York ISSP Lecture 6th June 2017

Review of ‘Young People & The Media’
Given by The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu

As we looked out the window yesterday afternoon, we knew nothing would make us go out again in the pouring rain and the chilly winds – except of course another great ISSP lecture, this time by the Archbishop of York … and we were not disappointed!

To begin with Dr John Sentamu talked about how older people have always been complaining about the young. In fact, they have been complaining for centuries. Even in 4BC Plato complained about the youth of his day.

The Archbishop went on to say that, more recently, Punks and Mods and Rockers (all before our time!) have been described by the media in a negative way. The media speaks negatively of young people nowadays by using words such as ‘hoodies’, ‘louts’, ‘thugs’ and ‘yobs’. This creates a cycle of mistrust and fear. Interestingly, the Archbishop quoted that the only time that teenagers are given sympathy in the media, is when they die. This certainly gave us something to think about.

Next, he stated that the digital revolution is happening fast. Facebook, Twitter and Apple products, etc, have only been around in the last ten years. The Archbishop then asked us to guess how many times a person would check their phone each day. 10? 20? perhaps 30? No, 150 times per day on average!

It is now a fact that social media is affecting our daily routine and behaviour. If, for example, you wake up in the night to check for messages, news or updates you will then start to suffer from tiredness and fatigue in the morning. This can then affect our work and our mood. The Archbishop confessed that he left his phone on day and night during the Olympic Games, when he was notified of every medal and goal scored!

We need to learn how to control our use of social media so that we can express our own opinions. At this time, we have a perfect opportunity. We can ‘tweet’, ‘blog’ and share our ideas with the world and we can influence people to make the best choices in life. However, we can’t just do this by ‘friending’ and ‘following’. We need to have a voice and we need to use social media as a helpful tool, not as a hindrance.

The Archbishop says that we should never see social media as ‘un-Godly’. Even though social media has a bad reputation, it is actually the users that cause this, by using it irresponsibly. We should use it to express ourselves and to create a better world. We should use it to communicate truth, love, care and compassion. Social media is a tool – not the master. Wise words.

After speaking, we were eager to ask questions. All-in-all we had a fascinating insight into the life of the Archbishop of York and how he uses social media in a positive way. It was an evening not to be missed. Thank you to everyone involved.

Mary Y8

Summer School 2017 Y9&10 Workshop Descriptors

ART – Map Portraits
Wanted: ‘Inspiring young artists who want to learn new techniques and explore portraiture, looking at identity and where we feel we belong.’

In this project, you will produce exciting large scale self-portraits and work against a background of maps that show a significant place which is personal to yourselves – it may be somewhere you live, have lived, where members of your extended family live or where your parents were born. Do your grandparents live in Wales for example? You can also include symbols, images, signs and text that reflect your interests as well. The map and other memorabilia background will make up a narrative and tell the story of who you are.

• You will need to bring at least three photographs of yourself; head and shoulders only; close-ups; to give you some choices as your project progresses. Please print these off (or photocopy the originals) beforehand and bring them with you on the first day.

• Also, please bring in a map that has some significance for you. When unfolded this map should approximately cover a piece of A1 paper. This map will become part of the art work and will not be returned to you in a pristine condition! An OS map from a shop or one from home (old, new or photocopied) is ideal.

• During the project, you will master drawing skills, and learn new techniques of creating drama and impact in your work. You will become adept at using pen and ink and painting techniques, as well as using mixed media.

• Working on a large scale, you will learn about creating a bold composition, and be inspired by the work of artists and illustrators.

Map Face

We will celebrate our achievements by displaying our work together on the final day.

We are looking for bright, creative and original writers to create a variety of written pieces in a relaxed, supportive environment with experts. You can try your hand at competitive short story writing, song writing (instruments welcome), composing poetry, journalistic or play writing and have the chance to get started on a novel.

You will be free to work alone and/or with others and at the end of the week perform your best work to your peers. This is a ’best of both worlds’ situation to be in – the freedom to choose what you love to do but to have access to experts in the field for inspiration and teaching.


How can we grow a burger from a petri dish? How can we feed a population using low nutrient soil? This workshop will investigate how bioengineers are developing the use of bacteria to feed the growing population. We will start by looking at genetics to see how we can transfer important genes to bacteria to improve food production. By looking at key case studies we will analyse the effect of enzymes in yoghurt making, cheese production and lactose free milk. We will then apply our new skills to investigate how bioengineering can be optimised. We will optimise enzymes used within juice making to decrease waste, increase yield and increase profits.


