Chemical Changes

The year 10 students studying Separate Sciences have recently finished the Chemical Changes unit, which covers some of the fundamental building blocks of their understanding of chemical processes. As we are mastering some basic synthesis techniques, students have also started to do some analysis which they will build on in year 11. As part of this, they have been carrying out titrations, a key laboratory process which any A-level chemist’s amongst you will remember well.

What is a Titration?

A titration is a laboratory method used to determine the concentration of a solute (solid) in a solution (a liquid). It involves adding a titrant (a solution of known concentration) to a sample solution until a reaction is complete, which is usually indicated by a colour change. In school, we tend to use phenolphthalein which gives a very clear colour to bright pink. This process allows us to calculate the unknown concentration of the sample solution.

Why Do We Study Titrations?

Titrations are crucial for several reasons:

  • Precision and Accuracy: Titrations are a precise method to determine concentrations, which is vital for chemical reactions requiring exact measurements.
  • Real-World Applications: This technique is used in various industries. For example, in the pharmaceutical industry, titrations ensure the correct dosage of ingredients in medicines.
  • Foundation for Advanced Study: Understanding titrations prepares students for more complex topics in A-level chemistry and beyond.

The Titration Process in Our Classroom

In our recent practical sessions, students have engaged in titrations using acid-base reactions. This build on their previous knowledge whilst also allowing us to recap concentration calculations from the Quantitative Chemistry unit. This revisiting of challenging content helps to secure this knowledge whilst allowing staff to identify students that need some extra support.

Mastering titrations is a significant achievement in our GCSE chemistry curriculum. As we progress, students will build on this knowledge to explore more complex chemical reactions and analytical techniques. This hands-on experience not only strengthens their understanding of chemistry but also enhances their problem-solving and analytical skills.

Mr Coogan

Teacher of Science

Forces

Our Year 10 students have been diving into the fascinating world of forces, a fundamental concept in physics that explains how objects move and interact. Recently, our young physicists have been focusing on resultant forces and the concept that forces are vectors. This means they are learning that forces have both magnitude and direction, which must be considered together to fully understand how they affect objects. Have you seen the movie Despicable Me? Do you know who the famous villain Vector is? To put their knowledge into practice, students have been tasked with calculating the overall magnitude and direction of multiple forces acting on an object. This involves drawing vector diagrams to scale, a crucial skill that helps them visually represent and solve complex force problems. Through these hands-on activities, they are not only enhancing their understanding of physics but also honing in on their problem-solving and analytical skills. We are incredibly proud of the dedication and enthusiasm that our students have shown in mastering these challenging concepts. 

Mrs Honeyman

Associate Assistant Headteacher & Curriculum Leader for Science

‘If you were an Engineer, what would you do?’ Leaders Award Competition by Mrs Goodwill

During the STEM festival, Year 9 took part in the ‘If you were an Engineer, what would you do?’ Leaders Award competition.

126 students were entered into this competition. All entries had their design graded and the students have been awarded a certificate. From the 126 entries, 78 were awarded a Pass, 24 were awarded a Merit and 22 were awarded a Distinction.

We had no winning entries, but two students Martha F and Lucia V were awarded a Distinction and were also shortlisted; meaning their entries were submitted to the final round of judging with VIPs from the engineering world.

Martha designed a selective ear bud. Martha identified that noise reducing earbuds often cancel out too much sound, too little sound or the wrong sound in everyday use. Her design allowed the user to select sounds they would like to hear and also adjust the volume.

Lucia designed Zing, an electric swing. Lucia identified an issue when it comes to be pushed on a swing; that the person pushing the swing gets tired. Therefore. she designed an app that allowed a person to remotely push the swing.

Congratulations to both Martha and Lucia and to all year 9 who entered the competition.

Mrs Goodwill

Science Teacher

Lung Dissection

Have you ever wondered how your lungs work to keep you breathing and full of energy? Well ,the year 8s recently had an exciting opportunity to explore this first-hand through a lung dissection! Let’s dive into the fascinating world of anatomy and discover what we learned.

The Purpose of a Lung Dissection

A lung dissection is a hands-on way to learn about the structure and function of the lungs. By examining real lung tissue, we can better understand how this vital organ works to provide oxygen to our bodies and remove carbon dioxide. It’s a unique chance to see what’s inside us and how our bodies are designed to keep us alive and healthy.

The Dissection Process

With everything ready, we started by examining the outside of the lungs. They felt spongy and looked a bit like a pinkish-grey balloon. Our teacher explained that the lungs are made up of millions of tiny air sacs called alveoli, which are responsible for gas exchange.

