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Can you describe your most cringe-worthy moment at Godolphin? So many to choose from!

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One thing that really stands out is in Year We were in a history class and Dr Snook was talking about the Netherlands. I thought he was talking about Neverland as in Peter Pan. That was a pretty embarrassing moment. What is one fact about you that nobody else knows? What is the most challenging part about being Head Girl? I would probably say that there are two parts. There are seven girls on the team who take a mixture of IB and A-level so we all have different free periods. What is one piece of advice that you wish someone had told you lower down in the school?

Really enjoy your younger years at the school while you can. Of course it is important to develop a good work ethic in Year 7 and 8 but when I started out at Godolphin I got insanely stressed about topic tests and things like that. Just keep it all in perspective.

Where is your favourite location in the school and why? I think I have two locations in the school that are my favourite. Firstly, I really like the garden behind the Bishop Centre. The other part of the school that I really like is the library. What is your favourite part about being Head Girl? My favourite part about being Head Girl is being able to work with such an amazing team. Everyone is really lovely, passionate and wants to get involved. This is also closely followed by the incredible support that I have from our year group Upper Sixth.

Some people may not know, but the Head Girls Team is elected by the current Upper Sixth girls so we really do strive to be as representative as possible. I like to think that they picked a great team! Overall, being Head Girl enables me to feel such great support from the girls and in this way I really get a sense of the inclusive atmosphere at Godolphin and Latymer, which is something that I really value.


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How do you keep your grades up while juggling the responsibility of Head Girl? I think that managing my time as Head Girl is just the same as if it was any other extra-curricular. I like to keep to-do lists that help me organise. The wetlands play a vital role in our understanding of conservation and animal biology. We saw a range of endangered species of birds, including the near threatened emperor goose and the endangered red-breasted goose.

Guided by our trip booklet, we learnt about how the London Wetland Centre, and many other centres around the world, are attempting to protect birds and other animals from extinction by providing them with the correct habitat. Unfortunately, cranes died out in Britain four hundred years ago due to destruction of their habitat and their use for food. Now the WWT is working to reintroduce this glorious species back into Britain starting with almost one hundred cranes being released in Somerset.

Sustaining the population involves volunteers dressing as cranes to teach young birds how to survive, while other workers strive to maintain a stable wetland home for the youngsters. Our most memorable experience from our visit was watching the otter feeding session. It is not just their pretty faces that draw thousands of visitors every year; the story behind the successful reintroduction of the Asian shortclawed otters into Britain is fascinating.

Around fifty years. Otters can only survive in marshy habitats with clean water so the government banned chemicals harmful to the environment. Over time, more and more otters could be spotted around the UK, and have now found a home in almost every county! Our visit also gave us the opportunity to try our hand at pond dipping.

We noticed as the water became more alkaline or acidic, a smaller range of insects were able to survive including the non-biting midge pupae. We also took part in a biological drawing challenge which involved learning about the importance of biological drawings now and in the past. Before cameras, scientists created a record of newly discovered organisms through extensively detailed drawings.

By drawing a specimen ourselves, we were able to fully absorb all the tiny details in the structure of the organism. Armed with our pre-visit task booklet, we prepared to record our ideas on the pros and cons of zoos to help us to formulate our argument. The aim of the Biology field trip was to learn about how to carry out fieldwork, life as an ecologist and to discover a variety of ecosystems ranging from woodland and meadow to pond and river.

It was an immersive, hands on, outside of the classroom learning experience. We started our visit in the butterfly house and were mesmerised by the diverse range of butterflies fluttering freely around our heads.

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Next came the rockhopper penguins, housed in a large, beautiful pool of crystal clear, blue-green water. It was a vivid setting, and the penguins were very easy to spot, both on the rocks and in the water. The big cats were nothing less than awe-inspiring. We kickstarted the three day trip with a river study where we discovered how to conduct experiments in a river and types of experiments we could explore for our own Internal Assessments IAs.

We sampled a woodland ecosystem and learned about sampling methods, reliability and abiotic factors which could contribute to different evaluation points. We were then encouraged to begin to explore a range of experiments for our own IAs so that we could conduct a well informed investigation.

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We woke up bright and early and set out on our own investigations, mine being the exploration of the abundance of buttercups with changing light intensity as I was inspired the effect of light on brambles when we first conducted an experiment in the woodlands. Our workshop on the conservation of endangered species gave us the opportunity to appreciate the plight of the Amur leopard, Asiatic lion and the Atlantic bluefin tuna. It was haunting to imagine tigers being killed for their eyes as a cure for laziness, elephants feet being transformed into stools, and crocodile skins used for bags.

We learnt about a range of international insitu conservation campaigns supported by London Zoo and the methods and measures used to protect these awesome creatures from extinction. For the reason, we concluded that London Zoo has a huge role to play in raising awareness of the importance of changing our habits to look after this planet and the species that call it their home.

By the time we left we had finished our statistics test, knew our methods and were able to go about finishing the IA confidently as well as having had a weekend of fun. In pure Godolphin spirit, one of the joys that cannot go unmentioned was the food. We were well fed and enjoyed hearty British meals throughout our stay at Flatford Mill. Ecology, although some may regard it as a niche area of interest, is a highly important aspect of the world we live in.

Not only does it teach us about the significance of the environment we live in and the organisms around us but it teaches us means of conservation and means of improving the environments we live. In ecology there are a number of ethical values that are not limited to this topic in Biology, but can be applied in other areas. Ecology is fundamental to the world around, which is why I would recommend it. By Sara Galy, Lower Sixth. Lower Sixth Visit to the Amersham Field Centre In June, we spent the day at the Amersham Field Centre, putting into practice the field work skills we had been learning in our ecosystem and sampling topics.

We began the day talking about biodiversity and why it is so important to maintain, a topic of great interest at the moment. Our aim for the morning was to investigate the difference in species diversity between coppiced woodland and thinned woodland.

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We first discussed our hypothesis - deciding on a range of abiotic non-living and biotic living factors we would measure and how these would ultimately lead to one woodland having more species diversity. We spent the rest of the morning carrying out the investigation - using random sampling to test light intensity, canopy coverage, temperature, soil pH and of course species diversity in each location.

We were surprised. In the afternoon we examined the effect of humans on ecosystems, by investigating the impact of trampling on species diversity. This time, our hypothesis that species diversity would be higher in an area of low trampling than high trampling, was entirely correct. It was compelling to see just how large an impact can be made on an ecosystem simply by walking on it. The visit was really enjoyable and it was so useful to step outside the classroom and try out some sampling ourselves.

By Sarah Goodhart, Lower Sixth. Our first challenge was an investigation to find out who stole a trophy using chemical tests. We worked in pairs and we competed against many other school teams. We had to be able to voice our opinions but we also needed good teamwork and communication skills so that we could do our best.

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We had to find out mystery solutions by testing them and recording the reactions. We also worked on word puzzles and questions. We learned chromatography which is when you test different inks and solutions by putting them on a piece of paper and hanging the paper above a beaker of water.

We recorded how far the ink had travelled up the paper. They looked really beautiful and we all felt happy with how we had performed. Our second challenge was to try and make a chemical reaction which lasted exactly one minute long by diluting different acids into the mixture. In the chemical reaction, a yellow solid was made, forming a cloudy mixture.