Christmas Chemical Mix-Up at Super Saturday!

By on Dec 8, 2018 in Blog |

It was a Super Saturday at Nexus today, with a classful of Year 5 students enjoying a Chemistry workshop. A naughty elf had mixed up Mrs Claus’ cookie mixes and the children had to sort them out, as Santa can’t leave on Christmas Eve without first having his special Christmas biscuits. The investigation involved firstly achieving the coveted Bunsen burner licence, then testing five different white powders using flame tests, iodine, Benedicts’ solution and acetic acid.   At break time, lots of the children enjoyed a game of chess in the dining room at Nexus. Well done to all the groups, who worked out which was Mrs Claus’s real cookie mix. Christmas is...

Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust Delivers A Sensational Workshop At Nexus

By on Dec 4, 2018 in Blog |

Today Sue Sayer from the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust came to talk to Nexus 8 about the work that goes into conserving and protecting Cornwall’s marine mammals. The CSGRT are an evidenced based charity who work to help survey and protect seals in their natural environment in Cornwall’s waters. Sue’s workshop was engaging and inspired our students to think about how they can help to protect these important and rare animals. We are really looking forward to working closely with the charity in the future to help safeguard the seal population in...

It’s Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas

By on Dec 4, 2018 in Blog |

It’s beginning to feel Christmassy at Nexus. The Christmas trees and decorations are up in the OGS building and the Lower School building and the CSMS students are setting up the annual Chemis-tree. Even the 3D printed dinosaur is feeling festive. The CSIA Carol Concert is this week and Year 7 are working hard at perfecting their singing voices ready for the event. The annual Nexus Showcase Evening is on the 12th December and rehearsals are hotting up for Nexus 7. If you are a parent of a Nexus 7 student make sure you return the letter requesting tickets asap to avoid disappointment. Don’t forget that Wednesday 19th December is the last day of term and all students are spending the day on the main campus. There will be no co-curricular activities and the day will end at 12:25pm. Our last Nexus co-curricular day will be Tuesday 18th December and we are already planning a...

Nexus Gets Its Own Seismometer As Part Of The Raspberry Shake Project

By on Nov 29, 2018 in Blog |

The Geography, Nexus and CSMS teams were thrilled to host the launch of our Raspberry Shake seismometer this week with Lucy Cotton from United Downs Deep Geothermal Power (UDDGP) project and Professor Iain Stewart, UNESCO Chair in Geoscience and Society, and Professor of Geoscience Communication at Plymouth University. The launch included a lecture given by Professor Iain Stewart on the ‘Science of Earthquakes’ and an overview of UDDGP from the Project Geologist Lucy Cotton. Students were fascinated to hear world renowned geographer, Professor Stewart, talk about the global issues that surround plate tectonics.  Harry J, Year 10, stated that “It was a brilliant lecture that highlighted elements of seismography that I will access at A-Level and beyond”.  Isla R and Nell C.R said that they were really interested to learn about the fault lines that cross Cornwall and how they are being...

Cornish Marine Mammals – More Than Meets The Eye?

By on Nov 28, 2018 in Blog |

Students at Nexus and CSMS were treated to a hands-on marine biology workshop this week by Miss Jade Aldridge, a graduate in Marine Biology from Plymouth University and currently a teacher at CSIA. Jade’s workshop gave students the chance to explore some of the impressive adaptations that we can find in marine organisms off the Cornish coast and to consider how these adaptations enable the creatures to survive and thrive in the environmental conditions. Student’s also learnt about the role of a Marine Biologist and discovered how important it is to raise awareness in the general public to the threats faced by these rare mammals. Giving our students the chance to put their learning into real life contexts is a fundamental aspect of the way we teach our students at Nexus. This approach gives students the opportunity to explore wider issues around the curriculum and to experience some of...

Calling all Aspiring Lawyers

By on Nov 26, 2018 in Blog |

Nexus will be bringing in the New Year with the launch of an exciting new co-curricular club for those students with a fervour for the legal world.  We will gather a keen and talented legal team of students and enter The Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition. The trial itself will take place in March 2019. Our aspiring lawyer, barristers and judges will take on the various roles in a trial and try a case against another school with the assistance of real life magistrates, legal advisers, court staff and other legal professionals. The Competition will introduce the legal system in an engaging way that will have a lasting impact on all those involved. This is an exciting opportunity for those considering a career in law and those keen to understand more about our justice system. More details to be announced soon!

