Year 12 students were involved in developing set designs down in the Art Department. The day was both fun and productive for everyone involved and the students produced some excellent three dimensional concept designs for this year's whole school production: Journey, a promenade of four Shakespearean plays. This day was especially fruitful for the students studying AS Art and Digital Photography as they are currently working on the set designs which they will complete during the Art Jam on Saturday 30th November.
Biofuels – can Malaysia offer a sustainable solution?
The aim of the day was to foster collaborative skills, develop communication and of course to have some fun with science. Students were thrown out of their comfort zone as biologists tackled viscosity equations, and physicists built models of unsaturated fats. Showing the cross discipline links highlighted to students that all areas of science are intertwined and that an appreciation of all - irrespective of A-level choices - really does help in understanding problems.
The theme of the day was “Biofuels”. Living in Malaysia, we focused on the very topical issue of palm oil production and whether Malaysia could offer palm oil to make biodiesel. Is the country’s current approach sustainable? Students tackled a wide variety of practical techniques including: extracting palm oil from real palm oil kernels, comparing the density of palm oil with other oils, titrating oils to understand the level of unsaturation, comparing the energy released and deducing the viscosity. The day finished with a heated debate about whether palm oil production really is sustainable in Malaysia.
Throughout the day, students used google docs to collaborate and share results. There was a real buzz as students chatted and discussed what they had found. They also used the iPads to gather photographic evidence and information related to their debate.
If you would like to see what activities the students carried out and the results of the debate please click here .
Some student comments about the day:
“I enjoyed collaborating as well as thinking outside of the box and learning that trial and error is ok.”
“I enjoyed developing my technological skills, public speaking skills, collaborating skills and practical skills”
“I enjoyed this as it was heavily calculation based. But it was difficult as the equation used was difficult to manipulate.”
“I helped build the model which was interesting to learn as I did not have any prior knowledge on this subject.”
Overall the feedback was very positive and the Science Department hopes that students will engage in similar activities in future.
Julia Armstrong and Chris Maruniak
Psychology and Sociology trip
Forty two A-level students of Psychology and Sociology had the fantastic opportunity to carry out real-life social research at the Primary Campus. All of the students were really excited about this chance to research and some were keen to relive fond memories of their time at JB!
Over the course of the day, the Sociology students carried out observations, interviews and questionnaires with staff and students, with the aim of investigating gender role socialisation and gendered achievement in school. Psychology students were observing gendered behaviour and carrying out statistical analysis of their findings. Upon their return to the Secondary Campus, all of the students had the chance to analyse and evaluate their methods and findings, which will be invaluable for their understanding of research methods and research in context.
The learning that occurred during the day was absolutely wonderful and the students involved commented on how it was such a fun day that has really increased their understanding, and we are very grateful to the staff at JB for facilitating this opportunity. Staff also said that they were very impressed with the professional and polite conduct of the visiting Sixth Formers.
We also thought it was worth sharing some of the student responses when asked their opinion of whether and why school is important – “it helps you make the right choices”, “because I want to be a smart and quick-thinking business woman”, “it helps you learn and it is fun”, “helps you to be social” were just a few of the very positive responses!
Emily Graham and Hafiza Rahim
Sociology and Psychology Teachers
Maths-Economics Crude Oil Futures Enterprise Trading Project
The Enterprise trading project is a work related activity which enables students to put enterprise, mathematics and business skills into action through a simulation of real-life crude oil trading.
Two experienced A Level Maths-Economics teachers worked together with 24 Sixth Form students on a Crude Oil Futures Enterprise Trading Project that is actually used by British Petroleum in their Graduate Training Programme.
Students were organised in to teams of 4 – with each member of the team playing a crucial role in the formation of a trading company. Students’ roles within the company were discussed and then they were assigned to the following positions within their company:
• Market Analyst
Although the main purpose of the project is for companies to compete against each other and attempt to build as much profit and oil reserve as possible – the key values of a team ethos – determination, respect, and excellence - were also emphasised throughout the trading rounds. These skills and values are essential components to success in business. Students were encouraged throughout to participate in active learning, problem solving, thinking skills and teamwork
Students were involved in critical decision making regarding when the climate was right to sell, buy, or build up reserves of crude oil depending on the interpretation of market news and accurately predicting the impact it will have on the price of crude oil.
The challenge was to interpret the news items to decide which way the crude oil market is going to move, and then buy and sell futures contracts as profitably as possible.
Each round of trading witnessed frenetic activity whereby students were placed in real situations and had to make sometimes quick and calculative decisions on whether to trade oil or otherwise.
Those involved in the project gained much in terms of being placed in real business situations and how to cooperate with company colleagues in reaching their main objective of maximising profit in the futures markets.
A group of 11 Sixth Form students took up the challenge of the Public Speaking workshop lead by Mr Dowle and MsGillman. There they learned a bit about the history of public speaking and the world wide culture of delivering formal speeches dating back to Ancient Greece and the Romans! They were then introduced to the do's and don'ts of using a microphone and using the podium. The students were also given advice on the use of body language, gestures and the importance of making eye contact with an audience. The students learned how to break a speech down into bullet points and how to make use of visual aids (such as powerpoint) as part of a formal presentation. Later in the day, they tackled a range of different pre-written speeches, some of them historically famous. They ranged from the political to the personal such as one of Churchill's war time speeches to Princess Diana's eulogy by her brother.
It was clear by the end of the day that the students had come a long way in terms of confidence in front of an audience and were quite skilful in putting all the training into practice. It was a great day for all and they made Ms Gillman and I very proud. We look forward to them putting it to the test in a real assembly in the near future.
UNHCR ‘Sports’ Day
Alice Smith has a growing relationship with UNHCR, offering weekly English language lessons lead by a small base of Sixth Form students.
On wider learning day, following last year’s successful event, a sports day was organised by Sports Prefects, Bintang Lee and Caroline Brosnan, and ran by a group of forty Sixth Form volunteers.
A busy but fun-filled day was enjoyed by participants and helpers alike. This was the first opportunity for the kids to play sport since our school’s event last year; the hall was buzzing with excited children, anxious to start the day and get active.
After a short welcome ceremony, they were split into three separate age groups (8-11, 12-14 and 15-18). Three different sessions were available, allowing each participant to play basketball, dodgeball and football, making the most of the school’s large facilities.
Whistles were blown and the games began; the competition was on!
Despite the language barrier, rules were explained and examples were given - Sixth Formers were happy to give some coaching alongside refereeing, score-keeping and getting involved too! The kids were enthusiastic to get involved, not afraid to make up a few rules of their own - many of the younger participants ran with the ball in their hands or shot into the wrong basket. This was far from important though; not only was it hilariously cute to watch, but it exemplified just how much fun they were all having, and portrayed the competitive streak they had – everyone wanted to win!
Laughter spread through the canteen during a well-deserved lunch break, two exhausting sessions were down, one to go. Players and coaches ate together, often in their own teams, talking tactics and enjoying each other’s company.
After a final session of sport, everyone returned to the main hall for the closing ceremony. Each tired player was rewarded a certificate and, after a huge group photo, they were taken back to their buses by the Sixth Form team captains.
Click here to view photos of the event.