Science Enrichment


BAYS is a Science Forum with links with Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering . Boys in years 10 to 13 attend monthly meetings where a visiting speaker outlines their career and work. Last year there have been talks on Biofuels, Mazers, Cardiac surgery, Aircraft Engineering, Radiochemistry, Toxicology, Material Science and Oceanography, delivered by some people at the cutting edge of their fields.  These talks usually talk place in the Physics Lab in Science, occasionally in either the VI Form Common room or Chapel. They are well advertised and the programme can be found below. VI form boys have some input into the speakers who are invited although what is evident is that the range of speakers who collectively have covered many areas of STEM careers has been appreciated with all talks inspiring interest and enthusiasm in students. Girls from SWGS and Godolphin are also invited to attend.

31st January 2018 - Professor Tom Wilkinson: "Understanding Respiratory Diseases"
For more information see the BAYS 31st January 2018 Poster

18th January 2018 - Professor Patrick Eyers: "The Grand Challenges in Medicine"
For more information see the BAYS 18th January 2018 Poster

21st November 2017 - Dr Louise Johnson: "Cell division"
For more information see the BAYS 21st November 2017 Poster

27th September 2017 - Dr Jude Coggon: "Explore the Earth through Time and Space"
For more information see the BAYS 27th September 2017 Poster

25th January 2017 - Dr Richard Gomer: "Personal Data, Reflection and Control"
For more information see the BAYS 25th January 2017 Poster

30th November 2016 - Dr Denize Atan: "An Eye on the Brain"
For more information see the BAYS 30th November 2016 Poster

9th November 2016 - Dr Rebecca Poole: "Genetics, Genomics and me"
For more information see the BAYS 9th November 2016 Poster

2nd November 2016 - Dr Nick Koor: "Hong Kong Landslides"
For more information see the BAYS 2nd November 2016 Poster

September 2016 - Dr Simon Gerrard: "Medicinal and Environmental Chemistry"
For more information see the BAYS September 2016 Poster

April 2016 - David Andrews: "Boeing - Aeronautical Engineering"
For more information see the BAYS April 2016 Poster

March 2016 - Dr Mike Benton: "Death & Destruction in the Red Beds of Russia "
For more information see the BAYS March 2016 Poster

February 2016 - Dr Emma Lofthouse: "Amino acid and drug transport in the Placenta"
For more information see the BAYS February 2016 Poster

28th January 2016 - Dr Laura Jones: "Material Science"
For more information see the BAYS 28th January 2016 Poster

14th January 2016 - Dr James Hounslow: "From X-rays to magnetic microbubbles"
For more information see the BAYS 14 January 2016 Poster

November 2015 - Professor Amrit Mudher: "Using fruit flies to understand Alzheimer’s Disease"
For more information see the BAYS November 2015 Poster

March 2015 - Dr Sadie Jones: "Black Holes: Research and what we currently know"
For more information see the BAYS March 2015 Poster

February 2015 - Dr Frances Cooper's talk: "Geology on the roof of the world: From the highest Himalayan peaks to the deepest holes in the Andes"
For more information see the BAYS February 2015 Poster

January 2015 - Dr Gordon Niven – "How to solve really tricky problems – or at least make a start…”
For more information see the BAYS January 2015 Poster

December 2014 - Two minutes contributions from students and teachers on a topic connecting Science and Christmas.
For more information see the BAYS Christmas 2014 Poster

November 2014 - Talk "The Science of Climate Change in the Antarctic: a Marine Biological Perspective"For more information see the BAYS November 2014 Poster

November 2014 - Talk "Understanding Flood Risk"
For more information see the BAYS November 2014 Poster

October 2014 - Talk "There’s more to the Met office than you might think"
For more information see the BAYS October 2014 Poster

September 2014 - Talk "National Security through Technology"
For more information see the BAYS September 2014 Poster

Science Olympiad

Chemistry, Biology and Physics Olympiad Results 2015

This year saw the biggest number of students entering the different Olympiad competitions with really pleasing results. Many year 12 students entered this year and they will no doubt do even better next year!

