Dr Tricia Norman, Head of Psychology
This was a year of growth for the Psychology Department as we moved from two to three sets in Lower Sixth and welcomed a new member of teaching staff, Miss Rachael McGirr, to College. Lower Sixth studied a range of introductory topics, including the history of psychology, how important their early attachment bonds are and how these affect later friendships and relationships; explanations and treatments of phobias, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder; and explanations of conformity, obedience, resistance and how minorities can lead to change within society.
In lieu of a photo of the students this year, I have included a copy of an amusing poster created by some of the Lower Sixth who were tasked with using features that allow a minority to influence change, to encourage students to come into College and revise on Christmas Day! This is reflective of the varied and practical learning and teaching within the Department.
Students have found themselves as participants in research and have also had a variety of opportunities to collect and analyse their own data. Students are also expected to contribute to small group class presentations as they are encouraged to develop lifelong independent learning skills. Upper Sixth have studied topics ranging from memory, biopsychology, explanations and treatments for schizophrenia, to causes of aggression and the formation and breakdown of relationships. They have been resilient in the face of adversity and approached the first public exams that they will have sat at college, with drive and determination.
Our thriving student-led Psychology Society met half-termly and we had some fantastic in-house talks from Sophia Tweedie and Honor Hardie on the CIA’s most unethical psychological experiments; Molly Wilkey and Georgina Raphael with the influence of television on children; and Edie Doherty on nature vs nurture: three identical strangers the true story of triplets separated at birth. These talks afford students the opportunity to share their passion for Psychology topics beyond the course and I am always impressed at the quality of the talks they produce.
We say goodbye to our Upper Sixth students, a number of whom are going onto University to study Psychology or related degrees and we are delighted to have shared our passion for the subject and enthused so many of them to continue their studies beyond A Level. We wish all our Psychology cohort the very best for the future.
Dr Jamie Copeland-Jordan, Head of Science
The Science Department is never a quiet place. There is always the hum of excitement, discovery and enjoyment throughout the building. The Science Society has been busier than ever, providing College with a rich series of events and pupil talks throughout the year. Oleander Hall and Renee Cheung have acted as co-presidents this year. Their passion for science has shone through at every event and indeed every day they are in the Department. Under their leadership the society has grown to the biggest society at College. Nicole Sze and Luke Richardson are to take over from Oleander and Renee as president and vice president respectively.
This year we saw the creation of the Astronomical Society, headed by Ronald Tse as the inaugural society president.
Our Third Form robotics workshop continued to go from strength to under the leadership of Miss Tegen Lochhead. Mrs Lucy O’Malley has led our Third Form cross curricular weeks this year.
In the second year of the initiative Third Form pupils studied life on Antarctica, life on a roller-coaster and life on Mars. Each theme explores how science is interdisciplinary and how the individual subjects work together.
We have had a fantastic year of educational talks from a great number of outside speakers: Dr Jim Ropner gave an informative talk covering medical ethics; Dr Mark Crowther took time out of his day to discuss orthopaedic surgery, bringing in all manner of materials and devices used in modern surgery; Dr Abigail Tomlins gave a warts and all overview of general surgery at Cheltenham General Hospital; our aspiring vets had the opportunity to listen to a talk by Dr Rebecca Maddinson about her work in the field of veterinary medicine; at the more theoretical end of things, Dr Tom Crawford spoke about the millennium problems in Mathematics, while Dr Vincent Smith spoke to both Lower and Upper College separately on the topics of ‘What time is it on Mars?’ and ‘Wave-particle duality’.
We congratulate Sophie Fowler, Molly Krauer and Elliot Donnellan-Pasos who are off to study medicine at the universities of Cardiff, Leicester and St. Andrews, respectively and to Bill Ko for his offer from Imperial College London to read Engineering.