Another action-packed day…

Today has seen a wide range of activities and classes taking place, ranging all the way from a tranquil fishing trip to a lovely afternoon tea at Fitzbillies, to full-on car construction taking place.

Our Activities Directors organised a lovely trip to Cambridge’s famous botanical gardens. The gardens are the pride and joy of the University and offer a wonderful and diverse selection of plant and wildlife to stroll amongst- it truly is a beautiful area!

Our students were also treated to a wonderful British afternoon tea at Cambridge’s best tea room- the ever lovely Fitzbillies. Scones, tea and cakes were the order of the day and certainly made for a lovely afternoon out.

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We also went on a scenic fishing trip to a local pool. Our rod proficiency may somewhat be lacking, however it was such a beautiful day and there was no better way to spend it than relaxing by the waterside!

Today’s classes were very practical and exciting! In Engineering, the task was to produce working miniature cars, and, whilst it is safe to say that we may not have our full licenses yet, we certainly have the skills to produce the vehicles. There was a casualty today in Medical Science, but luckily there were plenty of budding medics on hand to assist (of course they were just pretending, but doing a very convincing job). Finally our filmmakers were learning the skills and techniques used in shooting with professional camera equipment- watch out for the final showcase…

Finally, we experienced an amazing musical journey courtesy of Cambridge’s celebrated ‘Cambridge Voices’ choir in Peterhouse’s theatre. The group tour around the majority of events that occur within the University and there’s a good reason why they are always chosen- their talent is incredible and it was a treat to have them perform a private show for us.

 

We are very much looking forward to tomorrow’s activities already…!

Cambridge Prep Team 🙂

A Whirlwind Wednesday

We may have had a busy day in London yesterday, but energy levels have not dropped, and today was full of activities!

Today, students had major and minor lessons. The Studio Art class have begun to focus on colour this week, so they took their lesson outside to explore the portrayal of colours in the natural world.

The Espionage class also ventured out of the classroom – they headed to Trinity College to learn about the Cambridge Five.

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In the afternoon, students participated in a team-building “Egg Drop” challenge. Groups headed out to Peterhouse’s Deer Park, where they worked together to build cases to protect their respective eggs when dropping them from a height – in this case, the height was a second-floor window. Everyone was pretty successful and worked really well together to come up with some novel solutions to the problem – two of our eggs survived the drop!

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The evening was just as full of activity. The warm weather seems to be sticking around for a while longer, so we have taken advantage of this and planned some outdoor activities for the evening. Some students signed up to go canoeing down the River Cam, and headed through some of the Cambridge countryside en route to Grantchester. Luckily, even though students raced one another, nobody fell in!

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Another group embarked upon a trip to St John’s College gardens, where the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival were showing a production of The Taming of the Shrew.

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The action doesn’t stop tomorrow, with activities including a trip to the Botanic Gardens, a fishing excursion, a visit to Fitzbillies (a Cambridge classic), and a juggling lesson from one of our Deans!

The CamPrep Team 🙂

 

London’s Calling

Today the students explored historic, bustling London, with field trips taking them from the Supreme Court to Canary Wharf, the Science Museum to the Wellcome Collection, Regent’s Park to Shakespeare’s Globe, and ending with everyone meeting for dinner around Covent Garden. It was a busy and exciting day, and we all arrived back in Cambridge this evening ready to recharge after a fulfilling trip.

Each class arranged their own excursions in London, choosing places and activities that would enhance the students’ understanding of their subject.

Film and Drama started the morning with a surprise viewing of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who were at the Southbank Centre to visit the new Nelson Mandela Exhibition. The photo doesn’t do justice to the excitement of the moment!

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Prince Harry and Megan Markle.

They then took a tour of the Globe Theatre – they even caught a glimpse of the cast rehearsing Othello! After, the students visited the British Film Institute and ended their tour of the Southbank with a visit to the Tate Modern.

