Science and Computing

  • Who: 3rd year upwards
  • i/c: JPT

This is an opportunity for anyone from 3rd year upwards to learn about Astronomy in more detail and to enter for the GCSE exam in the subject if they wish. It is being run through the Abingdon Science Partnership and a number of pupils from other, local schools are also following the course. New pupils should speak to Mr Thomas before joining to discuss practical details of taking the GCSE qualification.

  • Who: Upper School Biologists
  • i/c: SEB

Lectures are organised to support work being done in the Biology specification, to extend knowledge of the specification and to give boys an up to date account of current advances in modern biology. Some lectures may also have a more general “Natural History” theme and be open to Middle School Pupils as well.

Some pupils can also be given the opportunity to carry out more open-ended practical investigations, workshops or other experiments. Dissections and moth trapping are some of the activities that have happened recently. Subject extension sessions also take place to expand on the content of the course.

  • Where: S108
  • When: Tuesday P8, Wednesday P7-8
  • Who: 3rd Year - Sixth Form
  • i/c: MJF


Chemistry Society will offer boys from the middle and upper school an opportunity to engage in extra-curricular chemistry project work (for example, we have been working with IRIS to set up a project on ionic liquid synthesis and characterisation). It will also provide a platform for wider appreciation of the subject in terms of lectures from outside speakers and awareness of contemporary chemistry issues that fall beyond the chemistry syllabus but lie well within the boys’ sphere of interest.

  • Where: S107
  • When: Thursday P5
  • Who: 5th year and above
  • i/c: MGD

As part of the entomology club boys have the opportunity to learn about and study insects. Boys are able to follow their own interests within the club with some rearing preying mantises while others breed moths and butterflies. Boys take charge of their insects and are responsible for feeding them and maintaining their environment. 

Think geology is the study of rocks? You're right. The good news is, rocks are fascinating! The geology club is for anyone in the school from 1st year up who wants to learn more about our planet in a fun way. Geology is a very practical subject and we do lots of experiments and investigations. For those who are dead keen there is the option of pursuing it as an additional GCSE.

  • Where: Science Outreach Lab.
  • When: Thursday Period 8, Lent Term
  • Who: Lower School
  • i/c: NP

Lower School Science Club is an opportunity for boys to partake in science projects and experiments outside of the curriculum. The boys will have a chance to extend their science knowledge in a fun, hands-on environment.

  • Where: S106
  • When: Tuesdays P8
  • Who: Middle School and Sixth Form
  • i/c: JPT

An opportunity for 5th Year and L6 Science Ambassadors to help run a weekly science club for children from local primary schools. 

  • Where: Science Outreach Lab.
  • When: Wednesday, P8, Lent Term
  • Who: Middle School
  • i/c: NP

An opportunity for students to experience hands-on science outside of the syllabus.

  • Where: Biology and Physics S106; Chemistry S308
  • When: Biology Monday P8; Chemistry Tuesday P8; Physics Wednesday P7/8
  • Who: 4th Year upwards (Biology, 6th form only)
  • i/c: Bio MRM; Chem MJF; Phys JPT

If you expect excitement, explosions and sound-byte science then these are not the clubs for you! However, if you want to learn real research skills; develop deeper understanding and see what it really takes to be a research scientist, then join Science Factor.

Research projects may be part of external programmes organised through the Abingdon Science Partnership and the Institute for Research in Schools, or they may be based on your own, individual ideas and interests. Examples of ongoing projects include the CERN@School energy to matter photonics project in Physics; ‘Ionic Liquids’ in Chemistry and ‘Genome Decoders’ in Biology, but if you have your own ideas, discuss them with us and we’ll try to help.

  • Where: S307
  • When: Thursday P5
  • Who: Sxith Form
  • i/c: RHH

Science Journal Club is for any lower sixth science student who is keen to extend their reading above and beyond the curriculum, who enjoys lively discussion of science and who wants to learn more about real experiments and the scientific method. We meet fortnightly to discuss a range of articles from all scientific disciplines.

  • Where: Various venues, inside and outside school
  • When: Various times, including some evening and Saturday morning opportunities
  • Who: Any age group, depending on the activity
  • i/c: JPT

There are many opportunities to volunteer as a Science Ambassador for the Abingdon Science Partnership, including primary school science workshops; Science Oxford Saturday Science Clubs; Scout and Guide Science Badge evenings and the Abingdon ATOM Festival of Science and Technology. 

Contact our Senior Science Ambassador to put your name on the list of volunteers and get the latest information on events.

  • Where: G103
  • When: Monday P5
  • Who: Lower school
  • i/c: SEKP

Members of the Wildlife Club will take part in outdoor conservation projects for OPAL, RSPB and other organisations. Indoor meetings include presentations and discussions about conservation and wildlife related topics. Whilst learning about wildlife and habitats, students will have the opportunity to practice their creative writing, public speaking and GIS skills. 

