News from Mr Ramsey

Visit from Professor Lord Robert Winston

On Thursday we welcomed Professor Lord Robert Winston to Verulam as a culmination to our British Science Week celebrations. During his visit, Year 12 and 13 received a talk on the interrelation of science and humanities. His speech was awe inspiring where he interlaced anecdotes from his vast career and scientific knowledge whilst appealing to the non- scientists of the Sixth Form.

He began by introducing the aeroplane as one of the biggest dangers to man. Crashes and terrorism were suggested however, in actual fact, the transportation of disease via air travel is the most prevalent threat. He spoke about the challenges faced by science in the prevention of the spread of disease and the mistakes that have been made.

He went on to talk about scientists’ need to have more humanity when dealing with the ethical considerations of scientific research whilst those who study humanity must maintain a grasp of modern science and the importance of having knowledge of both fields.

He invited questions from the floor and quite surprisingly when asked if his passion was for science he initially responded with “no”. He then went on to talk about the interest it sparks in him to find out new things and he loves doing that. He said that everyone should do what they love to do.

Other questions came with his opinion of the research of embryonic stem cells. He spoke of the ability to change the genome and the unknown effects of doing so giving us an example of transgenic mice becoming viscous as a result of altering their genome. However, successes in research come from genetically modifying pig organs to eliminate antigens for use in human transplantation reducing rejection by the body.

Headmaster’s Commendation

This week’s Headmaster’s commendation goes to Bruno Winter of 7C who represented Great Britain fencing in Valencia and who came 9th out of 135 competitors. An achievement to be very proud of. I would also like to commend our highly successful Year 12 Dragon’s Apprentice Challenge team who won the awards for Best Presentation and most Innovative Business idea at Monday’s final at the University of Hertfordshire.

Congratulations to Rob McKee, Michael Lawman, Samual Costantini, Alex Towle, Tom McLoughlin, Logan Schoonraad, Fadil Sharif, Andrew Martin, Dominic Maddison, Theo Neame.

P A Ramsey

Congratulations Verulam Enterprise!!

The Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge has been running for ten years. The outstanding success of the programme has meant that over 2000 local young people have participated, built skills for life and contributed to their local communities. To date over £500,000 has been passed on to local charities.

This year Verulam Sixth Form entered a team for the first time. The team was christened Verulam Enterprise and consisted of; Rob McKee , Michael Lawman, Samual Costantini, Alex Towle, Tom McLoughlin, Logan Schoonraad, Fadil Sharif, Andrew Martin, Dominic Maddison, Theo Neame.

John Acton was assigned as the ‘Dragon’ for Verulam Enterprise and our allocated charity was the OLLIE Foundation (One Life Lost Is Enough). This is a charity devoted to stopping young people from taking their own lives by removing the stigma surrounding the subject of suicide, improving the range and accessibility of help and promoting good mental health.

It has been my privilege to work with this talented and driven group of young gentlemen. I have seen them develop valuable skills for business, grow in confidence and commitment, apply themselves, adapt and achieve an incredible amount during the past 5 months.

Their achievements have been both tangible – an amazing £3,300 raised for the Ollie Foundation – and intangible. They took up the gauntlet, they listened to the brief, they responded to the challenge, they developed the skills, sought advice when needed and did what it took to achieve their goal.

The Brief:

The team was tasked with creating a sustainable business idea. They were told to be innovative and use their entrepreneurial skills to raise funds for their given charity.

The Business Idea:

After a thorough brainstorm it was decided to create the OLLIE Card. This card entitles all cardholders to receive fantastic discounts at participating
St Albans cafes, restaurants, pubs and eateries. It can be purchased for just £20.00 and is eligible from December 2017 – November 2018. To date OLLIE card sales have generated £3,300 in revenue for the OLLIE Foundation but the total can continue to rise throughout the year.

The Awards Evening took place on Monday. Our boys were the epitome of professionalism as they presented their innovative idea, and handed over the profits and a sustainable business to the OLLIE Foundation.

They were winners of ‘The Innovation Award’ and ‘Best Presentation Award’ and they raised the second highest amount of money for their charity. It’s also worth mentioning that three other Dragons commented on the excellence and impressiveness of our boys in Verulam Enterprise.

The boys were a credit to their families, Verulam and Sixth Form. The OLLIE Foundation, Verulam staff and governors are all incredibly proud of them.

Richard Kennedy, Chair of Governors commented:

“I would like to add governor congratulations to the whole team for what is in our opinion an outstanding performance which has raised the profile of the foundation, provided a fantastic business experience and left a continuing legacy. A great achievement. We are all very proud of you and look forward to next year’s challenge.”

Team leader Rob McKee commented:

“The future is bright for our idea, as it is now being continued by The OLLIE Foundation as they have confirmed to replicate our business model of St Albans and apply it to their working locations in Stevenage, Luton, Hemel Hempstead and Harpenden.

We would like to thank John Acton from DPI Europe for his incredible work and guidance. He was essential to the planning and structure of our business model. He had belief in our qualities and he was a real driving force for us as a team. Moreover, Mr Engel was a super mentor. He provided us with support and confidence that we needed to succeed in the challenge. Special mentions to Mrs M Bailey, Mr Blaxill and Mrs Glass. Thanks for your support!”


Verulam Cricket Club

Parents and staff cricket

Not played for years? Why not try some weekday evening social cricket? We need some more players for this season, especially parents of younger year pupils. We have about a dozen fixtures through the summer against other schools and social teams. All Verulam parents, staff and friends are very welcome. Our promise:

  • No minimum commitment.
  • Full kit bag available.
  • Potential to practise in the nets first.
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