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Science and the Future started the day at the Wellcome Collection, looking at exhibits on the history and future of medical science. After that, they crossed London to visit the Science Museum – particular highlights included learning about the upcoming satellite mission to Mercury in 2018.

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Science and the Future outside the Science Museum. 

Medical Science started the day with a fascinating talk about surgery in the 1800s from a medical historian at the Old Operating Theatre – a museum which is in the only surviving part of the old St Thomas’ hospital. We sat in the oldest surgical operating theatre in Europe, and then explored the museum exhibits, learning about the history of medicine.

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From London Bridge, the Medical Science students went up to Euston for a tour of the ‘Medicine Now’ exhibit at the Wellcome Collection.

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Coding had a fantastic day at the newly opened Postal Museum (recently nominated for the Art Fund Museum of the Year). They learnt about the long history of the Royal Mail and the way in which it has functioned from its inception. The students learnt about the logistics and patterns behind sorting and sending millions of letters and packages each day to different locations. A particular highlight was the repurposed “Mail Rail” that only went out of service in 2003, and was used to deliver all of London’s post via underground rail. They finished off the day with a trip to the London Transport Museum.

Law started their day in the Royal Courts of Justice, where they sat in on an interesting Court of Appeal case about fraud offences. They saw the grandeur of the Houses of Parliament, followed by a visit to the Supreme Court.

They saw a case on whether public authorities owe children a duty of care and should be liable in tort for negligence. After watching law in action, they took a river clipper down the Thames to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.

They walked down the Southbank, to the Tate Modern, where they caught an incredible view of London from the roof terrace. Finally, the students walked across Millenium Bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Global Business went to Canary Wharf for lunch, the home of many major European financial institutions. They then went to the British Museum – exploring exhibits and artefacts from Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Medieval England.

Engineering went to the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Science Museum – learning about the significant feats of British engineers over time and the mechanics of engineering.

Social Psychology spent a morning in Regent’s Park, using the pedalos on the water. They also went to the Wellcome Collection, to join some of the other groups in the tour.

The day ended with the students getting to do some shopping and sightseeing in Covent Garden; and meeting up with their friends from different classes for dinner. All in all, it was a packed day, with a lot of ground covered, and we hope the students came back to Cambridge with many amazing memories of London.

Monday’s Return to Madness

After a relaxing leisurely Sunday off, it was all hands on deck once again for the return of Major and Minor teaching for our prep students. Today’s highlights included the construction of spaghetti bridges for our engineering students, a fascinating class on Neuroscience for the Psychology group, a board game session for true fanatics, paper mâché madness, a film-making master class and a tour of three of the other wonderful colleges of the University (Jesus, Kings and Pembroke).

Whilst the other colleges of the university are lovely to wander around, we all know the actual best college is our wonderful Peterhouse…

Paper mâché is always good fun, as ran today by Theo with a small group. We will have to wait for the masterpieces to dry before showcase, but they all look spectacular.

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Careful with that glue…

Also today our group of budding film-makers were getting acquainted with the professional equipment used on set. Hopefully with a bit of practise we will have a fully-qualified crew on our hands!

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All focus…

Lastly today students were given a talk by Dr. Matt Wilkinson, a specialist in evolutionary biology and the author of ‘Restless Creatures: The Story of Life in Ten Movements’. He discussed the evolution of locomotion (so why we think that humans move around in the way we do) and how we compare to early man and other animal species.

We are all looking forward to our big day out in London tomorrow with everything looking good. Expect a very full post tomorrow with the many different groups’ activities taking our students to every corner of the city!

All the best,

Cam Prep Team 🙂

 

A Relaxing Sunday

After a big first week of getting settled into classes, playing sport, soaking up culture in Cambridge and making new friends, today provided a much needed day of rest and relaxation for our students. They were able to have a lie in (what the English call sleeping in), do laundry (for most of them the first time since they arrived), and hang out with friends. Some took up the brunch recommendations around Cambridge that we provided, taking advantage of another beautiful day of sunshine.

