Tag: Geography

Sixth Form Brain Day

After attending the lecture, the Upper Sixth Form Biology and Psychology students continued with Brain Day. Dr Sutton spoke in depth about brain development, function and disfunction. He gave the students the opportunity to learn some Second and Third Year Degree level information on the function of synapses and secondary messenger systems. The day culminated with the students participating in the dissection of a sheep’s brain, giving them the rare opportunity to see for real the actual structures within the brain which they had been studying.

Sixth Form Holly reported ‘Such a great day!! Really interesting to build on our A Level knowledge and see where this could lead to. Very inspiring for those of us planning to study Biology at university. Interesting and detailed lectures, and a brilliant dissection.’

Emma said ‘It was very interesting and Dr Sutton was very enthusiastic. It really helped me understand further the workings of the brain.’

Georgina added ‘I thought the brain day was really interesting and inspiring to see and learn about some of the really new developments showing how exciting science currently is and how much more that is yet to be discovered about the brain.’

Brain Day

Geography trip

Ms Treanor reports ‘A Level Geographers have been investigating coastal systems this week along the Dorset Heritage Coastline. Using Swanage as our base, we were able to travel to Lulworth and Durdle Door and then spend a day collecting psammosere data at Studland. On our way home we stopped in Southampton to investigate urban regeneration and practise human geography related data collection techniques. The girls are now well prepared for their own independent investigations!’

Heroines of Science

Miss Brailey reports ‘On Wednesday, Sixth Formers Charne, Martha, Katie and Hannah gave a ten minute presentation on their chosen Heroine of Science, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, MBE, at the University of Reading’s annual event. The girls met and interviewed Dr Aderin-Pocock at this year’s Huxley Lecture, and were inspired by her work both in the field of Space Science and her educational work promoting science to young people, particularly girls. After their session the girls listened to other schools’ presentations of their Heroines of Science, as well as having a guest lecture from the University of Reading’s Dr Ann Chippindale on her work, Sparkling Cyanide, which was based on her current research. A great afternoon!

Third Form Art Trip

On Monday Third Formers went to visit the Andreas Gursky exhibition at the Hayward Gallery and the British Museum. The trip was a wonderful opportunity for the girls to find and record inspiration for their current project.

Fifth Form Visit to Tante Marie

Last Friday, our Fifth Form Food Technology students visited the Tante Marie Culinary Academy to prepare them for their three hour assessed practical exam over the next few weeks. The experience provided them with plenty of inspiration to present their dishes with confidence and flair.

First Form Geography Trip

The First Form braved the snowstorms on Monday morning as they made their way to the High Street for their Geography fieldwork to research ‘Why do people shop in Godalming?’ They collected plenty of data from environmental surveys to questionnaires, and are now busy presenting and analysing their results back in the classroom.

Delight Assembly

Some of the lower Sixth Formers visited Waverley Abbey to lead an assembly encouraging the children to donate books to disadvantaged children in Surrey as part of the Delight charity campaign.

Geographical Association Lecture

A Level Geographers attended a lecture at the local branch of the Geographical Association on Tuesday evening. Jonathan Schifferes, the Associate Director in Public Services and Communities from the RSA spoke about urban regeneration using case studies stretching from New York to Guildford train station!

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GCSE Geographers were on a field trip to London on Wednesday. They were investigating the impacts of inner city regeneration by the Coin Street Community Builders. Back at school they will now present and analyse their data in preparation for their examination.

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Mr Taylor reports ‘As part of Student Volunteering Week, we welcomed back PF Old Girl Jess Best to present an assembly on her charity work and to talk to the Lower Sixth Geographers. Since leaving Prior’s Field in 2013, Jess has achieved a degree in Human Geography and Masters in Social Science Research Methods in Environmental Planning and, having recently returned from volunteering in Nicaragua for three months, she wanted to inspire others to go and make change too. Whilst there, Jess was working on a water, sanitation and hygiene project, constructing latrines and teaching about the implications of poor sanitation/hygiene. Prior to this, she was volunteering in Bolivia alongside conducting research for her Masters dissertation and helping local children by working on social development projects to help improve confidence in themselves. Jess also believes that helping others can also be done at home, for example she ran a dance club in a primary school in Cardiff for a year, after being President of the dance society at her university.

The overall message from Jess’ presentation is that anyone can go and help those less fortunate than themselves, anywhere, and no project is too small to make a difference. Jess certainly inspired our girls.’

Help Others - volunteering

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Head of Geography Ms Treanor reports on a Second Form expedition, ‘investigating the importance of tourism to Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth. This included a trip up the Spinnaker Tower, questionnaires, environmental surveys and an evaluation of heritage features. They are now well prepared for the presentation and analysis of their data back in the classroom.’ The students spent the second part of their day in Portsmouth with the History department, visiting the Mary Rose Museum as part of this term’s topic on the Tudors. They investigated the mystery behind the sinking of the Mary Rose and met Hatch – the skeleton of the ship’s dog – among other discoveries.

