Poetry, Rap and the Principles of Practical Criticism

By on Mar 19, 2019 in Blog |

The students at Nexus enjoyed a fascinating lecture from Dr Ewan Jones from the University of Cambridge on Monday. Students were introduced to the concept of practical criticism, an approach that enables students to read a text without considering contextual factors such as autobiographical details or sociohistorical factors. This was developed at the University of Cambridge in the 1920s.  Dr Jones invited the audience to investigate the impact rhythm has on a variety of poems from William Wordsworth to rap artist, Eminem. Dr Jones showed us how exploring rhythm in poetry is often a pertinent way of getting to the emotion of a poet’s work. His message was an empowering one about the importance of accepting ambiguity in poetry and the value of multiple interpretations. Celebrating 100 years of English Literature at Cambridge, Dr Jones addressed a number of questions asked by...

Appointment of Poet Laureate

By on Mar 12, 2019 in Blog |

We are delighted to announce the appointment of the school’s first Poet Laureates. Arina West, a Year 7 student on the PPE programme at Nexus has been awarded the title of Poet Laureate Junior. She will be mentored and supported by three Year 12 students: Alex Green, Tilly Barker-Hall and Holly Smith. They will alternate the role of Poet Laureate Senior between them. These important roles will help shape the future of creative writing within the school. The students will be writing about important events, both on a national level and within the school. It is also anticipated that they will celebrate the work of other poets and co-ordinate events to promote creative writing opportunities within the school. Look out for the poetic efforts of our budding wordsmiths in the next newsletter.

Success with Youth Speaks

By on Mar 12, 2019 in Blog |

The area competition of Youth Speaks took place at CSIA last week. A total of ten teams took part in the Intermediate Competition from seven different schools. The standard of the competition was incredibly high and the quality of the presentations were polished and persuasive. The subjects of the presentations felt current and relevant and it was clear that we were hearing from committed students who spoke with integrity and belief. We were thrilled that one of the teams from Nexus made it through to the next round along with a team from Penair. Josie (chair), Lily (main speaker) and Isla (vote of thanks) made it through to the district competition which will be held in Saltash later this month with their fascinating and stimulating talk about ‘throw-away fashion’. This was a fervent call for us to reconsider our flippant and trivial attitude towards clothing. Our other team also...

Magnificent Performance in Mock Trial Competition

By on Mar 12, 2019 in Blog |

On Friday 9th March students from Years 7, 8 and 9 took part in the Citizenship Foundation’s Mock Trial competition at Truro Magistrates’ Court.  This competition gives students the opportunity to demonstrate and practise their skills in communication, evaluating evidence and making a persuasive argument.  It also gives them a unique insight into the ‘courtroom experience’ and the opportunity to learn more about our legal system. This time, the team narrowly missed out on the winning trophy but they all agreed it was an invaluable experience.  Both the lead Magistrate and Deputy Lord Lieutenant described the students as a credit to the school and commented on how well the students expressed themselves, and performed, despite being much younger than their competitors. A special mention should be made of Millie and Aaron who stepped in very last minute to new roles due a team member’s...

Seashells and the Climate – Stella Alexandroff Surprises our Students

By on Mar 11, 2019 in Blog |

Our academic lecture today was delivered by Stella Alexandroff, a research fellow at the University of Exeter. Stella, who is working towards her PhD in Ocean Sciences visited to share her research into the changing marine conditions and the impact this has on the shells of marine organisms. Much like the rings in tree trunks, seashells contain layers of calcium carbonate laid down each year – by examining the precise composition of each layer it is possible to get very precise measurements for marine temperature, carbon dioxide concentrations, pH levels and much else besides. Climatologists are able to use this information to improve their models for future climate change and to provide the most reliable predictions for future climate conditions. Our students were amazed at how much information can be gleaned from a simple shell and a number who were already considering a career...

Asthma and Airways – Future Doctors Train Nexus Students

By on Mar 8, 2019 in Blog |

On Wednesday this week trainee doctors from the Peninsula Medical School visited Nexus to deliver a workshop for our Future Medics. Students in Years 9 and 10 were taught about how our airways work and how asthma can be a significant factor in respiratory distress. The students were taught using a common teaching technique in medical school known as ‘Problem Based Learning’. In these sessions the medical students are given a patient presenting with a set of symptoms and by asking questions and carrying out research the trainee doctors have to find the answers themselves to the challenges posed. The students gained a valuable insight into how medical school works and for our hopeful medics this was an amazing experience. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the trainee doctors who gave up their time to deliver this brilliant...

