The Brilliant Club Scholars Programme

Six of our Year 12 learners proved that they are ‘brilliant’ by completing a programme of university-style tutorials with a PhD tutor.

‘The Brilliant Club’ is an award-winning charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities. Their ‘Scholars Programme’ matches pupils with a PhD tutor, who delivers 6 tutorials on a topic relating to his or her PhD thesis.

Our Year 12 learners – Lincoln, Freya, Ameer, Liam, Alexandra and Zach – all completed a course on Philosophy in the Autumn Term. Their topic was, ‘Are My Actions Ever ‘Up To’ Me? An Introduction to Free Will’ and was delivered by tutor George Stamets, who is completing a Philosophy PhD at the University of Leeds.

The learners visited the University of Leeds for a campus tour and introductory lectures on note-taking and study skills. George then came to Titus Salt School once a week to deliver tutorials on causalism and fatalism; scepticism about free will; compatibilism vs incompatibilism; and libertarian views of free will. The learners then completed a final assignment of 2000 words, entitled, ‘Could anyone ever exercise free will in a world that is causally deterministic?’

Every one of the Year 12s tackled their final assignment with determination and they all passed with at least a 2:2 grade, which means they are performing to an excellent standard at A-level. Their achievements are particularly notable as none of them is studying Philosophy or a similar subject at A-level! Freya came top of the class, achieving a 1st for her assignment, which is equivalent to performing at an excellent standard at undergraduate level.

All six learners will return to the University of Leeds in February for a final graduation ceremony and it is hoped that this experience will spur them on to applying to highly selective universities - like Leeds – next year.

Anyone interested in learning more about opportunities in Higher Education can visit the Go Higher West Yorkshire website ( or speak to Helen Mountain (Careers Adviser), Mr Bird (Named Careers Leader), Mrs Rogers (Higher Education Progression Officer), Miss Lockerbie and Mr Redhead (Sixth Form Leaders).

Sixth Form learners bring history to life in London

When studying the relationship between Charles I and Parliament what better thing to do than hop on the train and head straight for the capital city? That’s exactly what 28 Sixth Form A level Historians did last week.

The group spent a day at the Houses of Parliament learning more about the execution of Charles I. There was a tour around the Palace of Westminster and a chance to watch debates in both the House of Commons and House of Lords followed by a workshop on Laws and Debating as well as a 45 minute question and answer session with Shipley MP, Philip Davies. Learners positively participated and asked pertinent and insightful questions while finding out about the importance of Parliament in history and also its relevance today.

Mr Sanderson, Teacher of History, said: “We had a very busy day in London. It was fantastic to bring History alive and visit the site of British politics for the last 1,000 years.”

One Sixth Form learner stated: “The day helped me understand the history of democracy and the relationship with the monarchy and Parliament.”

Biological Sciences at Leeds University

Year 12 Biology learners were treated to a day of Biological Sciences at Leeds University. Learners gained an undergraduate level experience, working in university labs to solve real world problems.

Learners used sophisticated DNA technology to diagnose patients with anaemia and test samples from athletes for performance enhancing drugs. Sessions were very hands on, followed by questions to experts in the field. A very valuable experience enjoyed by all.

Learners attend workshop at prestigious University

Fifteen aspiring chemists attended an Analysis and Spectroscopy Workshop in December at Leeds University.

Firstly our Year 13 learners had a tour around the Chemistry building. Post-graduate students then presented their research to them before commencing the workshop which saw our learners use a range of analytical techniques such as infrared spectroscopy and thin-layer chromatography to identify an unknown pain killer.

The workshop was challenging but very interesting and our learners experienced the university labs and equipment; a very worthwhile visit to enhance our A-level Chemistry topics.

Learners win regional heat at prestigious Chemistry competition

Congratulations to Year 12 learners, Elias McLaughlan, Molly Wilkinson and Kieran Lester for taking first place in the recent Royal Society of Chemistry Analyst Competition at Bradford University on 21 March.

Teams were required to undertake various practical analytical determinations based on problems relevant to industrial or social needs. The regional heat involved completing a series of titrations and carrying out chromatographic separations. These are judged on skill, understanding and accuracy and are intended to promote team work and safety in the laboratory.

