Sixth Form Seminar Programme
A programme of weekly seminars aimed at helping to foster
intellectual curiosity and independent thinking amongst Withington’s students was rolled out in the Autumn for Sixth Formers.
Organised by the School’s
Oxbridge Coordinator Dr Cristina Vilela, the newly introduced Sixth Form
Seminars take place every Wednesday with interactive sessions covering a broad
range of subjects designed to encourage girls to acquire skills, confidence,
knowledge and experience in topics that extend beyond A Level specifications.
Academics from Manchester University and Warwick University have visited the
School to share their specialist expertise and Withington teachers have also
contributed to the seminar schedule. Sessions offered so far have included, amongst
others, an introduction to the ground-breaking material Graphene; Moral
Dilemmas; Skin Cancer; Game Theory and Problem Solving and Biological Clocks in
Ageing and Disease.
The Wonders of
The final Sixth Form Seminar for the Autumn term was a
presentation by Dr Irina Grigorieva from the School of Physics and Astronomy at
Manchester University. Entitled Graphene – a wonder material, pupils learned
all about this exciting new material first isolated by Manchester
University-based Physics Nobel Peace Prize winners Professor Sir Andre Geim and
Professor Sir Konstantin Sergeevich.
In this session, girls were given the chance to make their
own Graphene, a two-dimensional material consisting of a single layer of carbon
atoms, a million times thinner than a human hair and stronger than diamond.
They were able to examine it under the microscope, discuss what makes it so
strong and why it can be seen with the naked eye, and ask a myriad of other
Commented Dr Vilela: “ These are not lectures but are very
much hands-on experiences allowing students to formulate ideas, build arguments
and to encourage independent thinking outside the classroom. Our girls respond
really well and ask fantastic questions. The sessions are designed also to help
support the university applications process and these are not just aimed at
Oxbridge but at all universities. We want to make all of our Sixth Formers
aware of the wealth of opportunities out there beyond School and everyone is
“ We are continuing to build on our programme and have an
exciting schedule planned for the future spanning a wide range of subjects,
which will include a variety of themes across the Sciences and Humanities as
well as more general topics,” added Dr Vilela.
The seminars are available to all Sixth Formers and are
publicised in advance via the Friday Activities and Events email that goes out
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;