SWPS students discovered the exciting world of science during British Science Week

SWPS students recently had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the realm of science during British Science Week. This annual event aims to ignite further curiosity and an enduring passion for scientific amongst students.  This year's theme was 'Time'. The Science Department hosted 14 different activities across subject lessons, Life Skills and through clubs, providing a total of 737 student-activity combinations for pupils in all year-groups.

SWPS would like to thank the Science Department, including the generous teachers, technicians and Sixth-Form Subject Ambassadors for planning, resourcing and hosting the engaging activities. Well-done to all students who demonstrated their curiosity and ambition to get involved. 

Y12 Senior British Physics Olympiad


British Science Week 2024 kicked off at SWPS on Friday 8th March with 13 of our Year 12 Physics students sitting the British Physics Olympiad. The students were challenged on questions requiring the application of knowledge and skills across a range of topics including calculating the time taken for a ‘pinballing’ fly to be squashed between two converging walls.


UK Bio Olympiad

UK Bio Olympiad

Year 13 took part in the Biology Olympiad for British Science Week. It consisted of two 45-minute papers which required students to use their knowledge to answer synoptic questions. It was challenging but we came out with some great results: Jessica W received a gold award (top 5% of students nationally) and is progressing to the next round at Warwick University.






A Level Biology

A Level Biologist

Year 12 Biologists were involved too in SWPS Science Week initiatives, exploring the activity over time of the stomata of African Violet plants.








Grace’s Guide to Telescopes

Grace guide to Telescopes

Year 12 and 13 A Level physicists united for Year 12 student Grace’s 'Guide to Telescopes' talk. Grace is a member of the Guildford Astronomical Society and has led talks and demonstrations for the Institute of Physics at the University of Surrey, Guildford.  Grace spoke about the calculation of the times taken for light to reach us from deep-sky objects and a discussion of gravitational lensing giving rise to multiple observations of the same events. We were also lucky to get a taster of her impressive personal telescope collection.





Spectroscopy in a Suitcase


On Wednesday 13th March, Year 12 and 13 A Level Chemistry students took part in a 'Spectroscopy in a Suitcase' workshop, delivered by post-graduate students from the the University of Southampton. Year 12 were introduced to IR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry and the Year 13 students were lucky enough to test their own synthesised Aspirin samples, using a £16,000 undergraduate-spec infra-red spectrometer.






Specroscopy in a suitcase









Dissection Club


For British Science Week, the Biology Department dissected a squid in the final session of the ever-popular Dissection Club. Students from Years 7 to 13 were able to identify the difference between male and female squids alongside identifying and comparing structures looked at in previous weeks: the brain, eyes, and reproductive organs. Many students were surprised to learn that squids only live around a year and this time is shortened if they reproduce. Dissecting a squid is not part of either the GCSE or A Level syllabus, so this gave students the opportunity to extend their knowledge beyond the curriculum.














MDV Blood Typing

MDV Blood Typing

Our prospective medics in Year 11 and 12, participated in a ‘Pop-Up’ MDV Workshop to determine their own blood types by pricking their fingers and mixing the blood with anti-bodies to look for agglutination. Key skills and a strong-stomachs were developed.







Paper-Straw Glider Challenge

Year 9 and 10 Physics GCSE students took part in a glider-building challenge, sponsored by the local Brooklands Museum during their lessons. They were tasked with designing and building paper-straw gliders which were then tested to see which team could achieve the longest flight time.

Water Clocks


Year 8 Physics students researched Horology, the study of timekeeping, in their lessons and used their knowledge to build and test Clepsydrae, ancient water clocks. Congratulations to Aurora, Sophia and Rachel in 8X, whose water clock most accurately timed a 1-minute time interval.







Mission to Mars

Mission to Mars

Year 7’s Mission to Mars cross-curricular project coincided with Science Week, with the teams researching launching and landing rockets by investigating the relationship between volume and air and flight time of balloon rockets and how the surface area of a parachute affects its descent time.







Mission to Mars Parachutes









Spanish Culture Club X Science Club – Flag Chromatography

Spanish Culture Club X Science Club

Akriti from Year 12 helped bring together the Spanish Culture Club and Science Club to create Spanish flag chromatograms. Students from Year 7 managed the timing of the solvent front and ink spots diffusing up the stationary phase to create flags within a specific timeframe. Muy bien hecho!







Flag Chromatography








Time to Rise

Year 8 Biologists took part in the Time to Rise challenge in their Biology lessons by investigating how temperature affects the time

Time to Rise

taken for bread dough to rise, complementing their studies of anaerobic respiration








Time to Rise Year 8









CAD Club / F1 in Schools

CAD Club/F1 in Schools continued this week run by aspiring sixth-form engineers Amber and Laura and Mr Teng. Year 7 students

CAD Club

practised their CAD skills by designing and 3D printing playing dice. They will move on to apply these skills in F1 in Schools to design and print a scale racing car to cover a straight in the shortest possible time.







Maintaining a Car

Year 13 Hope Wood confidently ran Life Skills for the whole Sixth-Form, delivering an engaging talk on how to maintain your car. As a

Maintaining a Car

kart driver and an assistant to her family’s mechanics business, her expertise was evident, and she passed on much useful advice on safely maintaining a car on a budget.