APS News 33

4 Abingdon Prep • April 2023 IN SCHOOL Making shock waves with Year 2 YEAR 8 ACADEMIC NEWS Classics: Year 8 were visited by Mr Price, Head of Classics at Abingdon School. With most of Year 8 progressing to Abingdon and about to make choices for their Year 9 subjects, they were told about other subjects offered by the Classics Department in addition to Latin: Ancient History and Ancient Greek. During Mr Price’s talk, pupils wrote their own name using the Greek alphabet and deciphered Ancient Greek words that are still used in Modern English. SCIENCE WEEK Each spring, schools all over the UK celebrate Science Week, an annual event of STEM activities promoted by the British Science Association (BSA). We were busy at Abingdon Prep with most year groups taking part in fun activities and workshops. Year 8 and Pre-Prep teamed up to work together on a number of activities: Reception examined their fingerprint patterns using pencil rubbings and chalk; Year 1 built sturdy bridges under strict guidance for size using paper alone; and Year 2 built and tested shoebox seismographs to see who could create the biggest seismic waves. Year 8 really enjoyed sharing their knowledge with the younger children. Year 4 took part in a neuroscience workshop with Professor Clare Mackay where they found out all about the brain and why it is important for learning. They made their own different neurons, for sensitivity and motor uses which, when put together formed a neural network. There was some time for questions to Clare all about brains, including understanding how they are different – a key message during science and neurodiversity week. Andy from Science Oxford came to give their popular Forces Show for Year 6 who were joined by children from Years 5 and 6 at Wootton Primary School. There was no shortage of volunteers to join in the fun demonstrations of Newton’s Laws, air resistance, magnetism and bridge-building. Years 7 and 8 got all suited up for their workshop led by retired forensic scientist John Bates, using many different investigative techniques to examine the crime scene, including cybersecurity. Year 4 and their neurons Fingerprinting with Reception Year 6 Forces Talk with Wootton Primary School Once solved, arrests were made and a court room scene was staged, in costume complete with a variety of bad wigs for the legal teams and defendants! This stressed the importance of those forensic scientists called to be expert witnesses. A fascinating workshop, and great fun for all. French: This term, our Year 8 pupils have had the advantage of practising their French with Julia, a native-speaker from France who is also an ‘assistante’ in the Modern Languages department at the senior school. The pupils have been able to improve their speaking and listening skills, including refining their accents. We are very grateful to Julia for her help. YEAR OF THE RABBIT A group of Year 5-8 pupils who are confident Chinese scribes created special bookmarks for younger pupils writing each pupil’s name in Chinese characters, raising money for charity.