Leader of Chemistry, Mr Skidmore said: “We are delighted with the final outcome and hope we can progress further in the competition. Well done to the three winners and the other learners that also took part in the competition.

Sixth Form Learners rise to the challenge

Sixth Form learners will be showcasing their computing and engineering skills at the Premier Farnell Technology Challenge, a Yorkshire-wide competition organised by Leeds-based global electronics distributor Premier Farnell.

The challenge was developed by Premier Farnell in association with Leeds Beckett University and Ahead Partnership to raise awareness about career opportunities in tech and digital industries in the region. Working in teams of five, learners will be given a brief to come up with an original device that addresses issues faced by people living with specific physical or sensory impairments. TSS will be entering two teams into the challenge; Team 1, Zak Yunis, Jordan Dalby, Jacob Shaw, Maisie Bloor and Lawrence Ejree, Year 12 and Team 2, Alistair Holland, Mackenzie Dickinson, Will Mulrooney and Tom Bentley, Year 13.

The teams will be provided with a Raspberry Pi microcomputer and a budget for additional components. They will also have the opportunity to attend workshops and feedback sessions at Leeds Beckett University before presenting their final designs. Prizes will be up for grabs in categories including Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice at the regional final to be held in early December.

Max Robinson, Head of Computing, Business, Economics and Media at TSS said: "It has been fantastic to see the unique and novel ideas the teams have come up with and really nice to see how engaged they have been in creating a product to actually help people. It has really opened their eyes to the debilitating condition of Arthritis and how it impacts on people of all ages. ” 

Steve Carr, Global Head of Marketing for Premier Farnell said: “We are delighted to be running this challenge for a third year, this time focussing on students aged 16-18. As a global technology business based in Leeds, we are committed to introducing the next generation to technology and the opportunities that it presents – and where best to start and in the Yorkshire region. I’m excited to see the ideas that the students come up with.”

Holly set to change lives in the Rainbow Nation

Year 13 learner Holly Buchan is to travel as a volunteer to South Africa with Project Trust to help those less fortunate than herself. Following a long application process, Holly was invited to attend a gruelling selection course involving tough tasks, challenges and team-building activities. She was very pleased when she was informed that she had been successful in her application.

Holly is currently raising money to fund her once in a lifetime trip where she will share her passions and energy with the children and families in the community. Holly’s volunteer work will cover teaching, social care and outward bound projects.£6200 is the amount needed to fund the trip so Holly has begun her fundraising by planning lots of events including tackling the Three Peaks at night with family and friends, a quiz night, bag packing and a coffee morning, a bake sale, non-uniform day and sponsored sports events.

Holly was selected for this privilege and hopes to raise awareness of the Rainbow Nation, which describes the multicultural diversity, especially in the wake of apartheid. With a population of 56 million there are varied lifestyles which provide a rich culture. There are however still many issues South Africa continues to face such as poverty, unemployment and inequalities with regard to race and wealth. It has high crime and corruption rates and a high incidence of AIDS.

Holly said: “Following several months of hard work applying to the Project, I embarked on a rigorous and challenging selection course on the Island of Coll, off the West coast of Scotland. This resulted in an offer to volunteer, helping to change the lives of many young children and families less privileged than myself, experience and contribute to their lives and learn more about our world and myself. I’m really looking forward to my experience and I would be exceptionally grateful for any donation, regardless of the size. Thank you.”

Sixth Form pupil beats field of thousands to work with top film makers

Sixth Form pupil James Weedon travelled to London in April to experience what life could be like in the film industry.  The media student applied to the National Youth Film Academy for this once in a lifetime opportunity to spend two weeks in the capital with likeminded people doing the thing he loves most, film making. James submitted a portfolio of his best work and then underwent a gruelling interview to successfully take on the role of director. Out of 3000 applicants, James was one of 80 who were given a place on this NYFA course. Second youngest and youngest of four directors, James had the opportunity to work with industry professionals including Rob Grant and Paul Alexander, writers of Red Dwarf and Pitch Perfect. Rodney Victor-Williams, a director and lecturer at London Film School was James’ mentor for the duration of the course and was so impressed with James he has asked him to direct a music video for him.

Head of Media Studies, Simon Aske said: “James is an excellent student; he achieved full marks in his GCSE coursework which was a trailer for a new TV drama. I am sure James will build a future in the media industry, he certainly has the potential to fulfil his dream.”

