A group of 10 students from year 11 visited Balliol College, one of the 38 colleges that make up Oxford University on Tuesday 13th November. For once the M42 was kind (on the way there at least!) so after many games of “Uno” on the way, we arrived at the college bang on time. The morning was spent touring the college and having an introductory talk about Oxford and what it can offer. We then had lunch in the hall – with Miss Jordan very excited that she finally got to sit at the top table!
In the afternoon, a tutor from the college ran a Maths problem solving session with the students. The students were fantastic, getting straight down to trying to solve the problems, working collaboratively to do so. The tutor commented herself on how impressed she was by this and the willingness of the students to try and seek solutions themselves without asking for guidance on how to. One problem involved trying to predict how a computer would arrange a visual diagram of different numbers, based round knowledge of Prime factors. Having be shown what the computer did with numbers 1-59, the students were then challenged to predict the diagrams for 60, 101 and 1001. A second problem involved trying to organise the numbers 1 to 17 in a line so that each pair of adjacent numbers added up to a square number. From this the students were then challenged to think whether they could come up with a system for doing this if the initial numbers were extended.
Having exercised our brains, we then visited University college (the college linked to Staffordshire) so that students could compare the similarities and differences between different colleges, before having free time to get a drink/snack before the longer than expected (a less co-operative M42) journey home.
Mr Farrell (Head of Humanities)