Greenpower Engineers get a Helicopter Sized Boost

By on Mar 6, 2019 in Blog |

Students who are part of the Greenpower challenge, who are building an electric racing car from scratch, yesterday received a visit from the Royal Navy who brought with them parts of a Merlin Helicopter. The students were able to get up close and hands on with a tail rotor, an exhaust pipe and an air intake vent from the military aircraft. By learning the steps taken by the Naval engineers to keep the weight of the vital components down while ensuring the parts are strong enough for their purpose, our students will now be able to revisit their designs for the Greenpower car. Our students are hoping to have their car running by the end of term ready for the regional heats this year.

World Book Week at Nexus

By on Mar 6, 2019 in Blog |

World Book Week is in full swing at Nexus this week. Students are filling up a reading tree with reviews and suggestions of amazing books they have read. There is a book swap taking place this week as well. Students are each bringing in a book that they think someone else should read. Later this week the books will be wrapped up and swapped. The students have also listened to a dramatic performance of “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe delivered by Mr Batson. World Book Week is continuing for the rest of this...

Exciting Ecology by Dr Sasha Dall

By on Mar 6, 2019 in Blog |

We were delighted to host Dr Sasha Dall from the University of Exeter to Nexus to deliver a lecture on Monday. Dr Dall is a mathematical ecologist – in his research he uses maths to help explain the relationships between organisms in the natural world. Dr Dall’s exciting lecture dealt with some of the complexities of life and how evolution can be modelled to explain how the interdependence of organisms may have occurred. We are certain that a number of our students will look at Biology in a new light and it is clear that the audience were inspired to find out more about this area of research. We would like to thank Dr Dall for his time, we really appreciate our links with academics which add such value to the experiences of our students.

Dr Foster Appointed to Royal Society Education Committee

By on Mar 5, 2019 in Blog |

Dr Jo Foster, Director of Nexus, has been approached by the Royal Society to sit on their prestigious Education Committee. The Royal Society was founded in 1660 and is the independent scientific academy of the UK, dedicated to promoting excellence in Science. In her role, Dr Foster will help to shape the national STEM education landscape, using her extensive experience of working in schools to encourage innovation in approaches to encourage more children, especially girls, to take on STEM subjects at University and beyond. The Royal Society supports schools in a number of ways, for example by providing partnership grants, supplying resources and activities, carrying out education research and promulgating best practice. The Royal Society also engages with local schools and colleges via the Royal Society Schools Network. Dr Foster’s inclusion on the Education Committee gives...

Congratulations to children joining CSIA in September!

By on Mar 1, 2019 in Blog |

Today’s the day when parents across Cornwall discover whether their child has a place at the school of their choice. We have received a huge number of enquiries from parents of children with a place at CSIA who are interested in applying for the Gifted Programmes at Nexus. We will very shortly be sending out a pack with information about how to apply for the Nexus admissions testing day on Saturday 23rd March. If your child has a place at CSIA and you would like to pre-register your interest in your child sitting the Nexus assessment, please email our administrator on For any further information about the assessment day and subsequent interviews, please visit our Admission pages.

Ben’s back in front of the cameras today for another challenge

By on Feb 28, 2019 in Blog |

We’ve all been watching Child Genius and rooting for Ben as he pits his wits alongside the cleverest children in the country on the Channel 4 show. Ben was back in front of the cameras this afternoon after being challenged to some friendly competition by Johnny Rutherford, BBC Spotlight reporter. Johnny visited Ben at the Nexus campus and interviewed him about his experiences during the recording of Child Genius, and asked him for tips to help other able learners. Johnny then pitted himself against Ben in a series of challenges – but if you want to see the outcome you will need to watch BBC Spotlight at 6pm this evening. Also listen out on BBC radio news for interviews with Ben, and tune in to Channel 4 at 8pm as Ben tackles the science round of the Child Genius competition....