Top Marks for student Chemists!

Four, Year 13 students recently took part in the 49th Chemistry Olympiad competition organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The competition is aimed to stretch and challenge Post-16 Chemistry students by testing their chemical knowledge. Students are awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze on their marks and we are very pleased to announce that both Harriet Frost and Francesca Li received Bronze, Jake Ejraee received a Silver award and Nicole Mitchell a Gold. A fantastic result all round.

Nicole’s score was one of the highest in the country and she will now go forward to the next round which involves a selection weekend combining both theoretical and practical testing which is held at the University of Cambridge.

Titus Salt School students learn about mutual respect through the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

In January, Sixth Form students met a young Palestinian and Israeli speaker to better understand perspectives on conflict. Students heard first-hand viewpoints and needs of those who want peace.  The speakers, Abigail and Ibrahim, outlined their experiences of growing up in Israel and Palestine and then were part of a lengthy question and answer session culminating in group work activities looking at possible solutions to the conflict. The sessions were hugely successful, allowing students to embrace diversity of identity and opinion on this extremely difficult issue.The approach was based upon principles which would lead to a ‘win-win outcome’ for individuals and communities. The day was brokered by ‘Solutions Not Sides’, an organisation that co-ordinates a non-partisan educational project for young people. The key focus is to counter Anti-Semitic and Islamophobic narratives related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Student, Danielle Taylor said:“The session was a great opportunity for us to get a deeper insight into the complex conflict in Israel and Palestine. The two speakers Abigail (Israeli) and Ibrahim (Palestinian) shared personal experiences and how the conflict has affected them and their families.  Their stories and opinions allowed us to see the impact on real people; beyond the headlines we see in the media."

BBC Big Questions

Six A Level Religious Studies students, along with Miss Bennett and Mrs Moon, had the honour of being part of the audience in Sunday morning’s episode of BBC’s Big Questions. The students got the chance to meet host Nicky Campbell, and were given first hand experience of how live TV programmes are produced. After a warm up debate about nuclear weapons, the cameras began rolling and the debate began. The questions which were debated were: Is the system still stacked against women? Do prisons work? and does religion have a role in politics? Unfortunately Nicky did not give our students a chance to speak during the live broadcast, despite Sophie and Tom’s best efforts in particular! After filming, students continued debating some of the comments made during the programme, Belinda Brown’s views on feminism sparked a lot of discussion especially. Well done to all students involved.

Emily represents the UK at global STEM Competition

Emily Nar, Year 13 was one of only two UK students chosen to attend the prestigious Mexico ExpoCiencias. Her design of a Robotic Piano Tutor caught the eye of the Arkwright judges from 800 entries. Emily created a working prototype of the mechanism that will teach any novice how to play the piano. Emily named her creation, Melodi – The Robotic Piano Tutor and travelled to Mexico in December with Lead Physics teacher Mr Reid, to showcase her creation to an international panel. Contestants were asked to create their resources in Spanish for the judges.

Emily brought together her love of STEM subjects and the Arts to create Melodi. Melodi took just over two months to create and is programmed to play twenty songs.

STEM student Emily said: “I was so excited to be part of Mexico ExpoCiencias 2016, to represent the UK is an amazing opportunity. The whole experience from visiting a country I’ve never been to before, to presenting my STEM design to an international panel was amazing. I admit I was very nervous on the day but enjoyed every minute, an experience I will never forget.”

James Reid, Subject Leader, Physics said: “This is another in a long line of prestigious opportunities achieved by STEM students at Titus Salt School and by Emily herself. I hope this will encourage more students to ask their STEM teachers about what opportunities are available for them.”

Article appear in T&A 9 February 2017 pg 7.

President of the Methodist Church visits TSS

Roger Walton, President of the Methodist Church was invited to school as part of the Believe in Shipley community event. “Believe in Shipley” is a ten-day festival, organized by churches and congregations across Shipley and Saltaire, to celebrate the impact of the Christian faith on the local area.

Roger, a former Salt Grammar School student himself, spent the day with staff and students. The first event of the day was for Roger to join our Year 8 assembly, where Roger talked to students about his work with refugees in Jordan. Shortly after Roger was taken on a tour of our school by Year 13 Religious Studies students. Roger delivered a lesson to our  GCSE and A-Level RS students on the theme of Justice and Holiness. He also met for Q&A sessions with Year 7 Religious Studies classes.

