Advanced Academic Opportunities Galore for Wallace Students

Written by | Gifted and Talented

A large number of Wallace High School students have extended their study of numerous curriculum areas over the last academic year. There has been a wide range of opportunities available to students both in school and other educational institutions, particularly aimed at helping 6th form students explore various universities ‘Gifted and Talented’ programmes.

Luke Collingwood was successful in obtaining a Sentinus placement in the Computer Science Department at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown. This experience will be invaluable to Luke as he enters Year 14, serving as great preparation for his UCAS application. Meanwhile, Emma McDowell, a talented linguist, was accepted to the German Connection program. This gave her the chance to spend an extended period of time in Germany during the summer, in order to make progression with her speaking and listening skills in the German language.

Rachel Chambers, Sam Cardosi and Tom Rogers (Year 14 students) were selected to attend Dundee University’s Gifted and Talented programme in early July. Rachel took part in a Biological Sciences project that involved comparing the genomes of earthworms obtained from different parts of the United Kingdom. During this project, Rachel had the opportunity to develop skills in the use of PCR, gel electrophoresis, statistics software packages and the computer coding language Python. She also has to write an essay explaining the importance of DNA sequencing in modern medicine. This was a fantastic experience for Rachel as she hopes to study Biological Sciences at degree level!

Sam Cardosi took part in the Law program and over the course of the week was able to take part in workshops, talks and also group discussions; invaluable experience for Sam as he hopes to pursue a course relating to Law following his A-Levels. Our Gifted and Talented opportunities also extended into the field of engineering as Tom’s project focused on the mechanical engineering involved in improving the efficiency of wind turbines. The process involved building scale models of a turbine and then testing efficiency, ultimately allowing students to improve their overall designs. Other aspects of the project involved considering the design of the underwater support systems for the turbines and understanding the various stress forces these important structures must be able to withstand.

Encouragingly, following a rigorous application process, Oxford University’s UNIQ programme also saw our students obtain places! Cameron Beattie, fresh from completing a course with Villier’s Park, was accepted for the UNIQ course on Computer Science held in Brasenose College. Speaking after both of these courses, Cameron commented, “The Villier’s Park course really opened my eyes to the variety of applications on my chosen field and it was very enjoyable to be taught by two Cambridge professors! The UNIQ course at Oxford was very demanding as students were introduced to Haskell programming as well as having lectures, developing skills of logic and handling advanced cryptography problems. Both courses have confirmed that this is what I want to study at degree level.”

Fantastically, Ryan Simpson was also accepted onto a day course, focused on PPE where he was able to hear a number of experts talk about their fields of study, brilliantly confirming for Ryan the degree pathway he is currently working towards. Rebecca Lynn also took part in a highly rigorous but enjoyable week at UNIQ. The topic of study was oncology and Rebecca took part in numerous sessions that highlighted the hallmarks of cancer, the aims of screening and types of treatment. She also had tutorial sessions with some top academics in the field. This academic and social experience involved rowing, punting and group dinners, allowing Rebecca to develop a much better understanding of what life at an Oxford College entails.

Finally and to our delight, Alice Crosby, Sarah Patterson and Rachel McCullough gained places at Cambridge University’s summer school held in Corpus Christi College. Alice is aiming to study towards a law degree and this course gave her great insight into this programme. It also allowed her to develop her passion for debating as well as allowing her to engage with Cambridge students, in order to understand what study at a Cambridge College would entail. Rachel also followed the Law program which further ignited her passion in human rights law. Sarah hopes to study medicine and had a wide range of activities from mitochondrial dysfunction to viral diseases in plants. All of the girls agreed that the experience has inspired them to continue to work hard in order to gain university places in their chosen disciplines. Well done must go to all of our students who have displayed great commitment in pursuing these fantastic opportunities!

Last modified: September 22, 2017