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Canford Blog

Views from the study

Latest educational and intellectual comment from the Headmaster, senior staff and pupils at Canford School. It includes latest written papers, addresses at assemblies and departmental essays, reflecting the vibrancy and diversity of life at Canford.

Jessye Phillips (Upper Sixth)

Upper Sixth pupil Jessye Phillips is a passionate environmentalist and was inspired to write this spoken word poem following her attendance at the Extinction Rebellion strikes in London in April and march with XR youth, a fridaysforfuture strike in Exeter in April and most recently the Earth Strike in Bournemouth in September. Jessye gave speeches at the latter two and performed this spoken word poem at the recent school Yellow Hour.

Read More about Do or Die
Edward Johnson - Head of Biology

I wanted to speak to you today about the power of groups.  It is great to belong to for example, a community or a team and to feel part of something bigger.

It is fantastic to feel connected to other people, sharing things with them, working together for a common goal and enjoying each other’s company.  Just take a moment to consider what groups you feel part of.  You might feel a strong attachment to the Canford community, a sports team, music group or to your village, county or country. 

But there is a darker side to groups.  When a population is defined not by the things that bind it together, but by the exclusion of others, then it can become very unpleasant indeed.  History provides us with a catalogue of examples of where different groups have been dragged into conflict as leaders have managed to successfully portray some other people as being in some way different, less human and therefore less deserving of rights as those in their own group.

Read More about Whole School Assembly: Groups
Jamie Tian (Fourth Form)

This research will investigate the evolution of eukaryotic cells.

The aims of this research are to:

i)       Investigate how mitochondria and chloroplasts evolved by looking at the endosymbiotic hypothesis

ii)     Investigate how eukaryotic nuclei were formed by viral eukaryogenesis

iii)    Investigate the outside-in and inside-out hypothesis of symbiogenesis.

The main objective of this report is to find out possible ways of how eukaryotic cells were evolved from prokaryotes and how the different organelles within eukaryotic cells are developed and specialized to perform different functions. 

Read More about Investigation into the biochemical origin of eukaryotic cellular life
10 Top Tips to know before you start university
Alice Martyr - University of Bristol graduate

This summer I graduated after an amazing 3 years at the University of Bristol. I remember clearly being so nervous and excited as my parents drove me to Bristol for my first day. There have been ups and downs, but I have had the best time and already miss my university experience. Here are 10 top tips that I wish I had known before starting start university…

Read More about 10 Top Tips to know before you start university
Michael Doherty, Head of Careers

The third Thursday in August is awaited with a mixture of eager anticipation and apprehensive dread by all Sixth Form students – A Level Results Day.

It is very important to keep a cool head and make rational decisions on a day of such frenetic activity.  Here are a few points to keep in mind:

Read More about A Level Results Day - keep a cool head
Isabella Woodward Newnham College Cambridge Essay Prizewinner 2019
Newnham College Cambridge Essay Prizewinner 2019 - Isabella Woodward (Lower Sixth)

Now is a great time for women in science, and we see that clearly in biology. Many female biologists have made incredible breakthroughs that have revolutionized modern science in recent times. They come from across the world and range from the conservation works for chimpanzees by Professor Jane Goodall, to the development of harnessing the potential power of the protein CAS9 and CRISPR technology by Jennifer Doudna, not to mention many others - all of whom are worthy of a Nobel prize. However, for the purpose of this essay I have chosen to ‘nominate’ professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz for her seminal work on embryonic stem cells and embryonic development. I am going to be focusing on three of her major breakthroughs, the impacts they have had in the science community, and what they could mean for future development. 

Read More about Nominate a living woman biologist for a Nobel prize and justify your choice
Financial Times The World Today Canford pupil Sophie Bearblock Highly Commended Essay
Highly Commended in Financial Times World Today Competition - Sophie Bearblock (Lower Sixth)

The current global population of displaced persons exceeds 65 million. These displaced people endure poverty, are at high risk of exploitation and face the denial of fundamental human rights. If I were Secretary-General of the UN for a day, I would attempt to tackle one of the main long-term problems faced by refugees: mental health.

Read More about If you were UN Secretary-General for a day, what would be your first action, and why?

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