The day was a huge success, our RS students were inspired by Roger and we are very thankful for his visit.

Titus Salt School celebrates best ever A-level results

We are celebrating our best ever A-level results this Summer. 

Headlines include:

- over 53% of entries were awarded A*, A or B at A-Level with very strong performance in STEM subjects;

- the majority of subject entries secured grades in the top national 25%;

- just under 10% of the year group scored grade A* or A in every A-level subject they took; and

- nearly one in five students scored grade A*, A or a B in every A-level subject; and

- nearly 90% of vocational entries were awarded the top grades of Distinction* or a Distinction.

Headteacher Ian Morrel said,“We are ambitious for Titus Salt School students to achieve at the highest standard.

I am delighted so many students have attained high grades and can progress to University, an apprenticeship or further training. We expect every student will secure the place they wanted. I am grateful for the support from parents and the hardwork and commitment from staff.”

Former student, Jacob Barnett takes GOLD at the European Universities Games in Croatia

Current British Champion and British Student Champion Jacob Barnett claimed GOLD in the Taekwondo M-68kg final at the European Universities Games when he represented his University, Leeds Beckett and BUCS, on 24 July 2016 after winning his first three sparring matches that day.

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science student Jacob had qualified after becoming British National Student Taekwondo Champion at the British Student Taekwondo Federation Championships back in February this year.

Taekwondo athlete, Jacob who usually represents his club, Quest Taekwondo, where he is also a coach at Quest Baildon, has also represented Great Britain twice and aims to do so again, said: "I was going there to win.  I don’t think I would have been too happy if I hadn’t come back with a gold medal. The first match started off quite well but then my opponent got a couple of shots ahead of me. 

He was quite a scrappy fighter and wasn’t fighting the way I wanted to fight but I managed to turn it around. In my second match and third match I got into my rhythm and managed to have more control and then in the final I felt fully in control.  It was 0-0 at the end of the first of three (2 minute) rounds and my opponent was the first to score a point in round two but I managed to pull it back and take control in the last two rounds. I was over the moon because the hard work had paid off and I had been preparing for a good few months since April so it just felt great.  Leeds Beckett is a great sporting university, it was good to represent them in Europe."

The third European Universities Games was held from July 12-25 in the Croatian cities of Zagreb & Rijeka and saw nearly 6,000 students from 41 European countries and 409 universities compete in 24 different sports.  Great Britain finished in fourth place overall with the largest team attending of 401 students and sports staff from over 50 BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) institutions taking part in 14 sports, they achieved 42 medals in total with 16 Gold, 11 Silver and 15 Bronze.

Amongst the 21 BUCS students competing in the Taekwondo tournament was former GB Taekwondo team member, Taylor Shaw of Edinburgh University who came away with a Bronze medal in the W +73kg division.

The games have been held every two years since the inaugural games held in Cordoba, Spain, back in 2012.  The next games will be held in Coimbra, Portugal in 2018.

Next major competition for Jacob is the British Taekwondo National Championships 2016 where he will fight to retain his title.  This year the event is being held at the former Olympic Park in London at the Copperbox Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, London E20 2HB on 24th and 25th September 2016.

Nicole receives top award in Cambridge Chemistry Challenge

Nicole Mitchell, Year 12, has not only received the highest possible award in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, but also achieved the highest score in the country! The national competition aims to stretch and challenge students interested in chemistry. Set by an experienced team of teachers and university chemists, it takes students significantly beyond the syllabus and encourages them to think about science in the way they would at university. Thousands of students entered from schools across the U.K. but they couldn’t beat Nicole.

Nicole demonstrates ambition and passion in Science, achieving the very highest possible grades while pursuing a love of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) outside the classroom too, including her work with the STEMettes; a group of women whose goal is to combat the lack of women currently working in STEM.

Chemistry teacher, James Skidmore said: ‘'Nicole has been a pleasure to teach and this is an amazing achievement. I’m sure she will go on to achieve incredible things"

Nicole’s first rate performance now enables her to attend a residential Chemistry camp at the University of Cambridge during the summer holidays.

A number of other students undertook the difficult challenge; Francesca Li achieved the Silver award, followed by Evan Brownutt with Copper, both fantastic results.

