2014 - 2015

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STMC National Final

Having won the Regional “Final” at Camp Hill last term, our senior team, consisting of Giles Moss, Sam England, Muhammed Khan and Anthony Lim, travelled to London with Mr Thompson to take part in the national final. I think they only made three mistakes in the whole competition, but the standard is very high and they finished in a very creditable tenth place overall. Well done to them and many thanks to Mr Thompson for going with them and for his rigorous training schedule.

Team Maths Challenge Final

Our Team Maths Challenge team, Sam Stansfield, Robert Hillier, Neal Pankhania and Hao Yang, travelled to London with Mr Thompson on Monday 22 June to take part in the national finals. They were faced with a series of very challenging problems but did extremely well, finishing seventh out of 88 teams. Their poster on Colouring did even better, achieving third prize. Congratulations to Sam, Robert, Neal and Hao, and grateful thanks to Mr Thompson for taking them.

Students Robotics

For the first time, Camp Hill Boys (with some input from Camp Hill Girls) are entering the Student Robotics competition run by current and former students from Southampton University. The competition involves teams designing and building a fully autonomous robot to compete in a game designed by the competition organisers.

The team of Umar Ahmed, Oscar Bocking, Matthew Else, Thomas Else, Jenny Lea (CHG), Joe Malt and Peter Watson, are currently designing and completing the robot. They are to test this robot in competition over the weekend of the 25th and 26th of April at Newbury Racecourse.

Woodthorpe Primary School: French Day

On Thursday 12th March, Zikriya Bukhari, Prithvi Karthik, Ahmed Iqbal and I went to help out with the French Day at Woodthorpe Primary School. The day started with a taxi journey to the school, which was running a bit late. That meant we did not get there as early as we had hoped, and had less time to set up our presentation. The presentation went well, with a few technical glitches, all the children learnt a lot of facts and laughed at our videos.

After the presentation and the assembly, we started playing fun games with all the years between Reception and Year 6. One of the games Mr Renault taught us to play was called ‘Ball on a bucket.’ To play this game, you take a (large-ish) bucket and turn it so that the hole is on the bottom. Then you get a ball (e.g. a tennis ball or a bouncy ball) and place it on the bucket. When a leader says ‘Allez-y’ you have to bounce the ball on the bucket while walking over to the other side of the room. If the ball touches the floor before you reach the end you have to start all over again! My favourite year group was probably Year 5 because they were funny and let me join in.

Later in the day we went round the KS2 classes and the children asked Mr Renault lots of questions. We found lots of interesting facts about France like the fact that French classes start at 8 a.m. and can end at about 6 p.m. The best thing is that they do not have to wear school uniform but when some children were asked if they wanted to have a uniform they actually said yes!

The end of the day had come too early and we got the taxi back, arriving at school at about 3:30. That meant that I was able to get the bus and got home earlier!

Merci à Monsieur Renault pour l'organisation de la journée. C'était génial et drôle.

Business Language Day

Upon their return after half term, Year 9 were presented with the promise of a Business Language Day, organised by Mrs Wells, which constituted a full day taking part in workshops and attending talks in order for us to discover how people had made a career using their linguistic abilities.

The day began with the whole of the year filling the hall to listen to a speech presented by Ludovic (an international student from France) which focused on how languages allow him to explore the world. Following that was another speech from Sandra (another international student from Germany). Both of these speeches placed emphasis on how being multilingual allowed us to present and communicate more effectively when in another country.

Then we split up in to groups and returned to classrooms to listen to talks from people who worked in an industry, where their knowledge of multiple languages allowed them to excel. There were also presentations by students who were studying MFLs at university. After lunch, we regrouped and worked in teams to produce an advert for a new, healthy cereal, in our preferred language (but not English).

Finally, to conclude our day, we gathered in the hall to present the best adverts to decide a winner. Overall the day was lots of fun and I know we all learnt a lot from it. I’d like to thank, on behalf of Year 9, Mrs Wells and the rest of the MFL department for putting together an amazing day.

Biology Big Quiz

The studentsOn a surprisingly sunny morning, three teams of enthusiastic Camp Hill boys set out for Birmingham University. Our task was to compete in the 'Biology Big Quiz', a rather strangely-named competition between several schools of varying size for the prestigious winner's trophy. Facing a variety of selected, trained and thoroughbred quiz teams were our three teams, selected from effort scores and divided into three teams based mostly on what we had decided a few minutes before.

Following a campus tour, we settled down to a disappointing number of chocolate biscuits (we found this frankly outrageous and have since complained to the University of Birmingham) and got down to the business of quizzing. After hectic hours of checking boxes, spot quizzes and letting John Hayton carry our team, Camp Hill boys A team were in joint 3rd place, with team B and C languishing somewhere behind.

