size morphs and lots of scientific tricks we were ready to go. After a talk about the rules and the meeting point, we were taken up to the lab. We grabbed our lab coats and paired up. Dave and Alice taught us about the forensic sciences as we tried chromatography, hair inspection and fingerprint inspection. We had a short break and then we were given a crime to solve, but in 10 minutes we found the criminal, suspect 2.
When we came out the lab we were led through mysterious, dangling lights into the silver ball (planetarium) and were shown the wonders of the stars and their constellations with a light show. We all came out feeling a bit dizzy, but we had no time to rest because we had 40 minutes to visit the workshop floor, animate it and visit the giftshop. Once we had a brief look at the workshop we went up to the animate it studios and made our own films. After that we went to the gift shop and brought something to remember this modern scientific world by. One thing is for sure, we cant wait to return!
Another successful week for Y Pant students! Elsewhere on our homepage you will see a report on the success enjoyed by our students at last Friday’s Zoom Awards. To win Best Film (Year 9 girls) and Best Direction (Year 12 boys) was impressive enough, but to win in the 14-25 age group category almost defies belief! I’m told that each category attracted about 80 entrants! Well done all these young film-makers; Steven Spielberg needs to start looking over his shoulder!
Amy Jones and James Watt competed in the finals of the Oxford Debating competition last week and acquitted themselves with real flair, talent and no little success. If you pass them by please remember to congratulate them; just don’t pick an argument with them! This competition was the last of the Debating season, one in which Y Pant has enjoyed unprecedented success across several age groups and categories. Well done to all the pupils involved as well as to Mr Gareth Howells and Ms Jane Norton for all the hard work committed to preparing the pupils and accompanying them to competitions across the country.
I am pleased to be able to report that Ms Rebecca Buckwell was appointed to the post of teacher of Science this week. Ms Buckwell came through a field of 90 applicants and 10 talented shortlisted candidates in order to be successful. She currently teaches in The Laker School in the Forest of Dean and will be an excellent addition to the teaching staff of Y Pant.
A quick reminder about Peter Pan: tickets are going fast…get yours while you can!
It’s Comic Relief Day today and there are fundraising activities going on throughout the school. Fascinating to see teachers in school uniform (that fits!). I look forward to reporting back next week on the amount of money raised.
Have a great weekend; it’d be good to see Wales finish the 6 Nations with a win in Paris but no predictions this time!
A long half term has finally come to an end. I’d like to wish everybody a pleasant and relaxing holiday, particularly the pupils and teachers heading off to Austria on the ski trip. I’m told that the snow is good out there and that the 24 hour coach trip will be well worth it! No broken limbs please!
Mr Gareth Howells tells me that James Watt and Amy Jones did tremendously well in the Cambridge Deabting finals this week. Up against teams almost exculsively from independent schools such as Westminster (Nick Clegg’s old school), they narrowly failed to make the semi finals on the day. I’m told they had a rough deal, though; exactly how do you propose in favour of a motion that America should be allowed to impose democracy upon any state it chooses to? Well done to both of them and many thanks to Mr Howells.
The Learn Smart trip to St Fagans went extremely well with our pupils once again doing themselves and the school proud. The project should make a real difference to the learning and thinking skills of our Year 8 pupils. It was also good to welcome back the staff and students who visited Sweden as part of the Comenius project as well as, in turn, welcoming French exchange students and teachers into the school. A real air of globalism has been in evidence this week!
A major part of our job in the coming weeks will be to appoint a new History and Science teacher to the school. We have had in excess of 80 applicants for the History job and are expecting a similar number for the Science job. These sort of figures are becoming par for the course in Y Pant and say a lot about our reputation in the wider world of education. We are the sort of school that teachers very much want to work in. It’s a challenging task sifting through so many applications from so many talented candidates but it’s a task that we take very seriously, possibly one of the most important things we do all year, because we want only the very best teachers to take their place in our classrooms.
Year 8 set 1 had a visit to Techniquest in Cardiff which is a science discovery centre with a planetarium and science theatre where the children can go around and experiment with all the exhibits. With more than 120 activities to choose from and experiment with you can imagine how much fun it was. Girls and Boys had their time to go in the shop and buy and look at some of the knickknacks. We were then called into the science theatre where we were introduced by two men who explained about different elements on the periodic table and demonstrated about flammability of gases. We then had a chance to go into the café and buy some food or have a last fifteen minutes going around the exhibits. Techniquest was a fun trip with thanks to the science department.
We were doing overhead line work today. Basically the job we had to complete involved re conducting aluminium power-lines with copper cables. Aluminium is a better conductor than copper but it has a tendency to react with certain chemicals in the air, whilst copper is quite un-reactive.
The process involved joining the end of aluminium with the beginning of the copper cable. Something called a winge would then pull the aluminium cable, where it winded around a drum. It was cleverly calculated; by the time all of the aluminium was in the drum, the copper wire was perfectly in its place. It was simple but there were many procedures to it, I could not help but watching was just as fun.
It was interesting to see the stages, methods and tools involved: the workers were great. Not only did they have a laugh but they got through the work proficiently.
The day was fun and I am feeling slightly apprehensive about the final day.
As part of E3+ at Y Pant students have been performing all kinds of scientific experiments in the Brainiacs club. Mr Brown has encouraged students to take science out of the classroom and so far they have created hydrogen rockets, water rockets and attempted to charge an iPod using a lemon!