Students take part in the BIG Cookathon.

Several Sixth Form students volunteered to take part in the BIG Cookathon this year to help promote nutritious cooking within school. The event took place after school with our very own Bake Off star Sandy Docherty on hand to assist the contestants. On the menu was the traditional and delicious Cottage Pie which is great for families to cook and enjoy together.

The BIG Cookathon is run by The Children’s Food Trust, they are on a mission to get children eating well, and are challenging families, friends, schools and organisations across the country to take part in their largest mass cooking event to date.  The annual event, now in its eighth year, aims to get people cooking nutritious, easy recipes from scratch instead of opting for unhealthy and expensive ready meals or takeaways.

2015 BBO contestant, Sandy Docherty said: “Great to be involved in the Cookathon, cooking is a language that all can understand, it should be experimental and creative and if it’s healthy what a bonus. Let’s make cooking walk and take it too the world"

The Children’s Food Trust CEO, Linda Cregan, said: “This year’s recipe takes its inspiration from a time when meals were eaten by families around a table at home, without the distraction of mobile phones and computer games. The BIG Cookathon is one way to get back a bit of that precious family time. We want to show the nation how easy it is to cook and how much fun they can have in the kitchen. Learning to cook is an essential life skill and when children eat better, they do better.”

Students achieve Gold!

Katy Halfyard and Rukkayah Robun, both Year 12 students, are celebrating achieving the highest Arts Award – Gold!

Taking on the challenge in their own time was a huge undertaking, and was a voluntary addition to a collaborative project, designed to showcase over 100 years of Bradford’s rich film heritage, with Bradford UNESCO City of Film and Heritage Lottery Funding.

Heather Graham, Creative and Community Projects Manager at school said: ‘With the guidelines to complete the Gold Award including a massive 90 hours of work, both with their adviser and independently, this is an impressive achievement! We are extremely proud of them. Thanks must go to Rachel Preston and David Wilson from Bradford UNESCO City of Film, who supported Katy and Kayyah throughout the process.’ 

As part of a team of students they made a film and interactive app, celebrating Bradford’s film heritage, both of which are available to visitors to Bradford. In addition to this, the girls went on to complete many more hours of work in their own time to successfully achieve the highest Arts Award.

David Wilson, Director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film said, ‘This is a remarkable achievement and the work undertaken by the pupils at Titus Salt has really helped to uncover the true extent of Bradford’s rich film heritage. The app which we were able to create as a result is well used and well regarded by Bradford residents and visitors to the City. We will continue to update the information on the app in the coming years to reflect new film and TV production across the Bradford district.’

Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England with Gold level designed for 16 to 25 years old. Employers, universities and colleges know that Arts Award is a qualification that shows young people’s level of commitment and progress in the arts, and in developing new skills, such as planning, teamwork and leadership. The Gold Award is also recognised on the UCAS Tariff (35 points).

Photo: Ian Morrel, Katie, Rukkayah and David Wilson.

Farewell Local Leader

A party to celebrate the final issue of the Local Leader magazine run by TSS students was held at the new Broadway Centre in Bradford on Thursday 3rd December. The farewell gathering was very well attended with key speakers, Catherine Riley, Manager of The Kirkgate Shopping Centre, Matthew Halliday, Director and Founder of Bradford Brewery and of course our very own James Slater, Editor of The Local Leader.

The Local Leader magazine was founded in November 2011 by 13 year olds James Slater and Megan Carson, as a way of celebrating Bradford’s rich and diverse history and making this accessible to everyone. James, Editor and Megan, Deputy Editor approached Mr O’Connor, Enterprise Leader at Titus Salt School with the idea of publishing a magazine and were tasked with creating a business plan. Fifteen editions later, the rest is history.

The Local Leader has been a very successful magazine in the Bradford area for over four years; Megan left the magazine due to ill health and her successor, Jordan Carroll has played a massive role in the business ever since.  James and Megan became the youngest business owners in the UK in July 2014 when they went from school project to fully-fledged business. James and Jordan, now in Year 13 both have offers from universities of their choice and inevitably this means increased time studying to get the grades they desire to pursue their chosen careers, so they took the decision that their education must come first and have made Edition 15 of the magazine their last.

