Great Torrington School were treated to a fascinating insight into
an unexplored part of the universe and the life of an astrophysics
researcher. Dr Jennifer Hatchell, a lecturer and researcher at the
University of Exeter, presented an interactive and fascinating talk
to pupils and their teachers, with guest pupils from surrounding
institutions also attending.
Dr Hatchell’s talk, entitled ‘Newborn Stars and Unexplored
Planets’, explored the science of our solar system, with the pupils
volunteering to represent the heavenly bodies within. It looked at
exoplanets and how astrophysicists find out information about
them and Dr Hatchell’s current research into new star formations,
and how she gets the data from a mountain in beautiful Hawaii.
Volunteers were given the opportunity to make their own
molecules and find out about their prevalence in the universe.
Questions from the audience ranged from the mysteries of dark
matter, to budgetary concerns about building telescopes, to what
life in Hawaii is like. The talk allowed the pupils to gain a real
insight into the life of a university researcher.
The beautiful celestial images, and videos of models of speeded-
up star formation captured the students’ imaginations. The talk
was hosted by randomly selected schools in Devon and Cornwall;
the week started at St Luke’s Science and Sport College in Exeter,
and then went north to Great Torrington School. It then moved to
Cornwall, visiting Saltash Bodmin College, and lastly Penwith
College in Penzance.
The tour was organised by IOP’s (Institute of Physics) South West
Regional Officer Miranda Addey and funded by the South West
branch of the IOP.
Autumn Ability
Young people from schools around Devon
were invited by Active Devon to attend the
Devon Autumn Ability Games held at Tarka
Tennis Centre in Barnstaple. All competitors
received an event T shirt and winners and
runners up were given medals as well as a
Spirit of the Games” medal. Great
Torrington School pupils competed in the
event and did exceptionally well,. One pupil
was so chuffed when he won an award “ I
have never won ANYTHING before!”
Miss R Gilchrist said, “Great Torrington pupils
had a fantastic day. I was so proud of them
all and it was such a joy to see pupils surprise
themselves at what they can achieve. Their
faces were full of joy and pride when they
were presented with their medals. What a
memorable day”
SIMs Learning Gateway (SLG) is an online
system which allows you to access your
child’s attendance, conduct, progress
records and ensures information retained by
the school (e.g. contact details) is correct
and enables you to see what lessons your
child has every day. In time this service will
be developed further to provide additional
information regarding your child and the
school in general.
At present this has only been launched to
parents/carers of Year 7 and Year 8 pupils.
This will be launched to parents of Year 9
and Year 10 pupils at their Progress Day
Thursday 28
March 2013.