Ysgol Uwchradd Caereinion High School


We're proud to be finalists in this years
Rolls-Royce Science Prize

Our aim in this competition is to develop a programme of space themed activities for the Science Club. The theme is “Journey to Mars”, and we will include aspects of the sciences, engineering, horticulture and food technology. The theme is going to run for the whole year, and some of the sixth form are going to take the resources and run their own club for Years 5 and 6 at Llanfair Primary School. They need to spend 30 hours planning and delivering community service as part of their Welsh Baccalaureate. Working with the primary school will give them the chance to fulfil this, along with developing valuable transition links between the two schools.

Launching our rockets
Team building-safely moving the “radioactive” source

Constructing our rockets
Team building-safely moving the “radioactive” source


We plan for our competition entry to be a sustainable project, with students in future years continuing the links with the primary school and encouraging an interest in STEM subjects that will begin at an at primary and stay with the pupils as they move through high school. Having the support of Rolls-Royce this year will be very invaluable in making sure that, through participating in this competition, our pupils increase their “Science Capital” and are given the chance to see what opportunities there are in STEM based careers. To further this throughout the year we hope to invite external STEM providers to the school. We have already booked Techniquest Glyndwr to visit in November to run a space themed day for pupils in year 5, 6 and 7, and hope to invite more visitors during the year.

The Rolls-Royce Science Prize was founded in 2004. It is part of Roll-Royce’s STEM education programme that aims to reach 6 million young people by 2020. They want to inspire the highest quality teaching in science and maths classes so that each generation of students can reach their full potential. The Science Prize has three main objectives: · Recognise and reward excellence in science teaching across the full spectrum of teaching contexts. · Promote sustainable teaching ideas that address specific needs in schools and colleges. · Contribute to teachers’ continuing professional development. The Rolls-Royce Science Prize is a two-year rolling competition. In the first year up to sixty entries from the total received are awarded a £1,000 Special Merit Award, with which to progress and complete their entry into the Science Prize. The Special Merit Award winning entries form the shortlist, from which Rolls-Royce select their finalists. The finalists receive a further £5,000 and a video camera to capture the development of the project.


Mr Urdd takes off
Play Video

We sent a weather balloon soaring up to 35000 feet! – that’s over 6 1/2 miles high!! – and these are the highlights of its journey. At it’s highest point there’s a fantastic image of the curvature of the earth with Mr URDD – a picture drawn by one of our primary school learners – looking down! (I think Mr URDD got a bit of a sun tan)

The balloon was fitted with a tracker and we followed its complete journey online recording its height, temperature and speed. The route was displayed on the TV in school. The balloon 1st travelled north, then south in the upper atmosphere winds, to then travel norh again to a field near to Chirk.

weather balloon tracker

Project Diary Entries

May 2019

I can’t believe we have reached the final diary entry for our Rolls-Royce Science Prize. It has been an amazing year, we were so delighted to have been chosen last July, and the competition has taken us to places we could not have imagined, including the edge of space. As the project developed I have seen our Sixth Formers grow as leaders, and the primary school embrace all the activities with tremendous enthusiasm. Taking part in the project has given us the opportunity to develop our ties with the primary school, and this is an aspect that will have long lasting gains. The competition may be finishing but our project continues, both with the primary science club and new teaching links. Staff at the high school will visiting the primary classes to run outdoor science classes in the next half term.

Team building-safely moving the “radioactive” source

Team building-safely moving the “radioactive” source
Mr URDD in space
Mr URDD drawn by a pupil at Llanfair Primary school attached to the weather balloon as it reaches the upper atmosphere!

Gareth Smith, Chemistry Teacher

Our sky photo competition was judged just before Easter, as can be seen in the March’s diary entry we had some beautiful photos submitted. Well done to our winners in the three categories; Staff, Sixth form and Key-stage 3&4. The competition has been valuable in bringing a creative aspect into our Science project, helping to highlight that STEM is across all aspects of life.

Vickie Faulkner, Science Technician & Project Lead

Following on from the launch of the weather balloon in April, and the interest that generated, the science and geography department are looking into the possibility of purchasing a weather station and working with other schools to share data. This will complement the Year 8 Geography curriculum, helping to develop the pupil’s data interpretation skills and support the teaching of such topics as climate change as we build up an archive of data.

I visited Bro Hyddgen School in Machynlleth to meet with staff there and see how their weather station worked. I came away with lots of information and some great new contacts. It was a wonderful opportunity to visit a school that was willing to share their vast knowledge and enthusiasm.

Tudor Jones, Biology Teacher

Science club in primary school will continue with staff leaders during the next half term, giving the children the chance to investigate solar cars and building Mars buggies. It is planned that the club will run again in the next academic year with Sixth formers once again. The scheme of work for this has not yet been developed, but it is our intention to develop it in a way that complements the themes being investigated in their lessons. In order to do this we will work closely with the primary school staff.

Matthew Palmer – Head of Science

STEM links with the primary school are now stronger as a result of the Rolls-Royce Science Prize, and teaching staff will be working in the Primary School in the next half term leading sessions on the theme of outdoor science. Pupils will be working with quadrats, investigating freshwater life cycles and using microscopes. Links are developing even further as we have offered the same opportunity to other schools in the cluster, and now plan to visit four primaries before the summer break.  ffff

Eluned Downes,Bursar – Expenditure update

Altimeter (Rapid) £23.52 1 £23.52 £5,976.48
Inflatable Solar System Set (Rapid) £28.49 1 £28.49 £5,947.99
Rocket Launcher (Rapid) £53.50 1 £53.50 £5,894.49
Rocket Rolling Mandrells (Rapid) £1.23 10 £12.30 £5,882.19
Rocket Nose Cones (Rapid) £6.87 2 £13.74 £5,868.45
32GB SD Card (Tesco) £18.00 1 £18.00 £5,864.19
Super Stomp Rocket Kit (Amazon) £12.22 2 £24.44 £5,839.75
Super Stomp Rocket Refill (Amazon) £9.21 2 £18.42 £5,821.33
Deilvery (Amazon) £3.73 1 £3.73 £5,817.60
1000 x Interlocking Cubes (YPO) £14.99 1 £14.99 £5,802.61
Techniquest £433.33 1 £433.33 £5,369.28
Gratnells Trolley (Rapid) £174.83 1 £174.83 £5,194.45
Weather Balloon (Sentintospace) Deposit £743.00 2 £1,486.00 £3,708.45
Colour Cahnge Beads(Timstar) £20.75 1 £20.75 £3,687.70
Torch (Timstar) £10.98 3 £32.94 £3,654.76
Balloons (Londis) £1.49 1 £1.49 £3,653.27
Ipads £1,207.50 1 £1,207.50 £2,445.77
Consumables (Primary School Science) £7.03 1 £7.03 £2,438.74
Covers for Ipads £78.00 1 £78.00 £2,360.74
Paint £19.57 1 £19.57 £2,341.17

No change this month, but the remaining funds are budgeted for: 

Materials for solar car/moon buggy activities at Primary School Science Club this term: £360 

Resources for transition teaching – outside science: £50 

Davis Wireless Vantage Pro 2 Weather Station: £1,025 

Cost associated with setting up weather station: £500 

Remaining funds to be used to buy resources for the Primary school Science Club in the next academic year, thus ensuring sustainability: £406.17 

Neil Chattle

Neil is our mentor from Rolls-Royce – this is his Twitter timeline