Chemistry results: 2 Gold, 12 Silver and 17 Bronze. 53 entries in total and a big well done to Christopher Williams who came in the top 1% of all entries.

Biology Results:4 Gold, 4 Silver 7 Bronze 2 Commended. Well done to everyone, especially Jacob Whatmore who got into round 2 and came in the top 129 out of the 6190 students who entered.

Physics Results: 1 Silver, 8 Bronze II and 4 Bronze II.

Chemistry Olympiad Competition Past papers and support booklet.

On Monday 17th November, Dr Marsh and Christopher Williams were guests the Chemistry Challenge reception held at the Royal Society in London. This reception saw the award to Christopher of a ‘Roentgenium’ Chemistry Challenge award which is presented to the students who performed best in the year 12 Chemistry Challenge competition. Christopher’s account of his experience is below.

Following the announcement that I’d won the Roentgenium award, my initial reaction was utter disbelief. I’d had an A-level exam the previous day and really only entered it for a bit of fun. Still, over the following days I got down to the business of excusing myself from my family’s summer holiday to Ireland and attempting to contain my enthusiasm for the 3-day summer school in Cambridge that the award entitled me to.

The summer school, run by Dr. Peter Wothers (who presented the 2012 Royal Institution Christmas lectures and is a lecturer at St. Catharine’s College), covered all sorts of material from both organic and inorganic chemistry together with a fascinating introduction to quantum mechanics. Having an interest in Physics and Maths as well as Chemistry, I found the quantum mechanics lectures, which gave a mathematical explanation of the shapes of atomic orbitals really exciting, as it gave me a glimpse of what I might expect to study in a Natural Sciences degree.

The award itself was presented at the Royal Society in November. As part of the event, all the winners were encouraged to prepare a talk on an element of their choice. This proved entertaining, as delivering a talk hurriedly ‘prepared’ the previous night to a room filled with chemistry teachers, professors and some of the brightest students in the country gives a certain adrenaline rush quite difficult to surpass! Nonetheless, nobody pointed out anything incorrect in what I had said, and the whole experience is one I’ll never forget.

Chemistry year 12 Challenge:

Cambridge University run this challenge which involves monthly quizzes. In addition, there is a competition in year 12 in June which most of year 12 entered last with really pleasing results including a Roentgenium award being achieved by a student who then had the opportunity to go to Cambridge for a Chemistry week in August!

Cambridge Chemistry Challenge Website

2014 Results were: 1 Roentgenium, 2 Gold, 6 Silver and 17 Copper.

IMechE Lectures

Each year, Bishop Wordsworth’s School hosts the IMechE (Institute of Mechanical Institution) lectures. In 2013/2014 both sessions had a focus of ‘Climate Change’. Dr Sam Healy from QinetiQ and John Savage from the Institution of Engineering and Technology gave a lecture involving some student activities to our year 8 and 9 students. Professor John Shepherd, Professorial Research Fellow in Earth System Science at the National Oceanography Centre delivered a lecture to our Sixth Form. Both of these lectures were incredibly interesting and relevant to many areas of the curriculum – it is not only Scientists that are leading the challenge of addressing climate change!

December 2016 - "Engineering innovative sporting solutions"


December 2015 - "Engineering a world champion in Formula One"


December 2014 - "What a difference a web makes"


Year 9 STEM Day

Speakers and Activities

Keynote Speeches

Dr Stewart Cotterill – The role of Science and Careers in Sports

Dr Simon Morley – Work at the British Antarctic Survey

Problem Solving Activity

Dr Adrian Baker – Problem Solving Activity


Aidy Woolven (Aircraft Engineering)

Dr John Lincoln (Physicist /Light and Lasers)

Jaime Williamson (DSTL Careers)