Mock Trial Competition Team Meet a Magistrate

By on Feb 27, 2019 in Blog |

Yesterday, Nexus was pleased to welcome special visitor and local magistrate, John Aldred.  John came to visit students participating in the national Mock Trial competition, which gives students the opportunity to demonstrate and practise their skills in communication, evaluating evidence and making a persuasive argument.  It also gives them a unique insight into the ‘courtroom experience’ and the opportunity to learn more about our legal system. Students enjoyed questioning John about his motivation to become a magistrate, his experiences so far, and some of the rewards and challenges of the role.  John was very impressed by our students, commenting on how polite, intelligent, confident and articulate they were.  He praised students for the way they identified key pieces of evidence and used them to make effective arguments.  The students gained a huge amount from John’s experience...

Biochemistry in Action: Dr Nisbet Talks Corals and Malaria

By on Feb 25, 2019 in Blog |

Dr Ellen Nisbet has travelled down from Downing College at the University of Cambridge to deliver an academic lecture on her area of research; Biochemistry. Dr Nisbet explored the biochemistry of the oceans with our students, including the impact of changes in the ocean chemistry on fragile ecosystems such as coral reefs. The students were captivated as she explained how her research has taken her around the world to investigate these precious environments first hand. Dr Nisbet also explored the role that Biochemistry can play in understanding and combating the spread of malaria and answered questions from the audience about how to get into a career in and biochemical research. We would like to extend a sincere thanks to Dr Nisbet for taking the time to visit us here at Nexus – our students gained a lot out of her visit and we are very grateful for her...

Courtroom drama unfolds as students prepare for Mock Trial

By on Feb 25, 2019 in Blog |

Nexus students in the PPE strand of the programme have been honing their courtroom skills as they prepare for the Mock Trial Competition, which takes place in March. The students have been preparing witness statements and cross examining witnesses; skills which will be essential as they take their case to the Mock Court and are judged on their performance. Tomorrow we are lucky enough to have a Magistrate visiting Nexus to advise the students on technique and to give them valuable insight into the workings of a real courtroom. Watch this space as the case...

Industry engagement for the Escape Room planners

By on Feb 25, 2019 in Blog |

The students planning the Nexus Escape Room were joined this evening at Nexus for the Escape Room co-curricular session by Mr. Rob Kellow, Managing Director of RG Kellow Ltd, an important and growing Cornish construction company. Industry engagement is so important to us here at Nexus as it allows the students to make links between the knowledge and skills they are learning and how these can be applied to the world of work. The students are using their skills in creativity, 3D design and printing and design technology to design and build an escape room based on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. RG Kellow are generously supporting the project with construction skills, advice and support for the build. Can’t wait to see the finished product, which we hope will be in operation by the end of the year. Many thanks to Rob Kellow for his enthusiasm and engagement in the project.  ...

See Ben from Nexus on Channel 4’s Child Genius this week

By on Feb 25, 2019 in Blog |

Ben, one of the students from Nexus, the specialist programme for the most able at Camborne Science and International Academy, appears on the Channel 4 hit TV show Child Genius, being aired this week. All of us here at Nexus and CSIA will be cheering him on as he competes against the best and brightest in the country. The first show is tonight at 8pm and every night this week with the final on Saturday. For all media enquiries please contact Mrs. Emma Haase:...

Future Medics Trained by Peninsula Medical School

By on Feb 13, 2019 in Blog |

Today at Nexus, a group of prospective doctors attended a workshop delivered by trainee doctors from the Peninsula Medical School. The students were taught the basics of emergency management of patients, including the immediate remedial measures to take if someone starts to choke. The medical school hopefuls were also introduced to the steps they should take if they were to come across an unresponsive patient. The workshop concluded with the students learning CPR using resuscitation dummies. The session was great fun and the future medics all had the opportunity to ask questions of the trainees and left with a much clearer idea of what steps to take on their journey towards medicine....

Euro Space Trip is out of this world

By on Feb 12, 2019 in Blog |

Forty lucky Nexus students in year 7 and 8 experienced the trip of a lifetime when they recently went for a four-day visit to the Euro Space Center in Belgium. The center is a hub for space education and contains a host of equipment and resources used for astronaut and space exploration training. Over the four days, the students were able to experience various aspects of astronaut training. Each of these activities alone would have been a highlight of the trip but the students were able to experience each one of them, making for a visit they will never forget. Astronauts have to perform delicate operations whilst operating in microgravity in space. The microgravity wall gave students the chance to experience the feeling of microgravity by counterbalancing their weight on the climbing wall so that the smallest push or touch would send them shooting up or down. The students were then...

