Yoon-seo Jo (10AN)
They say it is often the things experienced at a young age that lasts the longest in life, which is why the Salters’ Institute, a charity which aims to “promote the appreciation of Chemistry and related Sciences amongst the young”, held one of the eighteenth annual Chemistry Camps this month at the University of Sussex. The residential camps invite sixty Year 10 students to participate in an engaging and surprisingly very fun course lasting for three days.
Upon arrival, we were hurriedly encouraged to get to know each other, using a clever warm-up game to get us shy teenagers socialising. My favourite icebreaker joke? I would have one, but all the good ones argon (awful, yes). Soon, we were escorted into the labs and thus our journey began…
The course consisted of four lab practicals, ranging from exploring chemiluminescence (when energy is given out in the form of light) to investigating ligands (ions or neutral molecules that bond to a central metal atom/ion). Also in the programme were three lectures on chemistry as a central aspect of our lives, not merely just a GCSE or A-level qualification.
For me, the most fascinating activity was making ‘cheaper’ Benzocaine, a surface anaesthetic often used together with other drugs that we usually take for granted. It gave us insight being put into the roles of someone working for a pharmaceutical company, and the idea that what happens in a little test tube may affect others’ well-being deepened our respect for the industry. Moreover, by combining some of the skills we already knew from school with off-curricular, undergraduate-style guidance, the course provided us with a challenging yet achievable outlook on further study in the field.
Daisy Newton (7BR) finished strongly in the Winter Essex Junior Squash Grand Prix Circuit in May to take Overall Runner Up in the Year 8 and under category, after competing in only three of the 5 grand prixs on offer. Daisy is to receive two hours free coaching from British seeded squash player Ben Coleman as her prize
Daisy also took part in the Essex Junior Squash Development Trials at Corporal Budd Gymnasium, Colchester Garrison, on Sunday 21st June. Daisy was put through her paces for agility, coordination, stamina and racket skills during the first half of the morning. During the second half, she was pitted against all the other players to enable the Essex Coaching Team to make their selections after seeing their technique during play. Daisy was selected to be a member of the Essex Junior Squash Girls Development Squad. Selection to these squads for Essex set children on the road to future greatness in the sport.
Tess Lovejoy (9BN) was awarded her Chief Scout Gold award on Sunday 15th June in Chelmsford, by the District Commissioner. She was one of two Scouts from 4th Brightlingsea to receive the award. Challenges included sleeping out for charity, organising and running an expedition with a younger Scout without adult supervision and a night-hike from Ipswich to Brightlingsea.
Mrs Marshall and Mrs Moss travelled to Cambridge to receive, on behalf of the school, a national award from the SSAT (Schools, Students and Teachers Network), in recognition of pupils’ academic success.
Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of the SSAT, said “Colchester County High School for Girls should be congratulated for their exceptional achievement. They have proved themselves to be leading the field in improving GCSE outcomes for their students. These results are testament to the commitment and hard work of the students, teachers and leadership team at Colchester County High School for Girls.”
Thanks to parents, governors, students and staff for their loyalty, hard work and commitment to CCHS.
This prize is awarded annually to a Year 13 student and is in memory of Catherine Bullen, who was a student at CCHS. The prize is awarded on the basis of a link to Medicine (Catherine was a medical student at Bristol University) and also on the amount and nature of voluntary work undertaken by the student.
Roger and Linda Bullen (Catherine’s parents) have also set up The Catherine Bullen Foundation in her memory. Catherine died suddenly in August 1992 having contracted gastroenteritis while travelling in Namibia, prior to taking up an elective position in Tanzania. The Foundation raises money with the aim to relieve poverty in rural Namibia.
Kate Hann (13HG) is this year’s winner of the Catherine Bullen Memorial Prize.
Daria Skubich, a Year 12 student, recently entered the 50th Anniversary English Language blog competition organised by Essex University. We are delighted that Daria won the competition and enjoyed an interesting series of workshops about all aspects of English Language at the university as well as winning £100 for herself. As she is intending to study English Language at university, this success will enhance her personal statement for her UCAS form.
This March I had the pleasure of being the Vice President of the European Youth Parliament’s regional forum which took place at Newnham College Cambridge. Bethany Appleton (who was the journalist of the session) and I travelled to Cambridge the day before for an evening of team building at Kings College with the other officials. Having represented the school at past EYP events as a delegate it was extremely interesting to see the organisational side of the event and to play an important role in the running of the day.
The school’s year 12 team consisting of Tolu Ajala, Niamh O’Neill, Meray Alfhaily, Erin Leahy, Ines Boavida-Cawley, Lulu Payne, Bella Stevens, Sacha Pearey and Lizzie Waddilove attended the day as part of the competition. They represented the Committee on Human Rights and discussed how the EU should best provide for the refugees who are victims of Islamic State as well as providing valuable points to the other debates held over the day which included Education, Economics, Energy, Female Genital Mutilation and Freedom of the Press.
Mayor of Cambridge Gerri Bird and president of the session Martha Saunders both highlighted the importance of political engagement and Martha also gave an empowering speech about the importance of Newnham College in the History of Women’s education.
The day ended with the selection of teams to represent the region at the National Competition. The school’s delegation was praised for their teamwork and in depth research on the topics as well as extremely well delivered speeches and they have been selected to attend the National Session in Liverpool in July.
Scarlett Blacker (13KB)
78 lower 6th biologists and geographers and 7 staff set off to the Isle of Wight for 4 days at the end of the spring term for the PGL centre for our ecology work at various sites around the island, including Biology practical assessments and Geography coursework data collection.
On the first afternoon students settled into their log cabin accommodation and the centre (the site is called Little Canada, as the Canadian Army moved in after WW2, so all the accommodation is based on Canadian log cabins!).
Saturday took us all to Parkhurst Forest to study woodland succession and sampling techniques with the PGL ecology instructors were very good, with the students working in groups of 6. In the afternoon the geographers and biologists went separate ways, with the biologists completing a practical assessment followed by a chilly afternoon on the beach with the sun setting, tide going out to study marine zonation (or better known as rock pooling!); The geographers went off to Ventnor to look at the sea defence project that is preventing cliff erosion.
On Sunday it was the River Medina day, sampling all the way from the source to the mouth of the river, sampling the water quality, aquatic organisms, measuring water flow, depth and height – a few nearly went swimming as well and had very wet feet! We caught a few fish as well, but not any eels which are returning to the Medina.
On Monday the groups went different ways again, with all the geographers heading off to Freshwater bay to look at the coastal formations and the biologists went red squirrel hunting back at Parkhurst, as well as studying woodland management techniques. Unfortunately the red squirrels must have heard we were coming and stayed away.
Then it was time to return to CCHS, back on the Wight Link ferry to Southampton. The bus drivers got us home quickly and entertained with some DVDs they kindly brought along. Throughout the trip they put up with our muddy boots, ecology equipment, singing and trips all over the island with good humour and kindness and we are very grateful to Michael and Richard. Overall the students packed a lot of work into the 4 days, were a delight to take away and came home very tired!