Editor, James Slater said: “I speak on behalf of Megan and Jordan too, when I say that we have had an amazing time running the Local Leader. There are so many people we would like to thank, the list is endless, so to name just a few, our family and friends for their amazing support, Meryle and Ray Holland for their generosity and friendship, former Lord Mayors, Cllr Dale Smith and Cllr Khadim Hussain, Phil Robinson our History Editor, Lisa Firth our Features Editor, Mr O’Connor and many others from Titus Salt School and to everyone else who has supported us over the years and finally our readers, thank you.”

RE during Interfaith Week

Students have been commemorating Interfaith Week, which happens nationally in November.  All year groups had an assembly led by students Gabi Prozsowska, Faris Sajjad and Elly Gurney. Gabi, Faris and Elly explained that regardless of their different belief systems, they actually have much in common; they also gave out the details of our interfaith competition. Students of all year groups can still enter the competition to win an Amazon tablet by designing a new logo for the Bradford Interfaith Education Centre. See a member of the RE staff for more details and/or follow the RE department on Twitter @TSSRSE.

Year 12 and 13 students were treated to a day with two leading philosophers- Dr Peter Vardy and Dr Stephen Law- at a ‘Being and Nothingess’ conference in Manchester. One student said this has helped her make her mind up about going on to study Philosophy at university. It was a great day where students debated atheist as well as religious arguments for God’s existence, and gave them a taste of lecture-style learning.

Personal Reflection: Students were given a chance to reflect during form time on ways we can respond to the terrorist attacks around the world; many were inspired by the words of Antoine Leiris, whose wife was killed in Paris on Friday 13th November. Years 9, 11, 12 and 13 will have a further opportunity to study the impact of terrorism during their Lifetrack lessons over the next couple of weeks.

Nicole Mitchell, Year 12, tells us about her summer. “It was the best summer I’ve ever had and it isn’t even over”

Nicole’s experience at Outbox Incubator

You get 45 girls all sharing the same space together who are passionate about STEM, want to make a difference and are bursting with innovative ideas. Great things are going to happen.

That’s exactly what happened this summer. It all started when the STEMettes had such a brilliant idea… have 45 girls live in one big house in London with a goal of ‘readying young STEM entrepreneurs for life outside the box’.

Who are STEMettes? 
This is one very important question I couldn’t leave any further into the article before answering. Almost every person I’ve spoken to about Outbox Incubator has asked me “Nicole, who are these STEMettes?” and my answer to that is a simple one; STEMettes are women whose goal is to combat the lack of women currently working in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Becoming an Outbox Executive

My Outbox experience began back in May, merely from sitting behind my laptop. When scrolling through the infamous ChemNet discussions page I stumbled upon a post titled “Who runs the world, Girls!”, intrigued already by the caption: “This fantastic opportunity is available to all you budding female scientists, engineers and mathematicians to step "outside the box" I clicked on the link, it seemed too good to be true, I always knew that there wasn’t enough girls in STEM and spoke of getting more girls into computer science and the like but never thought anyone would be ingenious enough to make a program doing just that. It seemed like an incredible opportunity placed right in front of me and I was dead set on getting involved.

An Incubator?
An incubator in this context is a start-up incubator. A start-up incubator is for people who have an idea for a business in which they then learn the skill set for. This is exactly what Outbox Incubator does. Through the course of the 6 weeks we were taught all the skills and tricks to developing a business, marketing it, developing a product and finance. You may ask, how did they do that? This brings me to the fabulous session leads, each with a unique and captivating story to tell.

Every day we had about 2 different session leads come in straight out of industry. The places they came from and things they had done were remarkable. The way they spoke about their experiences inspired me, just by their tone you could tell they all love what they do and that’s all I can ask for when the time comes for me to pick a career.

The range of backgrounds of the session leads was as diverse as the backgrounds of fellow Outbox Executives. Many session leads came from the company Salesforce; which is an innovative cloud computing company who very kindly funded Outbox Incubator from the food we ate to the travel expenses of each Executive. Of course there was more than just people from Salesforce, we had people who were successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, people from O2, Ocado and many other great businesses all willing to divulge the reality of the working world and the truth behind their success inclusive of trials and tribulations.

All session leads left with an undeniable impression on me, I was learning things I would never have learnt at school. I felt like I was learning more about who I am as a person and just how marvellous it feels to take a great big leap out of the box.