Shake, Rattle and Slide with Professor Alan Champneys

By on Nov 26, 2018 in Blog |

Nexus and CSMS were delighted to host a fascinating lecture on the importance of Mathematics in the field of Engineering this week. Professor Champneys visited from Bristol university’s faculty of Engineering Mathematics where he lectures on everything from engineering applications on aircraft and structural dynamics, power electronics and fluid-structure interaction. The talk was based around the understanding of how complicated dynamics (e.g. chaos) in physical systems governed by ordinary or partial differential equations can be used to model some very interesting real-life engineering problems such as why does a tennis ball bounce so high when dropped touching a basketball? Professor Champneys also spoke about the importance of mathematical modelling in industry and how he works with some of the world’s leading engineering and design companies on complex but crucial problems....

Nexus takes delivery of CAD PCs

By on Nov 20, 2018 in Blog |

We were delighted today to take delivery of two specialist computers which are designed to carry out complex 3D computer aided design tasks. These new machines will allow students to use much more powerful design software to model their ideas before using the Nexus 3D printer to bring their designs to life. The PCs have been funded by Cornwall Manufacturers Group as part of the STEM discovery initiative.

Bookworms get cracking on the KYBA shortlist

By on Nov 16, 2018 in Blog |

The Bookworms co-curricular club have found themselves deeply immersed in the world of literature as they begin working their way through the KYBA shortlist of books. KYBA (Kernow Youth Book Awards) celebrates the best of children’s literature. Six books, covering a range of genres and themes, are selected and students read and discuss the titles. At the moment we are reading The 1,000 Year Old Boy by Ross Welford and the students have been impressed by the narrative shifts and the commentary on the nature of mortality. Once we have devoured all six books, the students will then vote on their favourite. We are very much looking forward to the Awards Ceremony at the Eden Project in May; shortlisted authors attend and inspire the audience with wit, anecdotes and an insight into the writer’s craft. Until then, shhhh, we’re...

Fascinating Lecture by Professor Ian Roberts

By on Nov 15, 2018 in Blog |

This week, were privileged to welcome Professor Ian Roberts (Professor of Linguistics) from the University of Cambridge.  His lecture on ‘How to Build a Language’ enthralled students from Year 7 to VIth Form.  The lecture explored the vast range and diversity of languages in the world, looking at the most widely spoken languages, to those spoken by only a few hundred people in the Amazon.  Professor Roberts’s unique insight and personal connection to many of the languages studied gave students added to student’s interest. A speaker of at least 5 languages himself, Professor Roberts explained the differences in sentence structure in languages around the world – for example, in the Nias language ‘My mother cooked the rice’ would translate in English as ‘cooked rice mother’.  Students were intrigued by how many different ways the same...

Oxbridge Juniors Meet For A Cambridge Tea

By on Nov 12, 2018 in Blog |

This afternoon our Oxbridge Juniors met Jess Lister, a member of the Admissions team at Downing College in the University of Cambridge for tea and cakes. Jess answered their questions about Oxbridge and university more widely. The students had excellent questions, from what makes Oxbridge different from other ‘Russell Group’ universities to the costs and finances of student life. There were a number of other intriguing questions such as whether Harry Potter was filmed at Cambridge to where the name Cambridge comes from. We would like to thank Jess for the insight she gave our Oxbridge Juniors into studying at a prestigious institution such as Cambridge. As our students progress through the Nexus and CSMS programmes we will be supporting them to gain the skills and experiences necessary to be in the strongest possible position in their aspirations to apply to the best...

Nexus 9 And 10 Learn About Oxbridge

By on Nov 12, 2018 in Blog |

Today we were delighted to host Jess Lister, a member of the Admissions team from Downing College at the University of Cambridge. Jess came to talk to our Y9 and Y10 students about applying to university and shared some of the hallmarks that makes Oxbridge, and other Russell group universities, stand out from many of the 130 Higher Education institutions in the UK. Our students had a lot of questions which Jess answered as well as busting some myths about the University of Cambridge. As our students move through Y11 and into VI Form we will ensure that they are fully supported in their aspirations to join the best courses at the best universities in the world.

