Hello Kingstoners! We aren’t far into the new school year and we would like to welcome back all of you, and especially a warm welcome to our Y7 pupils – we hope you have a fantastic first year at John Taylor in Kingstone House.

Already this year, a lot has changed. Two new houses have been introduced to the school structure, meaning that the competition for end-of-year House cups has been intensified, with the push for merits and sporting success much greater now than ever before.

The House Council have decided to keep Birmingham Children’s Hospital as our House Charity for the third year running. It is a charity that we, as a local school, hold close to home and is an extremely worthwhile cause. The hospital provides medical treatment for over 90,000 children and young people each year and saves lives every single day. Last year, we raised an amazing £2,219 for the charity through sponsored running, cake selling, sponge-throwing, car washing, and organising many more fundraising events. This year, each form group will be working to raise as much as we can to meet (or possibly exceed) last year’s total.

One thing that we can be sure hasn’t changed about Kingstone is the amount of high achieving and successful students that we have. Two of our students achieved particularly special success recently, with Francesca George (Y11) competing in national and international Rounders leagues with the England rounders team and Hannah Jenkinson (Y13) undertaking a scientific placement at the University of Birmingham over summer with Nuffield Research (see interview with a Kingstoner). Francesca has to attend regular intensive training with England rounders and plays matches against teams from all over the UK and abroad, and so far this season they haven’t lost a match. Let’s hope this year, we have many more successes!

Interview with a Kingstoner:

We interviewed Hannah Jenkinson about her work experience at the University of Birmingham.

What was the summer work placement you did?

I did a four week placement undertaking research in the Chemical Engineering department, in which I worked with a postdoctoral researcher to investigate the effect of surfactant (emulsifier) molecules on the formation of drops from a capillary.

How did you get offered the placement?

I applied to Nuffield Research Placement Scheme online and was selected to attend after I contacted the head of the department at the university.

Why did you want to apply?

I had been struggling to decide whether a career in industry or in research would suit me best after graduation, and the experience allowed me to try out working as a research engineer.

What did you do there in a typical day?

My typical day varied massively over the four weeks. In the first week, I was training on all the equipment and software I would be later using. In the following three weeks, I would normally spend a few hours in the lab collecting data, then analysing it using specialist software such as ImageJ and MATLAB. I also had to produce a scientific report and poster to document my findings.

What was the best thing you got out of it?

The placement gave me an insight into my prospected career in chemical engineering. It also turned out that my data displayed a new and unexpected trend, which the department are currently looking into writing a paper on! The whole experience has massively boosted my scientific knowledge, practical skills, and overall self-confidence.

Posted by JTMAT