How to Catch a Killer – Forensic Science Lecture at Nexus

By on Feb 12, 2019 in Blog |

We were delighted to welcome Paul Rogers from Devon and Cornwall Police to Nexus yesterday to share his experience and expertise in forensic science with our students. Paul is a crime scene investigator whose role is to visit active crime scenes to collect trace evidence, he then safely preserves and transports the evidence to his lab where he then analyses the samples to assist the police in their investigations. Paul’s work is meticulous and carefully and his passion for the work that he does was clear to see. Paul shared the key STEM skills that he uses in his job every day. We think it is vital to expose our students to as many different careers and opportunities as possible so that they can see the real life applications of the topics they are learning about here at Nexus. We really appreciate the time and effort that Paul has put in to delivering a lecture to our...

How to Change the World with Andy Cummins

By on Feb 12, 2019 in Blog |

We were delighted to host a lecture from Andy Cummins who addressed Nexus students on the important campaign work he undertook with Surfers Against Sewage. Andy took us through the strategic process of planning a campaign with a valuable insight into how the ‘Break the Bag Habit’ campaign found success in targeting industry, government and the public in instigating real change with the charge for plastic bags in supermarkets. The impact has been profound: the plastic bag charge has resulted in a decrease of 6 billion fewer bags and an 84% change in shopper’s attitudes towards reusing plastic bags. Andy’s message was of the importance of being proactive and making a positive impact through campaigning. His quote from Chinese Philosopher Lao-tzu resonated in the lecture theatre: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. He urged the students to think practically about the...

Youth Speaks Competition Kicks Off at Nexus

By on Feb 12, 2019 in Blog |

Nexus were delighted to host Youth Speaks on the evening of Tuesday 29th January. This was a superb opportunity to hear a number of well crafted speeches on a diverse range of highly engaging topics from thirty six highly accomplished speakers in Years 7 through to 9 . We heard about the need to ‘throw away’ fashion, the problems with plastic and a passionate call to consider ‘Veganuary’. Members of Redruth Rotary Club had the unenviable task of choosing two teams to go through and compete with local schools in the area. Congratulations to the ‘Throwaway Fashion’ team: Lily Mason (main speaker), Josie Welch (chair) and Isla Richards (vote of thanks) and the ‘Footprints’ team: Arina West (main speaker), Bou Brian (chair) and Ellen Stokes (vote of...

GCSE mathematicians take it to another level

By on Jan 31, 2019 in Blog |

The Grade 8/9 enrichment sessions for Year 11s from across Cornwall continued yesterday evening. This session focused on all things quadratics; the students used their knowledge of factorising, completing the square and inequalities to solve challenging problems in preparation for their GCSEs.  These enrichment sessions are open to students from across the county and form part of CSMS and Nexus’ drive to ensure all students are given the best possible chance to reach their potential. If you are not already signed up for these sessions and would like to be contacted please email for more details and upcoming dates. We are still accepting applications for Cornwall School of Maths and Science for September 2019. If you would like a tour or to find out more contact us on

Saving Seals – Fighting Plastics on our Shores

By on Jan 29, 2019 in Blog |

We were delighted to host a lecture by Sue Sayer and members of her team from the Cornwall Seal Research Group yesterday. Sue visited Nexus to share her vital work to monitor and safeguard the seal population around the Cornish coastlines. Sue’s passionate defence of these important marine creatures was inspiring and we are sure that our students will be motivated to take the important steps necessary to help reduce ocean plastics and make our coast a more hospitable and safe environment for seals. We would like to thank Sue, and her team, for giving up their time to work with our students.

Meet the Maths Olympiad Champions!

By on Jan 25, 2019 in Blog |

And the winners of the first Cornish Schools Maths Olympiad are… St. Erth Community Primary School. Huge congratulations! In Second place: Truro Prep School In Third place: St. Minver School Fantastic work by all the children who attended; what an incredible group of brilliant young people. The Cornish Schools Maths Olympiad is an annual event. If you would like to register your school for the Primary Olympiad 2020, please email us at Nexus....