Wet Break At Nexus Filled With Amazing Things

By on Nov 9, 2018 in Blog |

When the poor weather hits, Nexus students have no trouble finding things to do inside. Students took the extra indoor time to read, hone their music skills, play chess, draw, solve cryptograms and examine a 3D printed moon, amongst other things.

Cornish Schools Maths Olympiad at Nexus

By on Nov 7, 2018 in Blog |

Nexus and CSIA are excited to announce the launch of the Cornish Schools Maths Olympiad. This event is for Year 5 and 6 pupils and will be held at Nexus on Friday 25th January 2019. The event is a one day celebration of Mathematics and will include workshops, talks and an exciting competition.  The aim of the Olympiad is to provide a competitive and exciting environment for the young mathematicians of Cornwall to share their love of the subject.  The competition itself will take place in the afternoon having been preceded by talks by Nexus’ passionate and enthusiastic team and workshops run by some of CSIA’s fantastic Mathematics department. Here’s an example of the sort of question the children will be solving. The Olympiad offers an opportunity for those young Mathematicians with a passion for challenge and discovery to take on teams from across the county in competitive...

Second CSMS Grade 9 Maths Enhancement Seminar Huge Success

By on Nov 6, 2018 in Blog |

Last week CSMS played host to the second Grade 9 Maths Enhancement Seminar for the Cornwall Scholars’ Community. Students from across Cornwall who are aiming for a Grade 9 in their Maths GCSEs came together to tackle the most difficult Maths content in the GCSE. Mr Cable ran the workshop which was well attended with students from CSIA and other secondary schools. If you would like more details on how to join the CSMS Scholars’ Community please email

Medicine Applicants Prepare For Medical School Interviews

By on Nov 6, 2018 in Blog |

On Friday we were delighted to host Lizzie Alexander, a fourth year medical student from the University of Exeter, who delivered an interactive workshop for our medical applicants. Lizzie put the students through their paces as they tackled a series of fast paced interviews which represented the type of interviews used at many medical schools across the UK, referred to as Mini Multiple Interviews (MMIs). MMIs are a gruelling 2 hours of short, intensive interviews where students rotate between interviewers who are looking for specific skills or asking challenging questions. Lizzie’s circuit included a role-play scenario and an ethical debate about the future of the NHS. The students gained invaluable experience which will stand them in good stead when they go to face their own MMIs. We would like to thank Lizzie for giving up her time to organise and run such an inspiring...

Minister of State for School Standards declares Nexus and CSMS “wonderful”

By on Nov 5, 2018 in Blog |

News of the amazing success and positive impact of the Gifted Programmes at the Nexus campus has reached Parliament; last week we were delighted accommodate a request to visit from the Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, the Minister of State for School Standards at the Department for Education. Nick travelled down from London especially to visit Nexus and CSMS to learn about the phenomenal things our students are doing and to see what lessons could be learnt from the approaches we are using to get the best from able learners. Nick was accompanied by George Eustice, the Member of Parliament for Camborne and Redruth. Nick and George were given a tour of the campus by Dr Foster, Mr Kenworthy and Mr Chapman and our visitors took a great interest learning how the Nexus programme is providing our students with a world class education. After lunch, both MPs were given the chance to meet several of our...

University of Cambridge coming to Nexus

By on Nov 1, 2018 in Blog |

Nexus and CSMS have close links with the University of Cambridge, hosting lectures and academic mentoring from some of their most eminent Professors. The students also take part in a visits programme to the University, taking in the sights, sounds and environment of the University so that they feel confident in making an application to Oxbridge in the future. Next week we will be inviting students to join ‘Oxbridge Juniors’; an opportunity for students from Year 7 – 11 who are considering Oxbridge to deepen their understanding of what is required for Oxbridge and develop their skills so that their future application is more likely to be successful. As part of our ‘Oxbridge Juniors’ programme, we’re pleased to be able to confirm that Jess Lister from the University of Cambridge will be coming to Nexus on 12th November to meet with the Y7 and 8...

New Escape Room co-curricular activity is hugely popular!

By on Oct 30, 2018 in Blog |

This week the new co-curricular activity for this half term begins. We have a variety of awesome new activities on offer – and the one that is proving the most popular is our new Escape Room. Students are working in teams to devise a series of fiendish and cunning puzzles to populate the Nexus Escape Room, which will be situated in the CSMS building. The first prototype has already been produced; a 3D printed Cryptex. Crack the code and you can retrieve the contents of the cylinder. We’ll have to make the next one a bit harder though; predictably a pair of Nexus students cracked the code of this one in under twenty minutes! Well done James P and Henry...