  • Who: All years
  • i/c: JPT

This is an opportunity for pupils from any year to learn some science writing skills and to pursue a writing project on a topic of their own choice. Abingdon Science Partnership is affiliated to the Young Scientists Journal which gives the opportunity for finished articles to be published online and possibly in the hard copy edition.

  • Where: Mercers Court, ICT
  • Who: Middle and Upper School
  • When: Thursday P8, Michaelmas term
  • i/c MAK

XFMDPNF UP DPEFCSFBLJOH DMVC - Codebreaking Club takes place weekly and teams will be preparing for and taking part in the National Cipher Challenge. This is an annual competition for students across the country to crack ever more complicated ciphers, including simple Caesar Shift Ciphers, Vignere Ciphers and beyond. If you like solving puzzles and reading secret messages then come along - programming and IT skills are a bonus but not necessary.

  • Where: ICT Greening Wing
  • When: Friday, 4.00 – 5.00 pm
  • Who: All year groups
  • i/c: BW

The Computer Programming activity is intended to provide hands-on experience of the nitty-gritty of computer programming. We will be taking an overview of the history of computer-programming languages, from assembler through to modern object-oriented languages – and the development of the hardware on which they run. Practical tasks will be undertaken in a dedicated programming environment using the latest interpreted object-oriented languages and application development frameworks. Applications are likely to be web and network based, with the ability to show off the results from any Internet-connected computer. No previous experience is necessary, but an aptitude for logical and analytical thought will be essential.

  • Where: S206
  • When: Monday P8
  • Who: 4 - VI
  • i/c: APW

We support a mixture of students' own projects and guided investigations into areas covering software, computer science/algorithms and electronics interfacing using Raspberry Pi and Arduino platforms. Examples include smartphone games/apps and facial recognition using Python and OpenCV.


  • When: Monday P8
  • Who: Sixth Form
  • i/c: JTT

Crash Course in Computing aims to give sixth form students (particularly those pursuing scientific/numerical subjects) an introduction to computational thinking, programming skills and basic computer theory, to complement their studies and prepare them for using computers at university & beyond. 

Each half term will work through a project focused on a different computing context, such as scientific data analysis or real-time image capture & processing.  

  • Where: S207
  • When: Wednesday P7/8
  • Who: Middle and Upper School
  • i/c: OTL

Electronics Club provides an opportunity to learn how to design and build simple electronic devices. The emphasis is on experimenting and learning rather than copying existing designs. Past projects range from reaction games, to light sensitive musical instruments. Programmable microcontrollers are also available for more adventurous tasks such as robotics. No experience is necessary but eagerness to learn is essential.

  • Where: S206
  • When: Friday, 4pm
  • Who: Sixth Form
  • i/c: APW

Python is now the computing language of choice for many scientists including Biologists, Chemists and Physicists. One thing that it is used for is to visualise data sets, varying from population data to the variation of physical systems. This introductory course will use the extensive libraries of programmes available online to learn more about how scientists visualise and study their data.

  • Where: Library Project Room
  • When: Monday P5
  • Who: Lower School
  • i/c: BW

A fun introduction to computer programming. Hands on sessions: writing your own programs; using different programming languages and packages; making graphical pictures, games and animations.

  • Where: B306
  • When: Tuesday P8
  • Who: Lower School
  • i/c: SJC

Lower School Lego Mindstorms Club combines programming and engineering/design techniques. Using the Lego Mindstorms technical lego pieces different robots are created and brought to life by using a programmable brick which takes control of its movements. A variety of tasks are set through the year, to stretch and challenge builders to develop their ability to program and problem solve within the Lego Mindstorms environment.

  • Where: B306
  • When: Tuesday P5/6
  • Who: 3rd Year
  • i/c: SJC

Working with Lego Mindstorms robots, Robotics Club combines programming and engineering techniques. Building different models and machines using technical Lego, they are brought to life by using a programmable brick which takes control of its movements. A variety of tasks are set through the year, to stretch and challenge builders to develop their ability to program, within the Lego Mindstorms environment.

  • When: Tuesday P8, Friday P8
  • Who: 3rd Year - 5th Year
  • i/c: MJF

We are building, from scratch, a system to monitor levels of a number of important gases in the air with a view to deploying our devices in the school and analysing the data that our devices collect. The system will be based around the Raspberry Pi hardware and will involve some straightforward electronics and some level of Python programming. The device will be portable and we will therefore be able to investigate gases inside and out of school buildings.

  • Where: S208
  • When: Monday P8
  • Who: 3rd Year - Sixth Form
  • i/c: BW

With the help of ASPA we have the HTC Vive Pro Virtual Reality available for use by boys on Monday afternoons. In the first half of the Michaelmas Term we will be encouraging boys to try the kit and experience VR. Boys can then contribute to the future direction of our study of this important technology at school. After half term we will be designing and building a visual display box to house the VR computer.