Good News Friday: Hands-on science at Oundle School and life lessons at Brighton College

The Telegraph, 19.06.15, Good News Friday featuring two HMC member schools; Oundle and Brighton College.

1. Hands-on science at Oundle School

Fifty-six pupils from seven local primary schools converged on Oundle School, Northamptonshire, this June to take part in a gifted and talented science event.

Children from Kings Cliffe Middle School, Gladstone Primary School, Castor CE Primary School, Brigstock Lathams CE School, Exeter Primary School, Woodnewton Primary School and Studfall Junior School were taught the importance of practical science at the school's SciTec science facilities.

Pupils took part in hands-on experiments, which included studying maggots in biology, investigating fruit batteries in physics and making Coca Cola in chemistry. The aim of the event was to prepare the children for secondary science and instill a love for the subject.

Mark Ratchford, headmaster of Castor CE Primary School said: “Our pupils all came back to school very enthused. My gratitude to the science team at Oundle for making them feel welcome and inspiring them to look forward to secondary science.”

Oli Peck, head of Science at Oundle School, commented: “If we are serious about producing the scientists of tomorrow, it is important to start investing in our young people today. Getting primary school pupils enthusiastic about science through practical work is an excellent way to develop their love not only of science, but also of learning.”

3. Teaching Year 9s ironing is a pressing matter

It’s all very well leaving school with a clutch of A*s, but can you iron a shirt?

In order to address this question, Brighton College, East Sussex, has introduced life lessons for Year 9s, which include map reading, laying a table and ironing a shirt.

Assistant head, Ken Grocott, who oversees the school’s pastoral care, will teach the 13- and 14-year-old pupils how to safely operate an iron and produce a freshly-pressed shirt complete with razor sharp edges.

Leah Hamblett, lower school head, will instruct pupils on how to lay a formal dinner table, while geography teacher, Alice Farrar, will be leading lessons on reading maps.

Ken Grocott, said: “The school is known for producing impressive academic results but what is less understood is how hard we work to prepare the boys and girls for life once they leave us.

"I tell the pupils to take on board what we are teaching them and then go home and put the skills into practice. It’s a lovely surprise when your 14 year old comes home from school and offers to do a pile of ironing.”

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