Be prepared to apply your laboratory and logical thinking skills to see if we can solve world hunger by using bacterial genetics.

MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS (and Computer Science Solutions)
We will look at advanced topics from different areas of mathematics including algebra, number, calculus, mechanics and statistics.
As well as deriving and proving the concepts we will then look at how they are used in Computer Science and will do some game making, programming and develop our own AI systems.

USEFUL PSYCHOLOGY – with a dash of ‘Mind Control Magic’
This is an opportunity to get an insight into Psychology and how our growing understanding of the human brain might affect your future in intriguing ways! This course gets you involved in interactive demonstrations and activities so that you can get a handle on some of the latest scientific research and put it to good use in your own mind and brain.

You will be introduced to the mental tools that allow you to cut through the neuro-nonsense in the media so that you can sift out the really useful neuro-scientific findings and techniques and put them into practice. Indeed you will start to be able to see the difference between Science and Pseudo-Science in general.

You will learn ‘mind control’ techniques both ancient and modern – including practical tips and tricks that you can use yourself! Plus, you will learn a little about how stage magic works, through an understanding of information processing in the brain and hypnosis.

You will practise practical skills in memory and in ‘positive psychology’. You will find out how to measure and reflect on your personality to make the most of your capabilities. You will explore how you could maximise your own mental health and become the best possible version of yourself.


Summer School 2017 Y7&8 Workshop Descriptors

ART – Get your just desserts!
Inspired by the work of Claes Oldenberg, we will be creating fabulous over-sized 3D slices of cake and huge burgers, using a range of sculpture materials. A Victoria sponge cake will be made in two sections, for example, and we can pour plaster onto the bottom layer before pressing the upper layer on top…it will look like thick cream oozing out the sides! Your massive slices of cake and enormous burgers will also be hand embellished using acrylic paint, hot glue guns, high gloss paint, and varnish, making them look even more sugary-sweet and sickly-scrumptious.

Join us for a fun-packed workshop and be ready to serve up your outcomes on Instagram because they’re going to be amazing!

Want to know how well you would have survived in Ancient Rome?

Want to know your chariot racers from your gladiators?

Then this is the Summer School for you! During the week we will explore what life was like for ancient Roman men and women looking at a range of topics including education, food and drink, entertainment and slavery.

Our dedicated team of exceptional teachers always inspire us.  Sometimes even they produce something amazing.  This short video was created to showcase this year’s Classics 2017 Summer School.

FILM ACADEMY: ‘The Reel Story’
Are you a film lover? Do you enjoy making short films or vlogs? Are you interested in what goes on behind the movie scenes or do you want to learn more about how the film industry has evolved? Are you curious about how films are made? If so, this is the workshop for you! Film Academy: ‘The Reel Story’ has something for everyone, no matter where your interests lie. Over the course of the 4 days, you will learn about the history of film, analyse the macro and micro elements of different film genres (including narrative, setting, lighting and camera angles), explore representation in film and apply this knowledge when creating your own film on the final day. “Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you…”

MATHS – With a hint of Computer Science
We will study the weird and wonderful bits of maths that you don’t see in school.  For example, imaginary numbers, cryptography, fractals and much more.

We will also show how the maths can be used for practical applications in Computer Science with programming and the use of MicroBits.

There will be loads of challenges, stretching problems and a lot of fun!

How do our brains work? What makes people criminals? Why are we obedient? How does forgetting occur? Should we be held responsible for our actions? These are just some of the fascinating questions we will consider in this workshop.

Ian Stewart — ‘If our brains were simple enough for us to understand them, we’d be so simple that we couldn’t.’

Although the brain is undoubtedly still a mystery to us in some ways, the advances in neuroscience and scanning techniques are enabling to unravel some of its mysteries and understand more about its complexities than ever before. No prior knowledge of psychology is required, just a curiosity and fascination in understanding human behaviour.

What is out there? What would a life inhabited planet look like? How do we observe these places? AND even if we do spot one, how do we even get there to say “Hi!”? Step forward the topic of this masterclass; Astrobiology. A unique blend of chaos and intellect.

Across the four days you will explore:

  • The mesmerising world of Physics which includes;  the manufacture and use of telescopes, investigate the construction of rockets, blowing up balloons with colourful gas in them.
  • The breath taking world of Biology which includes; the building blocks of life, evolution and natural selection and extra-terrestrial appearance.