Next, we made a careful incision to see the internal structures. It was incredible to observe the bronchial tubes, which branch out like tree limbs within the lungs. These tubes carry air in and out, ensuring that oxygen reaches the alveoli where it’s absorbed into the bloodstream.

Why It Matters

Understanding how our lungs work is crucial because it helps us appreciate the importance of respiratory health. We learned about how smoking, pollution, and diseases like asthma can damage our lungs and make it harder for us to breathe. This knowledge encourages us to make healthier choices and protect our lungs.

Final Thoughts

Participating in the lung dissection was an unforgettable experience. It gave us a deeper appreciation for the complexity and efficiency of our bodies. We left the lesson with a greater respect for the importance of taking care of our health and the amazing ways our organs keep us going every day.

So next time you take a deep breath, remember the incredible journey that air takes through your lungs and the remarkable system that keeps you alive and well. Stay curious, stay healthy and keep exploring the wonders of science!

Sincerely,

Year 8 students. 

Mr Dean

Teacher of Science

Food Chains

This term, our year 9 Scientists have been diving deep into the world of food chains and ecosystems. They have been exploring the concept of bioaccumulation and the impact of toxins in ecosystems.

To bring the concept of bioaccumulation to life, 9ab/Sc3 carried out an activity that modelled how toxins can accumulate in organisms at different levels of the food chain. Using ping pong balls to represent the toxin, the students modelled the movement of these harmful substances through the food chain.

The dance studio was transformed into a dynamic ecosystem, as each student was assigned a role within a food chain, embodying different organisms. Ping pong balls were scattered throughout the dance studio, symbolising a toxin introduced into the environment.

This hands-on demonstration vividly illustrated the concept of bioaccumulation. The students could see first-hand how toxins become more concentrated at each level within the food chain, posing significant risks to top predators and the overall health of the ecosystem. The activity also sparked meaningful discussions about real-world examples of bioaccumulation, such as the impact of pesticides on our crops.

Quiz:

  • What is the producer in this food chain?
  • What is the primary consumer in this food chain?
  • What is the top consumer in this food chain?

Miss Forrest

Science Teacher

Year 7 Students Become Energy Efficiency Consultants

While studying the Energy 1 unit, year 7 students have been learning about all aspects of energy transfers. They used Sankey diagrams to compare the efficiency of different appliances. Students have been researching different types of light bulb and comparing the advantages and disadvantages of them. They have done a marvellous job of displaying their research in poster form, clearly providing useful information to anyone considering the purchase of a light bulb. Well done, year 7!

Mr D Knee

Science Teacher

Rounders Tournament

Year 9 Rounders Tournament

On Tuesday 11th June, our Year 9 Rounders team competed in the South Ribble Rounders Tournament which took place at Priory Academy. The girls showed brilliant teamwork throughout the tournament and won their first two games. The girls then came up against the All Hallows rounders team and took a loss. The girls demonstrated fantastic resilience, skill, effort and sportsmanship and battled well in their last two games, winning their fourth game. Their last game was very close, which unfortunately, led the girls to their second defeat by only one point. Out of the 6 schools that competed in the tournament, the girls gained 3rd place overall. The team played exceptionally well and should be really proud of themselves! Well done, Year 9 ! (Katie O, Faye S, Sana H, Grace S, Naomi S ,Dhyana P, Marnie D, Amber P, Jemima A and Emily G).

Miss  Macpherson

Posted in PE

Class of ‘2024’

After a huge amount of hard-work and dedication from students and staff, Year 11 celebrated their time at PGHS at our Year 11 Leaver’s Assembly and shirt signing event on Tuesday 11th June.   It was a fantastic morning that gave the girls the opportunity to say goodbye to staff and reflect upon their time at Penwortham Girls’ and the journey they’ve been on. In our assembly, we looked back at the last five years and some of the brilliant memories they’ve made. As a school, we’re incredibly proud of the girls for the determined attitude and fantastic work ethic with which they approached these exams, which I’m sure will be reflected when they get their results in August. I would also like to add my thanks for all the invaluable support from parents and carers in encouraging and guiding the girls throughout their time at the school.

We wish the class of 2024 the best of luck in the next step on their journeys!

Mr Bowles,

Head of Year 11

Higher Level Teaching Assistant Job Vacancy

Required from 1st September 2024

Closing date: 12 noon 28th June 2024

  • Artsmark Platinum Award - Awards by Arts Council England
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • SMART
  • UNICEF
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider
  • International School Award
  • Artsmark Platinum Award - Awards by Arts Council England
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • SMART
  • UNICEF
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider
  • International School Award