Josie’s design rolls off the press!

By on Oct 15, 2018 in Blog |

Our 3D printer has been busy with designs that the students have produced themselves using Tinkercad software. Nexus 7 student Josie made her own design and it was printed on Friday. Josie used an image of Simon’s Cat which was converted to a format which could be imported into Tinkercad and incorporated into her finished model. A very useful technique to learn and what an amazing result for a first go! Well done Josie!

3D printer gets to grips with student designs

By on Oct 11, 2018 in Blog |

As you are aware, our after school programme at Nexus allows students to learn skills and produce and test out their own ideas. Nexus 8 student Evie has designed this Elephant using Tinkercad in the 3D printing co-curricular sessions. To have designed this after only a very few sessions is excellent work. Tinkercad might look quite basic, but by combining shapes it is fairly easy to produce something really good – well done Evie! The elephant was printed at 0.2mm layer height for speed. Evie used supports to help protect the ears and tail during printing. The elephant, even though it is only small, took 3 hours and 17 mins to print. We are looking forward to seeing more student designs being manufactured in the next few...

Nexus 8 wow with their models of DNA

By on Oct 9, 2018 in Blog |

Recently the Nexus 8 students were set a challenge; to produce a 3D model of DNA. During their lesson they were shown the model of DNA that Crick and Watson, supported by Franklyn and Wilkins, produced back in 1953. The brilliant students did not disappoint, producing a fantastic array of models of this molecule that forms the basis of life as we know it. The models that the students brought into school were in a huge variety of forms. Some students used CAD-CAM software to design and then 3D print their DNA molecules. Others made their molecules out of sweets, pipe cleaners and lolly sticks, or used origami to create the perfect DNA twisted ladder. One creative student crocheted a marvellous DNA double helix! Here are some of the creations that the students brought into Nexus today. James used clever origami to make his DNA model Fin 3D printed his model and then hand-painted it...

Inspiring Lecture by Professor Peter Vukusic

By on Oct 8, 2018 in Blog |

We were so lucky today to host a brilliant lecture by Professor Pete Vukusic from the University of Exeter. The lecture explored the way that objects and animals appear different colours, and then how some amazing animals achieve their iridescent colours. The lecture included a number of practical demonstrations, and the students enjoyed glowing in UV light, creating room-sized waves to illustrate destructive and constructive interference, and looking at samples of the incredible iridescent butterflies with which Professor Vukusic has carried out his research. An indication of the level of engagement with the lecture was given at the end, when Professor Vukusic stayed on for over half an hour after the lecture ended answering questions from the audience. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Vukusic very much for taking the time to come and work with our students...

Future Medics get ‘Hands-on’ to Learn about Resuscitation

By on Oct 3, 2018 in Blog |

The Future Medics in Years 7 and 8 had a brilliant hands-on session with Medical Students from Exeter Medical School today. The students learned how to use a mask and bag to ensure a non-breathing patient was getting enough oxygen. The students also learned about how the lungs and breathing system work, and also used a stethoscope to listen to their own hearts. The CSIA students introduced themselves at the start of the session and the Medics were surprised that many of them already had quite clear ideas of which branch of the medical profession they were hoping to pursue. Within the group of Year 7 and 8 students are two budding neurosurgeons, a student hoping to be a paediatric doctor, a future dentist and a hopeful biomedical chemist. The four medical students running the session were very impressed with the attitude of the students and their subject knowledge. “What an...

Dr Jo Foster Appointed as STEM Education Trustee For The Science Museum Group

By on Oct 3, 2018 in Blog |

The success of the amazing programme at Nexus is being widely recognised with the exciting news that Dr Foster has been appointed by the Prime Minister as a trustee for the Science Museum Group. Dr Foster said: I’m really delighted to have been appointed as a Trustee for the Science Museum Group. My role on the Board of Trustees will enable me to have an impact on the direction the Science Museum Group take in terms of their provision not only in their museums, but also in terms of outreach and resources that are available all over the country. As a teacher, I hope to be able to bring a new perspective to the Board of Trustees. The Group is very keen that the work of its teams has the widest possible impact, not only in terms of the visitors to the museums, but also more widely in the world of science education.   The Science Museum Group is the world’s leading group of science...