Sixth Form students shared their experiences of a half term Art, Photography and Textiles trip to Paris:

 

‘We visited many galleries, mostly by foot, which enabled us to see so much more about life in Paris. A particular favourite was the Musée d’Orsay, which proved to be much bigger than it looked from the outside. There were many floors of paintings by Monet, Van Gogh and other renowned artists whom we have studied in class, but to experience the work first hand was completely different and truly incredible. We also visited the Musée de l’Orangerie where many of Monet’s larger water lily paintings from his garden in Giverny are exhibited. These covered all the walls and seemed abstract close up, but they had a completely different dimension when the whole painting was viewed from further away; they seemed to have transformed, each mark of colour now forming an element of the scene. One of my favourite places was the Rodin Museum where Anselm Kiefer had an exhibition. His paintings were of huge size and very textural in their approach; the layers of materials that covered his canvas were so thick that he had carved the markings into them rather than actually painting.

On one of the days, the group divided into two: Textiles students and History of Art students (the Photography students joined the group of their choice). The History of Art group went to the Louvre, whilst the Textiles group went to two fascinating fashion exhibitions: ‘Fortuny, un Espagnol à Venise’ and ‘La Maison Dior’. Fortuny was famous for using pleats in his designs, and we saw many wonderful garments inspired by classical Greek themes and motifs, but created using modern construction techniques. The beautiful gowns had simple, figure-hugging shapes, but the thousands of tiny pleats meant that they could be scrunched up into a tiny ball and still retain their flowing lines when unrolled, due to the craftsmanship!

‘La Maison Dior’ exhibition celebrated 70 years of Dior fashion. It was breath-taking; room upon room of astonishing garments, showing the progression from the origin of Dior to present day designs. Not only was every garment a masterpiece in itself, but the way they were presented was truly amazing, for example one whole room was decorated with tiny paper flowers hanging from the ceiling and covering the walls, creating an atmosphere similar to being in an enchanted forest.

In addition to immersing ourselves in art, we also found time to sample French culture, enjoying meals at local restaurants, crêpes in little cafés, and visiting the Eiffel Tower. It was a fantastic trip which has seeded our imaginations with ideas which are sure to appear in our future Art, Textile and Photography projects – look out for them in the next Inter House Art Competition!’

‘As a History of Art student, the abundance of galleries and museums that this trip offered provided me with a wealth of experience, being able to visually analyse paintings in the flesh. The Musée D’Orsay hosted many of the works of art included in the A Level course, making the trip here extremely worthwhile. To see them in the gallery setting was invaluable to deepening my understanding of the work and the plethora of works from the same period or artistic style helped to establish more complex art historical connections. Particularly interesting to me was Manet’s Olympia, with the richness of tone and model’s confronting gaze being all the more intensified through the ability to view the original painting.

Understandably, visiting the Louvre was another fantastic experience. Aside from the sheer size of the building, the thousands of artistic works housed there were overwhelming and solidified my understanding of art history. After fighting past the crowds to glimpse the beauty of Mona Lisa’s smile, the hall of monumental history paintings by the likes of Delacroix and David completed my experience of Paris.’

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Head of Geography Ms Treanor reports on a Second Form expedition, ‘investigating the importance of tourism to Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth. This included a trip up the Spinnaker Tower, questionnaires, environmental surveys and an evaluation of heritage features. They are now well prepared for the presentation and analysis of their data back in the classroom.’ The students spent the second part of their day in Portsmouth with the History department, visiting the Mary Rose Museum as part of this term’s topic on the Tudors. They investigated the mystery behind the sinking of the Mary Rose and met Hatch – the skeleton of the ship’s dog – among other discoveries.
Sixth Form students shared their experiences of a half term Art, Photography and Textiles trip to Paris:
 
‘We visited many galleries, mostly by foot, which enabled us to see so much more about life in Paris. A particular favourite was the Musée d’Orsay, which proved to be much bigger than it looked from the outside. There were many floors of paintings by Monet, Van Gogh and other renowned artists whom we have studied in class, but to experience the work first hand was completely different and truly incredible. We also visited the Musée de l’Orangerie where many of Monet’s larger water lily paintings from his garden in Giverny are exhibited. These covered all the walls and seemed abstract close up, but they had a completely different dimension when the whole painting was viewed from further away; they seemed to have transformed, each mark of colour now forming an element of the scene. One of my favourite places was the Rodin Museum where Anselm Kiefer had an exhibition. His paintings were of huge size and very textural in their approach; the layers of materials that covered his canvas were so thick that he had carved the markings into them rather than actually painting.

