Year 11 – Castleshaw Centre

On 19th September, a group of the Year 11 Gifted and Talented pupils, accompanied by Mr McStocker and Miss Lindsay visited the Castleshaw Centre in Delph for a team-building and study skills residential. During the visit pupils took part in team-building and problem-solving activities and then had a series of study sessions. After the sessions (and of course, some fish and chips), pupils had a talk about careers in the medical profession from Dr. Vance, a Manchester-based GP and a talk from Dr. Lyons, a global executive, about the importance of Science and Language in the world of business. The evening was rounded off with pupils and teachers displaying their general knowledge in a somewhat challenging quiz. The next day pupils got to feed the animals and trekked to find the remains of the Roman Fort. This was followed by a group discussion on study-related issues. The pupils enjoyed the experience of working together in a different setting as well as the residential experience itself.

Year 10 – Visit to Lancaster University

On 24th September the Year 10 Gifted cohort visited Lancaster University to find out what student life is really like. During the day they had a campus tour, met with student ambassadors from the university and attended a lecture about presentation skills. They then had to work together to research, deliver and present their findings on a topic allocated to them by the university ambassadors. The students rose to the challenge and produced work of a very high quality.

This visit raised the aspirations of the group and it provided guidance about going to university and our pupils made the most of the opportunity to ask as many questions about university life as possible. Mr McStocker, who leads the G&T programme at Oulder Hill, said, “as always, our pupils were excellent ambassadors for the school and they thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from this visit. As a result they are now much more aware of the numerous possibilities that university-level study can offer them”.

Year 9 – Enterprise Day

Our Year 9 Gifted pupils took part in a special ‘Enterprise Day’ on 24th November.

They took part in a competition to work together to design and produce trophies that will be presented to the ‘Key Stage 3’ Student of the Year for all the different faculties. Firstly, they thought up different and distinct ways in which the awards would reflect that particular faculty. Then, they worked together on specialist software to produce the final design, which were made by the school’s laser printer. Finally, they proudly presented their work to a judging panel, somewhat in the style of Dragon’s Den.

The work was challenging and the high-quality, innovative awards that they created reflected not only the students’ ability, but also their co-operation and work ethic. Pupils really enjoyed the day and they worked effectively in teams and were able to develop their thinking and presentational skills as a result.

Year 8 – Space Day by Nimrah Ahmad 8C

The Space Day experience started with a very interesting presentation about rockets and Space from a very knowledgeable scientist called Kevin. He taught us about the sizes of the planets and stars. We learnt that the Sun is a dwarf star compared to the other stars and that the rocket “Saturn 5” is the most powerful rocket in history. We also found out lo0ts of other amazing facts about Space exploration and travel.

We then had the chance to work with another scientist and apply what we had learnt in order to make our own rockets out of paper and sticky tape. We had to make our rockets as aerodynamic as possible by adding fins and a point at the top. I learnt that the shape and size of the fins can affect the distance of the rocket. Once we made our rockets we went out in to the Street to launch them. My rocket (The Starburst) did not go very far because it had a few holes where air comes out on the point. However, Louise’s rocket went the furthest because it was quite light and had a sharp point.

We then visited an inflatable planetarium. It was a great experience because when the projector projected everything onto the Planetarium it almost felt like we were in Space! In the Planetarium we learnt about how the Sun’s radiation affects our skin colour and the size of the Earth compared to the Moon. I really enjoyed being in the Planetarium as it really brought the theory to life for me!

Overall, I liked making the rockets most because it was quite a challenge to try and make your rocket as aerodynamic as possible. It was a fun, interesting experience and I would like to learn more about the Science behind Space exploration as a result.