The only requirement for this masterclass is a passion for science and all things crazy.

Raising Boys – Raising Girls

Two fascinating lectures being held at St Peter’s School:

Steve Biddulph – Raising Boys
Wednesday 17 May 7pm

Steve’s work on raising boys was the first to acknowledge that boys really are different. He will talk about the 3 stages of boyhood, what dads do, help for single mums, and how to help boys be contributing, caring and positive at home and school. Steve covers the needs of boys from babyhood through to late teens and how to help your boys grow up to be happy and well balanced men.

Tickets are £12, or £8 for concessions: https://trybooking.co.uk/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=1106

Please note that due to the content of this lecture, we are not able to admit anybody under the age of 18.

Steve Biddulph – Raising Girls
Thursday 18 May 7pm

Steve Biddulph recognises the problems facing girls and their parents. He will explain the five key stages of girlhood so that you know exactly what matters at which age. It’s important to help a girl feel secure, become an explorer, get along with others, find her soul, and become a woman. All the hazards are signposted – bullying, eating disorders, body image and depression, social media harms and helps – as are concrete and simple measures for both mums and dads to help their daughters. This will be a powerful, practical and positive evening.

Tickets are £12, or £8 for concessions: https://trybooking.co.uk/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=1107

Please note that due to the content of this lecture, we are not able to admit anybody under the age of 18.


‘ISSP 7-8’ Lecture Review

Last week I attended an ISSP lecture by Thomas Briggs from Bletchley Park with other year 7-8 students about ‘Codes & Ciphers’. We looked at Morse Code and encryption methods to make data unreadable to unintended parties like the Caesar cipher where each letter is replaced with one a certain number up or down the alphabet.  We were told about the history of Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes, as Britain’s main decryption centre during World War Two. It was well located being remote, safe from bombing in London but well connected. People first moved there pretending to be friends in ‘Captain Ridley’s Shooting Party’ enjoying a weekend away. Really, they were from MI6, and the Government Code and Cipher School (GC&CS), a secret team of Codebreakers. At first GC&CS recruited graduates from Cambridge and Oxford Universities, particularly Classicists who were good at Latin which used code breaking type skills and mathematicians who were good problem solvers. Bletchley Park started in 1939 with 150 staff, but grew rapidly. Some were recruited from a national crossword puzzle- if you could complete it in 10 minutes you could sit crosswords in exam conditions and then may be interviewed but weren’t told what the job was! As Bletchley Park grew, sections moved into large wooden huts which for security reasons were known only by their hut numbers. Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited once but couldn’t go often to risk its security. He said Bletchley Park should have everything they wanted.

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Most enemy messages were tele-printer code enciphered with the complex Lorenz cipher machine. They were sent by telegrams communicating to army commanders in the field through telephone and telegraph cables as the Germans, Japanese and Italians thought they were unreadable. The intelligence value of breaking these was huge. In the lecture, we were shown an Enigma machine and had a hands-on demonstration. It looked like a typewriter but had a lamp board above the keys with a lamp for each letter. The operator pressed the key for the original letter of the message and the enciphered letter lit up on the lamp board. The machine had interchangeable rotors, which rotated every time a key was pressed to keep the cipher changing continuously. This was combined with a plug board on the front of the machine where pairs of letters were exchanged; these two systems gave 49 quintillion settings (!!!), which the Germans thought made Enigma unbreakable!

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The first big break into Enigma messages at Bletchley Park came in January 1940, when mathematicians including Alan Turing, broke the German Army key known as ‘The Green’. Later they cracked the ‘Red’ key used by the Luftwaffe (German air force). German, Italian and Japanese systems were broken. Breaking the ciphers gave vital intelligence to Allied military operations. It is said that the information from Bletchley shortened the war by 2-4 years, and without it the outcome would have been uncertain. Bletchley Park also started the information age as code breaking was first done by hand but they could not keep up with the number of intercepts so they made machines such as ‘Colossus’, the world’s first semi-programmable electronic computer. We were shown a photograph of Colossus and it was huge! Sadly, they were all destroyed after the war but replicas are now in Bletchley Park. I would like to visit Bletchley Park and definitely recommend going to ISSP lectures as you learn lots of interesting information about new topics.

Sebastian – Year 7