After a lunch break (with an added ‘Play doh’ competition, where Stephen made a rather nice Spitfire IX ) and a mini lecture about sleeping, competition was resumed. Nothing of note happened until the results came in at around 2:23. Camp Hill A were joint third on 54 points, while B and C sat at 45 and 43 points respectively. We (the A team) faced off in the tie-breaker against our third placed opponents and won, which was nice. With our bronze medals (and their poorly-glued plaques) in hand, we felt vaguely happy (having missed a day of school) as we headed back. Our main regret was that the KES team won. Obviously, they’d had more time to prepare than us; rather underhand we felt!

Maths Feast

On Wednesday 11th March a team of four enthusiastic mathematicians (Daniel Hill, John Hayton, Monim Wains & Jan Rudzki) journeyed to the University of Birmingham to participate in the FMSP ‘Maths Feast’ Team competition.

An enjoyable afternoon found the boys participating in rounds titled Amuse-Bouche, Hors d’oeuvres, Entrée, Mains, Dessert and Petits Fours.They battled with equivalent algebraic expressions, comparisons (A<B, A=B or A>B), set theory, word problems, relays and origami. The origami round, which involved making stackable Columbus cubes, was great fun, with John Hayton being our star paper folder.

The boys were second after round 1 but took the lead in round 2 and never relinquished it, extending their lead in each subsequent round and winning 3 of the rounds outright, for which they received additional certificates. They were already certain of victory before the final round and thoroughly deserved their first place for the accurate problem solving demonstrated throughout. The University looked after us (well me) very well; after all, if you’re going to theme your competition around food you need to provide some!

Team Maths Challenge

The studentsOur senior team having won their regional final last term, Tuesday 10th March brought the turn of our junior team. Or teams, as the last-minute withdrawal of another school enabled us to enter a B team, which Mr Thompson assembled on Monday lunchtime.

The first round was the group round, where teams collaborated to answer ten questions. Both of our teams scored full marks. Then came the cross number. Out of 56, the A team scored 53, and the B team scored 54. A brief survey of other high scorers revealed that King Edward’s High School had scored 55. So we entered the lunch break in third and second places.

After lunch came the shuttle round, in which questions depend on answers to earlier questions. This is traditionally very difficult, and this year’s was no exception. Of course, this benefits our boys, and the A team scored 60/60. The B team didn’t.

The final round was the relay. This involved walking briskly around the hall, observing all health and safety precautions. One boy from another school failed to do this, and we’re expecting a letter from his solicitor. The A team made a few mistakes, and finished with 52/60. King Edward’s High School said they had scored 54/60. The organisers paid serious attention to their laptop. Who had won?

The final results were:
3rd place (officially): Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School
3rd place (really): Camp Hill B team
2nd place: King Edward’s High School
1st place: Camp Hill A team

Well done to Robert Hillier, Sam Stansfield, Neal Pankhania and Hao Yang of the A team, who go forward to the national final in London on 22 June, and to Alex Byrne, Alfie Green, Tommy Ransbotyn and Andrew Lim of the B team.

Also many thanks to Mr Thompson for all his organisation and training.

British Biology Olympiad

In the last week of January, a group of Lower Sixth students took part in the British Biology Olympiad, which is designed to encourage students interested in Biology, by developing knowledge of a wider curriculum than A-Level. The Olympiad consists of two one-hour long papers, with multiple choice format questions.

The students performed very well, with Omar Mohammad, Adil Iqbal, Oliver Millington and Thomas Alan Wemyss achieving Silver medals, indicating that they placed in the top 18% nationally. Muhammed Khan, Sulamaan Rahim, Chandar Jaipal achieved Bronze awards, and Arvinjot Uppal obtained a Highly Commended award, indicating performance for them all in the top 49% of participants, which includes both Upper and Lower Sixth students.

All participants are well deserving a thorough congratulations for their work and effort.

Chemistry Top of the Bench Competition

The studentsOn Saturday a crack team of Chemists comprising of Paul Gardner (Y11), John Hayton (Y10), Alex Lee (Y9) and Ibrahim Ezzeldin (also Y9) attended the regional final of the Royal Society of Chemistry Top of the Bench competition at the University of Birmingham.
The challenge involved a 45 minute quiz and an 80 minute practical where they were required to work together to solve an unfamiliar problem. They were judged on their subject knowledge, practical skills and the precision of their results.

Competition was stiff with rival teams representing KES, Bromsgrove School, Warwick School and Kings’ High School and, with only half a point separating the top three teams at the end, it was almost too close to call, but our boys achieved victory with 105 points to Bromsgrove and Warwick’s 104½, proving that we really are a cut above the rest.

The team now go through to the national final at Loughborough University in April.
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