Saturday, 15 December 2018

Session 4: Christmas Circuits

In our final session before the Christmas break, the girls joined Mrs Lynch in the Physics Department. The girls learnt about series and parallel circuits and their components and characteristics. They then had tremendous fun putting together different types of circuits with a cell, wires and bulbs. They discovered what would happen to the brightness of the bulbs when placed in various circuits and learnt about the advantages of a parallel circuit over a series circuit.

After break, the girls then designed their own light-up Christmas card. Some wonderful designs from Rudolf to snowmen, the girls certainly created some festive designs. The girls attached positive and negative wires with conductive tape and then attached a battery to light up their LED bulbs. 

The girls then left for home with their cards and also Christmas cards from the SHINE staff and Kate Maryon, Children's author, who attended the Launch Ceremony in November. The girls also appreciated their chocolate oranges!

Thank you Mrs Lynch for such a wonderful session today - we are certainly all now in the festive spirit!

Our next SHINE session is on Saturday 19th January 2019.

Miss Ladbrook, Mrs Blunt and the Sixth Form Mentors wish the girls and their families a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Session 3: Fantastic Festive Foods

In this morning's SHINE session we began our celebrations in the build-up to Christmas. The task for the girls today was to make Christmas biscuits. Mrs Hutchins demonstrated to the girls how to use a food processor and then showed them the ingredients and method to make the biscuits. The girls worked in pairs and some budding cooks got underway with making the biscuit dough. They were able to use a range of biscuit cutters to create Christmas shaped biscuits. 

The smell of cinnamon and biscuits cooking was wonderful and the girls thoroughly enjoyed seeing their end product. After learning about the origins of the traditional Christmas lunch, the girls placed their biscuits in festive boxes to take home and share with their families. There are certainly some strong contenders for The Great British Bake Off in a few years time!

Thank you, Mrs Hutchins, for a wonderful morning.

Our next SHINE session is on Saturday 15th December.  As this is our last session before Christmas, do wear something festive!

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Session 2: Spooks, Turkeys and Catherine Wheels

In the session this morning, the girls began with a 'Chocolate Bar' game whereby they used their worksheet to ask each other questions and their experiences of Halloween, Bonfire Night and what they understood about Thanksgiving. This was a fun and interactive way of the girls learning more about each other and making friends.

The girls learnt all about the history of Thanksgiving ('Turkeys') which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November each year. They watched a fun video that explained the origins of Thanksgiving - in 1620 British pilgrims settled in Plymouth, USA. They had a hard time in the winter and they prayed to God for help. In the spring, and Indian named Squanto, helped the pilgrims to plant and grow food and during the feast later that year, they agreed that they would celebrate each year to say thank you hence, 'Thanksgiving Day'.

The girls then learnt about the history of Halloween ('Spooks') which is celebrated on 31st October each year. They learnt about why Apple-bobbing is a tradition alongside why we carve pumpkins and play Trick or Treating. They girls learnt about how people wore masks to look like ghosts. They wanted to blend in because they believed that ghosts roamed the earth on the night before the ancient festival of Samhain - this night was known as 'All Hallows Eve' hence, Halloween.

After a well-deserved break of fruit and biscuits, the girls learnt the history of Bonfire Night ('Catherine Wheels') which is celebrated on 5th November each year. They learnt that the real Catherine Wheel was used to kill and torture people by tying them onto spikes on the outer edge of the wheel and rolling them down a hill. A lady called Catherine (now St Catherine) was being rolled down a hill when a thunderbolt struck the wheel and it broke meaning that she survived. That is why the firework is named after her!

The girls then moved on to learn all about the Gunpowder Plot. On the night of 4th November, the King's guards caught Guy Fawkes in the cellar underneath the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder and matches in his pocket. After learning about the facts of the Gunpowder Plot, the girls were given three pieces of evidence to consider the mysteries surrounding the Plot - was the Plot indeed an 'inside job'? The girls came up with some superb discussion points.

Thank you, Mrs Heywood, for such an interesting and fun session this morning.

The next SHINE session is on Saturday 8th December.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Session 1 - Strange Traditions, Weird Rituals and Crazy Customs

In our first SHINE session, the girls learnt about the planets in their order of distance from the sun. They then learnt about how the rotation of the Earth during the year led to the summer and winter solstice. The girls enjoyed watching the videos of people celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge and how the people of Antartica jump into the freezing water to celebrate the winter solstice! The girls then designed an invitation to a mid-winter party and some very creative designs were produced.

After a well-deserved break of homemade cookies and juice, the girls learnt about the structure of volcanoes and tectonic plates. They then applied their knowledge to the true story of how a volcano emerged in a farmer's field in Paracutin, Mexico in 1943. The girls watched an amazing video on how the volcano continued to erupt for 9 years. The people in the village thought that they were being punished by God and all members of the community had to leave the village and their descendents continue to pray to God in the hope that the volcano will not erupt again. The girls then acted as volcanologists and wrote a letter to the people of Paracutin to persuade them that the eruption was not their fault.

For the final part of the session, the girls thoroughly enjoyed the YouTube 'Tectonic Plate Disco' led by Mr Butt where they danced actions to the different types of tectonic plates - Destructive, Constructive, Collision and Conservative.

Thank you very much, Mrs Hames for leading such a wonderful and fun-packed session!

Our next SHINE session is on Saturday 24th November.