Mike Barker (PHE - Medicine/Public Health)

Dr Stewart Cotterill (Sports Scientist)


Feedback from the boys:

I most enjoyed:

  • The workshop on light and lasers because I learnt a lot about the topic and found it interesting
  • Finding out about the way people work and what careers I can go into with different qualifications
  • The team work exercise – it was fun and got us thinking
  • Constantly doing interesting things, I especially enjoyed the medicine workshop as every question was answered in detail – I now understand about ebola
  • The talk from DSTL – especially what jobs are available on that topic
  • Hearing about the work at the British Antarctic Survey and learning about thermal imaging cameras
  • Creating the Olympic winner in the sports science workshop
  • Learning about engineering and aircrafts because I learnt new things
  • All of it

Year 8 Natural History Museum

On June 9th the whole of year 8 attended the Natural History museum to experience their Universities Week exhibition. The boys were able to wander the museum, attend an amusing drama on option choices along with visiting and speaking to a wide range of scientists who were outlining their work.


Year 7 Science Fair

Boys in year 7 undertook a scientific investigation in pairs with their work being presented in the form of a scientific poster which was presented to guests including the incoming year 7 boys on induction day. This was an opportunity for the boys to show their best work and explain both the skills and knowledge that they had developed during their study of science in year 7. A whole range of questions were studied including ‘What is the mathematical relationship between the area of a cardboard sail and the speed of a car travelling down a ramp?’, ‘How does the temperature of a squash ball affect the height that it bounces?’, ‘How does the temperature of an elastic band affect how far it travels?’ ‘The record in the US for skipping is 367 skips per minute. How does the rope length affect the speed of skipping?’, ‘How does the size of a meteorite hitting the moon affect the size of the crater?’, ‘Does drinking coke affect your reaction speeds?’ and many more….


Sixth Form Science Workshops

We regularly have visiting Scientists and on occasions they are happy to run informal workshops for students. Last year we were delighted to welcome Professor Colin Blakemore who delivered the annual Mullin’s lecture on "The Unbearable Lightness of Seeing" and also Professor Philip England from Oxford University who delivered a talk on the ‘Santorini Vulcanology’. Both these speakers ran workshops for a number of year 12 boys who had the unique opportunity.

Sixth Form STEM Day

A Year 12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) day was organised by the careers advisors from BWS and Godolphin. Sixth Form students listened to lectures by Dr Caroline Detchenique from Imperial College, who spoke on Material Science, and Dr Steven Moss from UCL, who delivered a talk on medical research. Students were then able to attend workshops covering microbiology, financial modelling, problem solving, psychology, aerospace and mechanical engineering, creative technology, oceanography and geology.


This club provides the opportunity for boys to further develop their interests in Science by attending the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Club which takes place each Friday lunchtime. Each week different teachers plan activities in an interesting and practical way. The school science prefect and other VI form students also help with this club. Activities undertaken have included, making bouncing custard balls, fire writing, making DNA models with sweets, colourful chemistry, experiments with dry ice.


Top of the Bench

This is a competition organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry each year. This year, Portsmouth Grammar school hosted the competition and our team made their way there to take part in the challenging exercise. This year two year 9, one year 10 and one year 11 student formed our school team. They had to do quizzes, questions and practical work demonstrating not only high level Chemistry knowledge and practical skills but also good teamwork. The boys had a fabulous time.


Chemistry at Work Day

On 2nd July, 21 year 8 boys went to Wiltshire College for a day of “Chemistry at Work”. To start with they were enthralled by the devastating effects of liquid nitrogen and other exciting demonstrations and then moved off to work in groups with other school students. Some boys made very colourful soap in a variety of shapes, others worked out what made water smelly and found out how it was analysed. They saw flames change shape when subjected to a cyclone, and investigated how changing a monomer alters the properties of a polymer. The theme throughout was how Chemistry is important in many different industries and areas of work and the day helped students relate what they learn in school to the real world.