We’re delighted to announce the winners of the latest set of Pre-GCSE Inspire competitions for the term! In Class 7, Adaptation and the Human Mind, we returned to evolution in science, looking again at some of the themes we first explored earlier in the course. We discussed what is meant by terms such as ‘genetics’,…
How do we use mathematics to study natural selection? In this article, we will derive equations that will help us to calculate the probability of a gene being passed down in a population. You’ll even get the chance to try these equations out for yourself! Professor Alan Grafen, Tutorial Fellow in Quantitative Biology
A gas turbine is a type of combustion engine that can convert fuel into energy. How does this work, and how did this manner of producing energy come about? Read on to learn about how gas turbines evolved, and what role they play in our lives now… The Basic Principles Gas turbines use the possibility…
How could evolution produce a highly complex, efficient and still-evolving structure such as the human brain? In this article we look at the evolution of the brain across humans as well as other creatures to begin solving this mystery. Charles Darwin stated, “community in embryonic structure reveals community of descent.” Thus, to understand how the…
In previous articles in this class, we have learned about some of the many mysteries around the workings of the human brain. In this article we will examine a slightly more well-understood change that can happen in the brain: addiction. Addiction, when a behaviour becomes compulsive despite negative consequences, is a chronic disease which involves…
Well done to everyone who submitted an entry to Class 1 of the Inspire Programme for Years 10 & 11! The quality of entries we received was extremely high – so high in fact that we ended up awarding even more prizes than we had planned! You can click on the links below to read some…
Thank you very much to everyone who submitted an entry to Competition 3: Evolution of flight! Here you can see some of the winning entries, as selected by our team of markers. 1st place (Year 10): Lili S Lili’s winning entry 1st place (Year 11): Melanie H. Melanie’s winning entry The evolution of birds, and their…
Thank you very much to everyone who submitted an entry to Competition 2: Create your own organism. We had great fun looking through the very creative inventions of our programme participants! Below you can see some of the winning entries, as selected by our team of markers. 1st place (Year 10): Amy A. & Jessica T….
Thank you very much to everyone who submitted an entry to Competition 1: The fossil record! Below you can read some of the winning entries, as selected by our team of markers. 1st place (Year 10): Vienna D. & Eleanor G. Vienna’s winning entry Palaeontologists estimate that only around 1% of all animals to have ever…
We’re delighted to announce the winners of the latest set of Pre-GCSE Inspire competitions for 2021! In Class 6, Books, Literature & Leisure, we looked again at evolution through a cultural lens, exploring how books and novels have evolved through different formats, styles and practices that reflect the societies producing them. We then turned to…
What is consciousness? The notion of consciousness is one of science’s big mysteries, and in this article we will begin to explore what we do know about what consciousness is, how it evolves and how it affects our daily realities. The mystery of human consciousness has plagued the minds of scientists and philosophers alike for…
It’s now time to move on to Class 2 of our Inspire Programme for Years 10 & 11: you’ll find the new class at the Year 11 webpage. In the previous class, we learned about evolution as a driver of biological change. But other kinds of change function in quite similar ways, and today we…
We’re delighted to announce the winners of the first set of Pre-GCSE Inspire competitions for 2021! Class 5, Evolution and Volcanoes in review, was a little different from previous classes: we looked back at some of the topics we’ve covered over our last two themes stretching back to the summer school – ‘What is the…
What do you think: Should we all speak the same language?
As culture has evolved, so has the way we spend our leisure time. Dr Severine Toussaert investigates how the evolution of technology has impacted our leisure time – and how the digital economy affects the leisure economy.
For over 1,600 years, the book has existed as a collection of rectangular sheets of parchment or paper with text and/or illustrations, folded into pages, bound together, and covered by a binding.
Evolution is not simply a scientific phenomenon. In the humanities, it is as important to examine the process by which something becomes the object we know today as to examine the object itself.
