The BIG Lesson and all things British Science Week

Following on from the success of last year’s British Science Week with the guest appearance of Professor Lord Robert Winston, the Science Department was faced with whether they could match this feat. The challenge was set and they did not fail to impress again this year.

On Thursday, during Period 2, we held The BIG Lesson. The first collaboration between the science faculties of the three secondary schools in the Alban Academy Trust; Verulam, Sandringham and Ridgeway, broadcasting live via YouTube from the Sandpit Theatre to students in Years 7 to 10 and 12 in all three schools simultaneously which approximately equates to 3000 students. Surely a new World Record!

Mr Knowles became our local celebrity representing Verulam, together with Mr Lee from Sandringham and Dr Hercus from Ridgeway Academy to put on a science lesson on the theme of the 150th anniversary of Mendeleev’s periodic table. The lesson began at 10.00am with a live stream demonstration of igniting hydrogen and oxygen balloons, both flammable gases and the most important gases for life. This was followed by a similar and more explosive Hydrogen and Oxygen mixed balloon. The lesson then handed over to home schools for classroom teachers to get students to fill in their own periodic table from memory.

Next came Mr Knowles on live stream conducting a demonstration of the Group 1 Alkali metals. This demonstration highlighted the similarities and the trends in properties that the groups on the periodic table have. The lesson was then handed back to the classrooms to allow students to explore the properties of elements and build their own card sort periodic table.

We re-joined the live stream once more to see a flame test demonstration of the transition metals with an explanation of the position of electrons in each element and the reasons why copper burns with a blue-green flame and lithium a lilac flame.

The lesson was a huge success. Mr Flack was walking about the school and commented how strange it felt to walk in to classrooms across the school all doing exactly the same thing at the same time. The buzz from students has been tremendous and it has instilled a lot of pride in Verulam School.

Next, we turn to workshops from Medical Mavericks on Friday for Years 10 to 13 and then the Big Bang Fair Trip for Years 9 and 10 on Saturday. We will report on these next week.

The original question was: Could we go bigger? I think we certainly have done that!

Mr L Knowles

Science Department


News from Mr Ramsey

Book Polishing

Book polishing is an important part of learning both in the classroom and at home as it helps students secure learning and address their weaknesses.  Students are asked to do this task in lessons but would also benefit from completing it at home every couple of weeks.  In order to ensure that their exercise books are in order students should complete all of the following:

  • Complete missing or unfinished work
  • AFL Yellow sheets – Pupil must fill in response or action
  • Presentation policy – underlining titles and Spelling corrections / capitals
  • Use of coloured pens / highlighters and boxes to highlight key learning from each lesson
  • Correcting work
  • Sticking in worksheets and hand-outs
  • 6th Form should ensure all notes are well organised in files.

Headmaster’s commendations

This week’s commendations goes to Jamie Escuder on being an excellent team player during our recent Business Enterprise Conference and also to  Sam Tillin on his individual performance during last week’s Mathsfest 2019.

I would also like to commend Mr Knowles for his bravura in front of an audience at this week’s Big Science lesson live broadcast.

P A Ramsey



Detentions and Uniforms


Please can we remind parents/carers that the day a detention is set cannot be changed other than in exceptional circumstances.  Any requests to move a detention should only be made to myself and should be received via email before 9.00am on the day the detention has been set for.  Please email [email protected] for the attention of Mr A Flack. The detention should serve as a deterrent and should be served as soon as possible after the offence. If a detention is issued, please check MCAS and speak to your child about the reasons for the detention and how they can amend their actions or behaviour so that they are not repeated.


Unfortunately, in recent weeks, we have noted a decline in the appearance of some of the boys around school. From Monday students will be issued with a C3 if they are not correctly attired for school.  This includes having appropriate school shoes, with their shirt tucked in and top button fastened. Can I also remind you that coats must be placed in lockers or a school bag throughout the day and not carried around. Coats may only be worn at lunchtime when the student is outside the school building.


We expect all students to have the appropriate equipment for each lesson. This includes pens, pencils, calculator and highlighters. Boys are also expected to have their planner with them throughout the day, which should be placed on their desk in front of them when they are in lessons

Mr A Flack

Deputy Headteacher


For advice regarding gaining a place at Verulam School for your son via the Continuing Interest process, or for queries regarding appeals, please contact Ms K Bonass on 01727 754102 or [email protected]

Help and advice with Secondary Transfer 2019

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