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WLFS Secondary

The Knowledge Schools Trust

We aim to provide children with a classical liberal education, regardless of background or ability.

Sheffield University Biological Sciences Department Visit

It was an amazing opportunity to go to Sheffield University for many reasons, some being that we were able to look around the uni and get a taste of the students lives, and we also were able to apply practical skills within more advanced labs.     

My favourite part of the day was the lab work. Working with uni students and respected teachers was a great way of developing my confidence in practicals. They were also fun as we were using micropipettes and dyes that we had never used before.     

We also worked on diagnosing patients looking at genetic samples where we assessed the chromosomes and how that may affect them and therefore come to a conclusion of their diagnosis which extended our knowledge and helped us understand university expectations.      Overall the day was really enjoyable and interesting, and I am very grateful to have had this opportunity. The quality of education was clear to be very high, which even made me question whether I wanted to go into genetics.   

Sophie, Year 12       

Our STEM club received a talk from Dr Adam Hodgson a few weeks ago, during which we discussed how Sheffield University aids with the NHS’s backlog of biopsies for cancer patients. Dr Hodgson then invited us down to Sheffield University for a tour and practical.    

For this opportunity our day was split into three sections; a tour, laboratory experiment, and diagnosis. My group attempted the diagnosis first and I found it incredibly interesting. I am looking at studying genetics at university and found the entire experience super motivating. There was a lot of support but also a push for independence that helped us come to our diagnosis and conclusion. It was extremely interesting!     

Next came our laboratory portion. We experimented with breaking down cell membranes to expose the inner cell material to allow for black and white photographs to be taken of the genetic material (chromosomes) which then are looked at for the diagnosis portion as previously mentioned. This was the most difficult aspect of the day, due to the time crunch we were under to prevent too much breakdown of the cells, thereby leading to DNA damage. It was tricky but exciting and a look into a different aspect of biology degrees and laboratory work which we aren’t particularly exposed to pre-university. I found it extremely enjoyable and helpful at providing a view of other types of degrees I could take.    

Finally, we went on a tour of the university grounds. We went through multiple labs, both those used for research and for teaching. It was super interesting to see equipment that we as a level students have not encountered yet and it has made me more determined to pursue a degree in STEM. Additionally, it was helpful to speak to a number of students taking biology-related degrees and ask them questions both a bout university life and it their respective degrees.      Overall, I found it a great opportunity and a very enjoyable experience. It has provided me with further motivation and provided a helpful insight into studying biology and what can be provided in universities.  

Lilla, Year 12

Being in Sheffields Genetics department they would introduce their topics not in a casual method of lectures then coursework but in a way in which students can be hands on and apply what they have learnt in a clinical environment. This was my favourite part of the day as they would also explain the benefits in the long term when doing these types of procedures, such as helping diagnose genetic disorders under the NHS.

Namo, Year 12