Sixth Form News

By Haider K, Year 12

Last month, a number of Sixth Form boys finished a six-week course of ‘mini medical school’ lectures organised by Newcastle University.

Lectures covered a range of current topics including the risks of liver disease and how to identify skin cancer, and were presented by leaders in the field. Practical sessions on medicine, bio-medicine, pharmacy, and psychology were also available.

Two sixth formers attended the medical practical session where they were introduced to several key surgical skills such as tying a surgical knot around a blood vessel to stop blood loss. In the biomedical sciences session, serial dilutions were practised and students gained expertise in using specialised lab equipment.

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The psychology of learning and forensics – by Kurran B

This week in enrichment Jenny, a graduate student from Newcastle University, visited NSB for a Psychology based session.

In the first half of her presentation she helped us think about the psychology of learning, how to maximise our revision, and the most effective ways to memorise content. Jenny explained to us the importance of MRP (motivation, repetition and planning) and how to use this principle when we revise. Sleep is also important, especially during exam and revision time. Her final tip was to exercise during revision, so the brain has time to store and recall information.

The second half of her presentation was about Forensic Psychology. She gave us different scenarios of different crimes being committed and we, in groups, had to work out ‘who did it’! Finally, we did a self-assessed psychopath test, which gave us a score on a scale of 1-10! Luckily this test wasn’t a very accurate measure of psychopathic tendencies, which would have come as a relief to the boys who scored highly! Overall, this was a very informative session, especially all the tips on how to revise.

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In the summer term of 2016, a number of boys in current Year 11 and Year 13 took part in two online Biology competitions – the Biology Challenge and the Intermediate Biology Olympiad, testing general knowledge of Biology, beyond the GCSE and A-level specifications.

Congratulations to the following boys who recently received certificates in recognition of their excellent scores!

Biology Challenge:

Bronze – Jamie C, Harry D, Matthew J and Mason M  

Silver – Lucas B, James D and Jack H

Intermediate Biology Olympiad:  

Bronze – Sunny S and Alex T 

Silver – Kane C  

Gold – Lachy D

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Studying STEM and HaSS at University – by Alex M, Year 12

As part of our enrichment programme, two Newcastle University graduate ambassadors recently came in to talk to us about studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and HaSS (Humanities and Social Science) subjects at university. They gave us an introduction to the two different areas of study, and explained where we could go in future with these subjects. They also explained how STEM and HaSS subjects are linked.

Furthermore, we learned what skills could be gained from HaSS subjects. An example would be the ability to see both sides of an argument, and be able to argue and debate ideas. We put this into practice by debating the relative merits of STEM and HaSS subjects ourselves. We then looked at STEM subjects and the benefits, including job opportunities, and developing skills such as teamwork and communication.

To finish off the session we played the game Articulate, but instead of general knowledge, it was based on what we had learned during the session. Overall, the workshop was extremely informative and gave us some ideas about where we could be in the future!

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by Bayley C


Last week, boys in Year 12 received a talk from a National Citizen Service representative. NCS is a three-part programme which focuses on improving team working, communication and leadership skills.


The first section is the Adventure section; this focuses on a week away during half term, taking place in the Lake District. After this comes the Discovery section which focuses on skills for everyday life; such as cooking, managing money and CV writing skills. The final section of NCS is the Action section where students work with those from other schools to come up with their very own initiative to help the local community, requiring 30 hours of volunteer work.


NCS sounds like a fantastic scheme which is recognised by UCAS, and also allows young people to gain other useful qualifications such a First Aid and sports coaching badges. For those who cannot attend during half term, a summer scheme is also available.

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My son is in a unique environment where so much care and attention to detail is made to motivate and focus the boys. - Parent

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