Specialism News

Particle Physics Masterclass at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

particle physics 01

Year 12 and 13 students have been experiencing experimental physics first hand at the Particle Physics Masterclass. Held at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxford, we visited the ISIS neutron and muon source, the largest particle accelerator in the UK, to learn about cutting edge research first hand.

Students were able to visit the collider where amazing feats of engineering are happening every day to create subatomic particles and look at data transmitted from CERN to find the Higgs boson, with APS proving their scientific credentials as the first school at the workshop to identify evidence of a Higgs event. The day was rounded off by a series of engaging and stimulating lectures that are sure to inspire our physicists of the future. Here are their thoughts on the day:

The talks were very interesting and well structured around the other activities of the day which provided a great insight into the uses and what is involved in running a particle accelerator. I was also inspiring to see the the wide range of careers and people that work there.Cosmo
The visit to the accelerator was very well structured. We listened to talks about particle physics, the history of particle accelerators and how they work, all of which were interesting and informative. We also had a tour of some of the facility, where we learnt more about the work involved in operating accelerators, and got the chance to use a computer program that allowed us to view data from the LHC. Overall, the day was inspiring and insightful.Max
The activities allowed us to gain a better insight into data processing and the structure of the data collectors at CERN. We learnt a lot about the different detectors and how they are used to understand which fundamental particles are given off during a collision and how momentum is conseved. The tour also allowed us the see how much effort goes into building all the machinery needed to carry out the research.Granit
The trip was very interesting and was extremely helpful in widening my knowledge in physics. Additionally, it helped me understand further possible careers in physics. The layout of the day was also well structured. Furthermore, I found it extraordinary witnessing the amazing apparatus used in particle accelerators.Alexandros Androutsos
The trip to the accelerator was very interesting and insightful onto the physics and process behind finding new sub atomic particles that could help us understand the world better . The talks were interesting and expanded my knowledge on quantum physics and therefore giving me a heads start on others . I also went to ISIS which showed me their machinery close up and gave me a visual idea of how much is needed to control sub atomic particles and their interactions.Viktor Maszewski

Science Week 2019

APS celebrated British Science Week 2019 with an exciting array of extra-curricular activities and events between Monday 11th – Friday 15th March. The theme for this year’s Science Week was ‘journeys’ and Mr Allen delivered a fascinating assembly to each year group on the journey of the Periodic Table of Elements.

On Monday lunchtime, Key Stage 3 students eagerly participated in making plastic from milk, which got students thinking about the journey of non-recyclable plastic and the pursuit of ecological alternatives. The students journeyed through history when they produced ice-cream without the aid of a freezer. Other lunchtime and after-school events included: Making Alka-Seltzer rockets, minibeasts microscopy, making a CD spectrometer, pond dipping and drone racing.

During lessons the Year 7 & 8 pupils went on a journey through the animal kingdom with an amazing collection of animals brought in for the students to pet and learn about. The week spectacularly ended with Mr Nicholls performing his 18th annual Shark Talk on Friday lunchtime to a packed audience. Well done to all students who got involved and participated so brilliantly in all the events.


Who thought you could make plastic from just milk and vinegar…and it’s biodegradable too!Hannah Yr7
Making ice-cream was so fun and messy; I enjoyed shaking the mixture of salt, ice and milkshake!Alfie Yr8
I am really grateful I got to hold, observe and hear about so many animals, we are really lucky to live on such an amazing planet.Sam Yr8

Science Week 2019

science week

Science has taken us from using sticks as tools to changing our own DNA and understanding the very fabric of the universe and you can help carry on this journey into the future.

It is British ScienceWeek from the 11thto 16thMarch and we have a range of exciting activities for students to participate in each day: In lessons, at lunch time and after school.

The available activities are up on posters around the school.

Signup is on either a first come fist serve basis or by signup sheet, please check the poster for the way to sign up for each of the activities or ask a science teacher for more details.

science week 2019 schedule

Download the science week schedule


APS Astronomy Evening huge success

On Valentine's day 2019, Alexandra Park School's science department fell in love with the stars as we hosted an evening of astronomy.

Steve Fossey of UCL and the Mill Hill observatory kicked the evening off with a fascinating retelling of the night he and his team discovered a supernova, which was followed by 2 hours of observing the night sky through the school's telescopes. Highlights of the evening included the STEAM club's homemade telescopes giving clear and highly magnified images of the Moon's surface, and a breath-taking view of the Orion nebula through the school's larger refracting telescope thanks to the fortuitous weather.

I've never used a telescope before! It was interesting to see stars from a different perspective, and Ill never forget itEddie
It was goodCharlie
I went to the Astronomy Observation evening thinking it would be a waste of time (in the cold!) but then I found out that it was really cool and fun!Elsie, 7A
I have never seen the moon that close up before! It was so detailed!>Marin, 7X
I thought fun and interesting to learn about astronomy and see the stars and the moon through a telescope I also found it very interesting when Steve Fossey was talking about supernovasAmelia, 7A
It was extremely enjoyable to learn about supernovas and how they start and end. I also enjoyed using the telescopes we made to see the stars (even if it was quite difficult)Bethany, 7L