It wasn’t just the people who came into the house which made Outbox Incubator so special it was also the STEMettes themselves, other Executives and the people we met on excursions.

Where did we go?
Although we were residents of the house for most of the time we did go on excursions. The first excursion began with the YRS Festival of Code in Birmingham on week 1, where we spent week 1 working in our teams to prepare a project to present. The projects all solved real problems girls in the groups had faced. I had worked on a career solution website in mainly HTML to make it easier for young people to see a great range of career paths in a subject they enjoy.

We had the chance to visit the Investment Banking firm Goldman Sachs, the ecommerce website Etsy and also tour London.

STEMettes are constantly asked to speak at places to inspire people and we all had the opportunity to pitch why we should be able to speak at a STEM Summer School in Cambridge University and attend a chemistry lecture on water beforehand. Using the pitching skillset I had gained already I successfully pitched my case and along with two other Executives was able to go and speak about my story, communicate my passion for chemistry and my start-up.

My start-up
A very common question Outbox Executives asked each other was “So, what’s your idea?”. For the first two weeks I didn’t have a start-up idea, I had come to Outbox with a hope to get an idea and be inspired by the like-minded people around me. I went through a range of ideas but soon realised that they were not viable for a number of reasons. This was until I came up with one that was feasible, I cared about and had the vision it could be very successful. It is called Inquisitive STEM. The basis of my idea is a platform in which young people interested in STEM can sign up and discuss why they’re into STEM, what it means to them, what problems they’re having with homework and the like. It’s a bid to inspire young people into STEM and learn from others going through the same circumstances. The idea came from a recent post in my blog about Chemistry Perceptions called Inquisitive Science and now along with school work I am slowly building Inquisitive STEM. In due course I will sign up for the O2 think big project to help get my idea out there as advised by an O2 representative.

What I learned and what’s next
At Outbox Incubator I learned how the start-up world works, how to present my ideas, how to be confident,  the tips and tricks of business, how great the horizon for jobs in STEM is, never give up, accept failure and most importantly it is now undoubted that I want a career in STEM. Outbox has changed the way I see many things with the wealth of experiences I gained and given me a network of friends that will hopefully last a very long time. It was the best summer I’ve ever had and it isn’t even over. Outbox carries on supporting us through mentoring, speaking opportunities and funding for the next year.

If you take one sentence from this article let it be this: if you’re a girl, you’re into STEM and you want to make a difference apply for Outbox Incubator because it will be the best decision you make.

We are very proud to report our best ever Post-16 results both for A-level and vocational subjects.

Headline figures include:

- 50% of A-level grades were awarded at A*, A or B;

- 100% pass rate at A-level;

- over half of the A-level subjects achieved in the top national 25%;

- boys outperformed the national figure for attaining the top A*/A grades (54% at TSS compared with the national figure of 50%); and

- every vocational subject achieved in the top 25% nationally with nearly two thirds of single award subjects securing the highest grade (Distinction*).

Ian Morrel, Headteacher said: “We are all delighted with these results, especially as they are higher than our best ever results which we achieved last year.  It is fantastic that our students at A-level and in vocational subjects are succeeding at such a high level and are able to progress to their chosen University course.

We have had some amazing individual achievements but these top results are down to the dedication and commitment of staff, students and parents working together."

Tommy is selected to attend prestigious International Science School in Australia.

Tommy Dobson is one of just five talented students from the UK to have won a scholarship to attend the renowned International Science School in Sydney. With support from the Ogden Trust, this once in a life time trip will see Tommy immersed in a visionary science programme for academically talented Year 12 students.

Tommy will attend lectures by leading research scientists; experience hands-on brain expanding activities, explore the research labs, join in with a wide range of experiments and meet like-minded science mad students from all over the world.

Every two years 140 top students from Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the USA and the UK, travel to Sydney for an unforgettable fortnight of science.

James Reid, Tommy’s Physics teacher said: “We have a crop of extremely strong Physicists at Titus Salt School, many of whom applied for this opportunity. Sadly we could only nominate one to go forward for consideration by the Trust and Tommy’s essay on the development of graphene and its uses was truly exceptional. He thoroughly deserves this experience and it will stand him in great stead next year when he applies for university.”