On one of the days, the group divided into two: Textiles students and History of Art students (the Photography students joined the group of their choice). The History of Art group went to the Louvre, whilst the Textiles group went to two fascinating fashion exhibitions: ‘Fortuny, un Espagnol à Venise’ and ‘La Maison Dior’. Fortuny was famous for using pleats in his designs, and we saw many wonderful garments inspired by classical Greek themes and motifs, but created using modern construction techniques. The beautiful gowns had simple, figure-hugging shapes, but the thousands of tiny pleats meant that they could be scrunched up into a tiny ball and still retain their flowing lines when unrolled, due to the craftsmanship!
‘La Maison Dior’ exhibition celebrated 70 years of Dior fashion. It was breath-taking; room upon room of astonishing garments, showing the progression from the origin of Dior to present day designs. Not only was every garment a masterpiece in itself, but the way they were presented was truly amazing, for example one whole room was decorated with tiny paper flowers hanging from the ceiling and covering the walls, creating an atmosphere similar to being in an enchanted forest.
In addition to immersing ourselves in art, we also found time to sample French culture, enjoying meals at local restaurants, crêpes in little cafés, and visiting the Eiffel Tower. It was a fantastic trip which has seeded our imaginations with ideas which are sure to appear in our future Art, Textile and Photography projects – look out for them in the next Inter House Art Competition!’
‘As a History of Art student, the abundance of galleries and museums that this trip offered provided me with a wealth of experience, being able to visually analyse paintings in the flesh. The Musée D’Orsay hosted many of the works of art included in the A Level course, making the trip here extremely worthwhile. To see them in the gallery setting was invaluable to deepening my understanding of the work and the plethora of works from the same period or artistic style helped to establish more complex art historical connections. Particularly interesting to me was Manet’s Olympia, with the richness of tone and model’s confronting gaze being all the more intensified through the ability to view the original painting.
Understandably, visiting the Louvre was another fantastic experience. Aside from the sheer size of the building, the thousands of artistic works housed there were overwhelming and solidified my understanding of art history. After fighting past the crowds to glimpse the beauty of Mona Lisa’s smile, the hall of monumental history paintings by the likes of Delacroix and David completed my experience of Paris.’

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During and following on from half term we have seen a succession of exciting and enriching trips

Upper Sixth Former Bethan relates the experiences of a recent History trip, visiting sites associated with Henry II, Richard the Lionheart and the Wars of the Roses: ‘During the second week of half term, Sixth Form historians set out on an epic Medieval History road trip with Dr Goldsmith and Miss Scott, covering Kent and Northern France. In two cars, we visited Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle, Chateau Gaillard, Rouen, Fontevraud Abbey, and Chinon Castle – each of which are relevant to our course – and saw the Bayeux Tapestry before having a picnic lunch at Caen Castle and heading home. The trip was a busy one, packed with information, wonderful places, and a selection of shockingly bad History jokes; and fuelled by the joy of seeing the places mentioned in our textbooks, and the type of excitement induced by castles that only historians know…and plenty of snacks, of course. The trip made our syllabus come alive, and was a brilliant way to round off the half term.’

Mrs Furey reports on a French trip to Montpellier over half term: ‘The French Department took 26 girls to Montpellier, where they stayed with very welcoming and kind host families and had to speak French 24/7! In the mornings, there were 3 hours of lessons followed by activities such as a guided tour of Montpellier, a visit to the beach and to Nîmes and finally photomania and shopping time. The girls learnt about French culture and history while developing their language skills. It was an extremely fun and unforgettable experience.’

Lower Sixth Formers attended a ‘Chemistry in Action’ Conference in London, participating in sessions from leading chemists in academia and industry, with a special session on exam success. Favourite lectures included: ‘From Breaking Bad to making good – the chemistry of drugs’ by Professor David Smith from the University of York, who explained how drugs work, how they can be obtained from natural sources or made in a lab, why gin and tonic became a popular evening drink and how nanomedicines can be used to treat cystic fibrosis; ‘Indestructible Energy!’ by Dr Jamie Gallagher, whose interactive talk included live experiments, including a Kahoot quiz about Energy in which Dr Smith came 3rd!

Ms Treanor reports on an A level Geographers expedition, ‘exploring Compton as part of their ‘Changing Places’ topic. We began with a visit to Watts Gallery and The Studio, where we met with local volunteers who explained the influence that Mary Watts had on the village until her death in the 1930s. Our investigation aims to link people’s lived experiences of Compton in the past and the present, with a focus on economic change and social inequalities. So the girls then set off through the village, to collect data and consider their own perceptions of Compton, in addition to interviewing people who live there. They also interviewed the Heritage Officer from Watts Gallery who provided them with some specific information about the links the Gallery aims to make both locally and internationally. Back in lessons they will now delve deeper and analyse census and other data to help draw conclusions.’

Upper Sixth Form Sociologists attended a ‘Sociology in Action’ conference, here described by Head of Department Mrs Haddock: ‘Students were both entertained and challenged by a series of speakers on a range of subjects from crime to disability and educational aspiration to racial prejudice. They were warned about bias in the media by the writer and columnist Matthew Parris, as well as encouraged by a charismatic poet and professor to see university as a place for social action against racial prejudice – including the tearing down of statues of Rhodes. Other topics questioned common assumptions about how disabled people are restricted, not by their physical impairment, but by the limitations imposed by public structures such as inaccessible transport and buildings. In a similar vein, students were presented with research evidence showing that a lack of opportunities in the education system, such as failing schools and restricted subject choices, rather than a lack of aspiration, prevents pupils from reaching university. We left exhausted, but feeling impassioned and informed, and headed to get some well-deserved refreshment from the local Starbucks!’