In the afternoon, we had our own Cam Prep football final, followed by a screening of the World Cup Final.

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In the evening, lots of students got involved in an outdoor salsa dancing lesson, and by the end were showing off some great moves.

Salsa dancing in Fen Court. 

After a more restful day, we’re all set for another busy week!

Subject Symposium, Sports, and Sea-Themed Dances

Although the weekend has officially begun, we haven’t been resting at CamPrep! Today has been packed with activities and everyone will no doubt be in need of a lie-in tomorrow!

The day kicked off with the Subject Symposium, which provided a chance for students to try out three taster lessons in subjects outside of their normal majors and minors. Everyone loved having the chance to explore new ideas and it was a brilliant experience for students and teachers alike.

Some of the subjects on offer were:

Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the branch of medicine which is concerned with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health. Students took the role of epidemiologists investigating the spread of a severe respiratory illness in the summer of 2014. They considered how to plan a field investigation, including what information needs to be collected, and analysed real data in order to produce some hypotheses about the disease.

English as a Second Language Test for Universities

Our Activities Director Theo spoke to students about the IELTS Academic test, an English language test designed for people applying to UK universities when English is not their first language. The test is suitable for entry to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and also for professional registration purposes. It assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training in an environment where English language is used, and reflects some of the features of language used in academic study. 

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Law and Justice

Students spoke about basic concepts in the field of Law from a perspective that considers law as a social science, thus drawing from knowledge of history, philosophy, politics and international relations. They also discussed how we all (lawyers and non-lawyers alike) can contribute to the pursuit of justice in the world.

Molecular Biology

Students carried out a DNA extraction experiment, where they used simple kitchen substances (salt and detergent), to extract DNA from strawberries.

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The Power of Film 

In The Power of Film, students discussed how movies have the power to create shared narratives and experiences and shape worldviews.

Two Science Fields Together: Frugal Science

Science and the Future and Engineering teachers worked together in this class. Students learned how to build medical devices with paper and string, and explored Fibre Reinforced Polymers for strengthening of reinforced concrete structures.

Lawn Coding

Coding is the practise of writing instructions that a computer can follow, enabling us to control what a computer does, and create our own programs or games. Students took a look at the process of designing a game, and managed to create a basic version of Tetris. 

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In the afternoon, we had Field Day – students rotated through various races and games, and were rewarded for their efforts with some ice cream at the end of the event! Extra congratulations (and extra ice cream) go to the group Science & The Future and Filmmaking (B) who won the day!

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All of this activity didn’t seem to lower the students’ energy levels, as the day was wrapped up with the weekly dance – on this occasion, the theme was Under the Sea!

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Everyone is looking forward to a well-deserved rest tomorrow, but there are still plenty of activities planned which students are sure to get involved in!

Love from the CamPrep Team 🙂

Games, Gadgets, Ghosts and Ghouls

After a cloudy and chilly couple of days in Cambridge, the sun has decided to come back out again in full force – so it has in fact been a lucky Friday 13th!

The Law class decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and explore the grounds of some of Cambridge’s colleges whilst they learnt about legal history.

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Learning about history with the historical backdrop of Kings’ College

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In front of St John’s College’s stunning Bridge of Sighs

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The Law class

The Coding class were also hard at work on a project developing their own games, and the Studio Art class took to the streets of Cambridge to explore concepts about line and form.

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Studio Art in one of Cambridge’s many passageways, exploring ideas about line and form

In the evening, all students gathered in the theatre to listen to a fascinating talk from Sir Christopher Hum, the former UK Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and former Master of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

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Finally, some students embraced the horror-related traditions of Friday 13th and embarked on a ghost tour of the city – hopefully they weren’t too scared!

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Now, everyone will be getting a good night’s sleep in ahead of tomorrow’s packed schedule – we will be having the Class Symposium, the Field Day, and the weekly dance!

Love from the CamPrep Team 🙂