Thomas Gray,12A, writes:
London welcomed the Year 12 Government and Politics class on Friday 18th January 2019. After the eventful House of Commons votes earlier that week, everyone felt excited to get a tour of the battleground of British politics; the Houses of Parliament. The train and tube trip were navigated well, and everyone made it to Westminster tube station in time for some lunch. After a quick sandwich, the class made it through security and we met our tour guide. We first went to the central lobby, where Members of Parliament are often smothered by the press, fortunately there were no cameras there for us that day. We then were taken up to the viewing galleries of the House of Lords where unelected professionals make recommendations on policy making. A debate was taking place which was especially impressive as we were able to see the chamber in action, live! Then we were taken to the committee rooms where experts are chosen to scrutinise the government and to help with the making of any legislation. Then, we were led to the ‘other place’: The House of Commons. This was particularly exciting due to the two very important votes just days before however there were no debates taking place while we were there which meant that we were able to actually go into the chamber itself. It seemed strangely small although still very regal, filled with its green benches and gold ornaments. We even got to stand at the dispatch box, where Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn exchange arguments over issues such as Brexit.
After the tour, we met in the education centre for a workshop about select committees and we debated whether or not they were an effective method for scrutinising government policy. It started with a quiz and then we were told to research to prepare for the debate. We then met with Baroness Barker, who sits in the House Lords and is a former committee member; she was able to explain to us about what her job entails, how to address her (m’lady and then ma’am) and what she thinks, as a liberal democrat, about her role as an unelected representative.
Overall, the trip was very informative and enjoyable as we got to see the inner workings of how our country is run.
Mrs K. Coldwell, KS5 and G&T Leader, Maths, writes:
The team of Tawsif Chowdhury, Hannah Imafidon, Behram Printer and Kono Washio travelled to Peterborough last week to compete in the Regional Final of the Senior Team Mathematics Challenge, a competition organised jointly by the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme and the UK Mathematics Trust and sponsored by Rolls-Royce plc. The aim of the competition is to provide a stimulating and enjoyable challenge for 16-19 year-old mathematics students by focusing on problem-solving, teamwork and communication skills. The STMC is now in its 13th year and attracts over 1300 teams from schools and colleges from around the UK.
Fifteen teams of the best mathematics students from local schools and colleges tackled a series of demanding mathematical challenges for over three hours. At the end of the three rounds of group problem-solving, team cross-number puzzle and mathematical relay race, Stanborough were named the overall winners and will go on to the national final in London on 5th February 2019. This is the highest ranking that Stanborough has achieved in the history of the competition. The Stanborough team qualified for the national final in 2016-17, but as high-scoring runners up and also achieved second place in the regional final in 2017-18.
Meanwhile, the results of the individual Senior Maths Challenge which took place back on the 6th November have come in. Hannah Imafidon achieved Best in School, Best in Year 13 and a Gold certificate while Behram Printer took Best in Year 12 and a Gold certificate. Mollie Hall and Christopher Illes-Wilbourn also earned Gold certificates. All four qualified for a follow-on round which takes place on Friday 30th November.
Silver certificates went to Tawsif Chowdhury, Joseph Lowton, Hamzah Hussain, Callum Elliott and Kono Washio. Alex Baxter, Edgar Kager, Thomas Cranham, Lucy Thompson and Harry Cross all achieved Bronze. Three Year 11s took part in the competition although it is aimed at sixth formers: Joshua Long earned a Bronze certificate and Best in Year 11, while Sean Davies and Josephine Clayton both earned Bronze certificates. Many others were very close to achieving a certificate and all who took part should take pride in having been selected.
“It was exciting to know that we had won, and it was well-deserved from the practice we put in.” Behram Printer, Year 12
Miss H. Spiller, Subject Leader: Biology, writes:
On Tuesday 20th November, Year 12 biologists visited the Wellcome Genome Institute in Hinxton.
At the campus they visited the Sanger Institute one of the foremost centres of genomics research and innovation in the world, carrying out leading-edge scientific research that uses genome sequences to understand the biology of humans and pathogens (organisms that cause diseases, such as bacteria and viruses).
They also spoke to researchers based at European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute which provides data services and training that help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in the biological sciences, paving the way for discoveries that benefit humankind.
Our students got to hear from researchers and scientists that currently work at the institute and are at the forefront of cutting edge research including work on malaria and cancer. They had the opportunity to hear from scientists which are part of the ‘Human Cell Atlas’ project and the ‘Earth Bio-genome project’ which is a global effort to sequence the genetic code, or genomes, of all 1.5 million known animal, plant, protozoan and fungal species on Earth.
The Year 12 students worked in groups to analyse DNA and proteins related to skin cancer and MRSA. The visit finished with a tour of the sequencing and data centre.
‘The buildings and architecture was very impressive and it was all really energy efficient.’ Lucy Thompson
‘It was amazing to see Chromosome 22 in book form.’ Allyna Farrell
‘The technology was incredible. The internet speed – you can now sequence a human genome in less than one hour, compared to 20 years ago when it took 13 years to sequence one human genome.’ Muskaan Ahmed
‘The fact they have only just found a brand new type of cell called Ionocytes in lung tissue that they think may be the cause of cystic fibrosis, is mind-blowing.’ Pia Joyce
‘It was great to be able to identify a mutation occurring in the DNA of a patient in the workshop run by the Institute.’ Harry Cross