Raising Aspirations Days

As a Gifted and Talented initiative, the company Classroom Medics were invited into school to run 3 action packed days for years 7, 8 and 9 with the aim of igniting the flame that we all know is burning in us all! The company planned an action packed programme, linked to careers, technology, science, sports performance and engineering. We were suitably amazed after each day and it was a most successful venture.

Each day worked around the school timetable and the pupils rotated around the groups. In each room, there were a variety of hands on activities and we all even had a go at taking blood from a synthetic life size arm!

The year 9 day began with a Science Stage Show for the whole year group to launch the day. It was entitled “The Human Guinea Pig – Inside the NHS”.

This stage show took the pupils on a journey around the NHS to discover the amazing medical careers available to the pupils, encouraging them to achieve in Maths, English & Science. There were many exciting demonstrations including an ultrasound scan of a person’s carotid artery, recording an ECG from someone’s heart and taking a picture of the retina with an iPhone! The show also had some amazing video footage of the inside of Tom’s body, after he met several scientists in healthcare science.

The year 7 and 8 day began with a slightly different Science Stage Show for the whole year group to launch the day. Their show introduced the pupils to some of the medical and sports science tests athletes have to go through to improve their performances. There were many really cool demonstrations including a mini VO2 max test and a wind tunnel where we put a pupil’s head into to test its aerodynamics! With the Commonwealth Games coming up this summer it gave us an insight into all the technology, preparation and sacrifices the athletes have to make, pushing themselves to the limits.

For all 3 year groups, there then followed 4 Hands on Workshops. The pupils were split into four groups and rotated round the four sessions. The sessions were:

  • Health MOT where the pupils experienced what it was like to take blood from a person, take and understand Blood Pressure, take a person’s temperature in several different ways, experience different eyesight problems by trying on a variety of goggles, replicating sight problems and raising awareness of the difficulties some people may face in their everyday life.
  • Classroom Casualty was where pupils studied the technological advancement in medicine. There was a variety of surgical instruments for the pupils to look at. In addition, each pupils could experience being a surgeon conducting keyhole surgery! Pupils also tried on an “ageing” suit and experienced first hand the problems the elderly and less mobile face on a day to day basis. Finally, pupils could take a photograph of their retina with the use of an I (eye) phone!
  • Classroom Surgery was where the pupil learned about the advancements in detecting and diagnosing medical conditions. They had the opportunity to take their pulse rate, measure their lung capacity, use an Ultra Sound Scanner to find their veins and vital organs and finally to learn how to prevent a person from choking in the case of an emergency.
  • Sports Science Games was another interactive session pushing the pupils to their limits (and staff too!). There was a variety of different tests and exercises for pupils to try. They measured our speed, reactions, strength, length of stride and general fitness.

Overall the days provided much discussion with positive feedback from pupils and staff. The days inspired many to request further information about career paths, in addition to finding out about college and university courses aimed at those careers.

At the end of each day it was evident that the experience was a positive one and one that we all enjoyed.