Dear Year 10 and 11 pupils, We hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season and New Year’s! We’re excited to welcome you back to the Year 10 and 11 Inspire Programme with the first class materials. Today we are excited to release the first class materials for our Year 10 and 11 Inspire Programme. This…
Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection states that the adaptations of an organism to its environment arise because of the greater chance of survival of those offspring that have a favourable variation caused by random mutation, which they then pass on to their offspring.
What role does sexual reproduction play in evolution? In this article, we will consider how recombination and genetic variation drive evolution.
In the past year, our lives have all been disrupted because of the pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus. But what is it that actually happens within our bodies and immune systems when we encounter such a virus?
Darwin’s Origin of Species still provides the best single account of evolution, but modern discoveries allow us to fill in some details and make some additions. Learn about some of these here!
We’re delighted to announce the winners of 2020’s final set of Pre-GCSE Inspire competitions! Click here to see the winning entries.
We are very excited to welcome a total of 997 pupils from 141 non-selective state schools onto the Inspire Programme for Years 10 and 11 this year! Click here to find out more about this year’s course.
So you think you know some things about evolution… Now’s your chance to test yourself – take this short quiz to see how much you know!
The St. John’s College Classics and Ancient History Essay Competition will be running for the eleventh time during the academic year 2020-21 – find out more here!
Congratulations to the winners of this term’s third set of Pre-GCSE Inspire competitions! Read their work here.
While some principles of evolution, like natural selection, do not work quite the same in music as in biological evolution, this is still a useful metaphor for examining changes in the history of music itself, as well as changes in the role of music in society.
Evolution occurs in culture as well as in the natural world. One example of this is language evolution.
Congratulations to the winners of this year’s second set of Pre-GCSE Inspire competitions! Click here to see the winning entries.
Nowadays, language is changing faster than ever before. In this article, you will learn about the impact of technology and the internet on the evolution of English.
We have so far been looking at evolution from the perspective of Biology and Geology, but the principles of evolution can help us understand other kinds of change as well. For example, evolution can tell us a lot about how computers and artificial intelligence are developing now, and where they may be going in the future.
Fossils record the history of life on Earth in rocks. But how can we learn about evolution, origination of new species and mass extinctions from fossils?
“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” This was famously said by Theodore Dhobzhansky, one of the most eminent biologists of the 20th century, and practically every biologist in the world agrees with him. But what does such a sweeping claim mean?
St John’s College, as part of Oxford for South East, is excited to announce the Year 10 and 11 Inspire Programme for 2020-21!
We’re delighted to announce the winners of this year’s first Pre-GCSE Inspire competitions! Click here to explore the fantastic entries we received…
Try your hand at this Maths brainteaser about dominoes!
Despite the suspension of all face-to-face access and admissions activity at St John’s in March 2020, the Access and Admissions team has continued to work hard throughout the lockdown, providing information, advice and dedicated digital resources to students and teachers across the UK.
Congratulations to all Year 12 competition winners!
Congratulations to Year 9 competition winners!
Following last week’s Virtual Summer Schools on the Inspire Programme, we are excited to announce the winners of last week’s Year 9 and Year 12 competitions!
Welcome to the Daily Activity for Friday on the STEM strand of the Year 12 Inspire Programme!
Welcome to Friday’s Daily Activity for the Year 12 Humanities Virtual Summer School!
During the past week, we have examined this question from four different subject perspectives. Now it’s time to submit your answer!
Many science fiction stories include technologies that seem far out of our reach, such as: invisibility, teleportation and time travel. However, are these technologies really that far-fetched?
Welcome to the Daily Activity for Thursday on the STEM strand of the Year 12 Inspire Programme!
Welcome to Thursday’s Daily Activity for the Year 12 Humanities Virtual Summer School!
In this session you will consider biodiversity, and the impact of human activities on endangered species.
Welcome to the Daily Activity for Wednesday on the STEM strand of the Year 12 Inspire Programme!
Welcome to Wednesday’s Daily Activity for the Year 12 Humanities Virtual Summer School!