The Leys, Cambridge, has enjoyed a busy and varied Autumn term, with the following events being among the highlights:
Work experience with Financial Times leads to schools’ initiative
Enterprising sixth-former Krishan P used his work experience at the Financial Times to help launch an educational initiative to benefit pupils all over the UK who are studying Business, Economics and Politics. Krishan spent his two weeks’ placement developing his idea for making the content of the FT freely available to sixth-formers and their teachers. The Leys was given free access to FT.com. during a pilot scheme then the scheme was launched across the UK with 1200 schools and colleges signing up in the first five days. Under the scheme, supported and promoted by the FT in partnership with Lloyd’s Bank, schools can use FT.com as an educational tool. A panel of secondary school teachers recruited by the FT finds the most relevant articles on FT. com then provides a brief introduction about how they relate to the school curriculum. These are sent out in a weekly e-bulletin.
Prize for Chemistry pupil’s video
Sixth-former Rocky Z has won a Harry and Margaret Kroto Prize for Innovative Use of Technology in Learning for an educational video he made to explain a difficult concept in Chemistry. Rocky was awarded the prize for the best presentation in English by a student whose first language is not English. The annual science communication awards are organised by the University of Sheffield and the Jacobs Foundation in memory of Nobel Prize-winning chemist Professor Sir Harry Kroto. They are open to 11-18 year old students anywhere in the world. Rocky’s video, Bonding and Anti-Bonding Orbital, was praised by the judging panel for its clarity and humour. One judge, a Professor of Chemical Engineering, intends to recommend the video to his students in his Year 2 lectures.
Pupils interested in becoming surgeons had a chance to learn more about the profession from medical students and consultants at a workshop which was held at The Leys. “Surgery in Schools” was run by the Cambridge University Surgical Society (CUSS) which was founded in 2005 by a group of clinical medical students with the aim of making surgery more accessible and to promote surgery as a career choice. The workshops at The Leys have become an annual event. This year’s speaker was Mrs Fitzgerald O’Connor, Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon with Cambridge University Hospitals Trust. Medical students from the University led sessions on taking blood pressures, examining patient histories and suturing. Pupils also found out about hand hygiene, hand-washing with a dye that only shows under UV light, so they could check to see how effectively they were washing.
Learning from entrepreneurs’ champion
A Level Business Studies pupils have been given a tour of the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge by its Entrepreneur in Residence, Professor Alan Barrell. The Judge Business School, located close to The Leys, is a renowned provider of management education and is ranked as one of the world’s top business schools. The Cambridge MBA programme is ranked among the top in the world by Bloomberg, the Financial Times, BusinessInsider, US News & World Report and Forbes Magazine. The pupils gained an insight into the business start-ups that the institution fosters and supports. Prof Barrell has spent almost 30 years in senior executive positions in technology-based industries and was instrumental in launching the Cambridge Gateway Fund, Â¤70 million fund to support early-stage technology businesses in the region. Business Studies teacher Richard Springall said: “It was fascinating for the pupils to learn about how the high technology firms created by this ‘Cambridge Phenomenon’ have had such a huge global impact”.
Old Leysian Prof Sir Andrew Wiles wins the Copley Medal
Prof Sir Andrew Wiles, the world-renowned mathematician who was educated at The Leys, has been awarded the Copley Medal, the world’s oldest scientific prize. The honour, given by the Royal Society, celebrates his proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem and places him in the company of previous recipients such as Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein. Prof Sir Andrew first came across Fermat’s Last Theorem in a book at his local library in Cambridge when he was 10 years old. As a pupil at The Leys in the 1960s he remained fascinated by the challenge of proving the Theorem which had baffled mathematicians since 1637 when Pierre de Fermat first made his argument. He did not make his breakthrough until many years later, but when he gave the inaugural Leys Lecture at the opening of Great Hall at The Leys in 2013 he said that success required luck, and his “Golden Ticket” had been the note from his North A housemaster which excused him from Rugby! After years of striving, he finally announced that he had succeeded in proving the Theorem in 1995. His quest was recorded in Simon Singh’s bestselling book, Fermat’s Last Theorem (1997) and he has been heaped with academic honours. He is now a Professor at the University of Oxford, specialising in number theory.