It started with a bang! What else would you expect from Science Week at Brighton Girls. The sight of Mr Marsh and Mr Gregory firing rockets at each other across the stage on Monday was a sure sign that, yes – finally – normality has returned to Brighton Girls. 

Mr Marsh clearly had a lot of pent-up ‘science-week’ energy to expend – and let’s just say that, over the last five days, he’s let off a considerable amount of steam: we’ve had everything from howling jelly-babies to flame-throwers and whoosh bottles, creepy-crawlies and defecating sea-gulls. 

I had the pleasure of joining Year 7 for a Jaws ‘n’ Claws session on Monday, where I made some new friends, Terence the Lesser Tenrec and Lucy the Columbian Rainbow Boa. Both seemed very at home in Lab 1 and endeared themselves immediately to the Year 7s. There were questions a-plenty (particularly when it came to anything related to reptilian reproductive organs). 

There was much joy to be had throughout the week, but what made this year’s Science Week special was the way in which it brought the whole school community together. The theme for this year’s British Science Week was ‘growth’ and, one of the suggestions made to schools was to “invite a special guest or someone from the school community to share their own experience of growth (for example, how they started their career and gained their expertise), showing how great things can start from small beginnings.”

Growth. I’ve been reminded of the significance of this on numerous occasions over the week. Every day, I’ve passed lines of prep pupils walking crocodile-fashion across Temple Gardens, ready to be inducted into the ways of Senior science – and that means Bunsen burners, fire, controlled explosions but, most importantly, it means a whole gang of big sisters on hand to help. 

Rosie, Bev, Phoebe and Insha from Year 13 worked with the Year 5s on Thursday – all outstanding scientists in their own right, and all “absolutely amazing” in assisting their younger counterparts. On Wednesday, we welcomed back Richard Robinson with his ‘Angry Gull’ workshop, the finale of which saw Head Girl, Molly Kronhamn, volunteering to be ‘gull bombed’ in front of Year 8 and 9. 

Today, we welcomed Dr Susie Maidment from the National History Museum. Dr Maidment is one of the world’s leading experts in stegosauruses, an inspirational scientist who, it so happens, was taught by Mr Marsh at his previous school in Tunbridge Wells – a superb role-model for our students and, like our Year 13 ‘big sisters’, a living example of how great things can start from small beginnings.