Upper School: Year 7 -11

Over the years St Wilfrid’s has developed a well earned reputation as a caring but dynamic, family orientated school, educating children who have abilities ranging from academically gifted to those who may need little additional support. Whatever level, each pupil thrives in the unique environment. Our aim is for all pupils to reach their full potential and our examination results bear testament to our continued success.

St Wilfrid’s is consistently one of the leading non-selective schools, for academic achievement at GCSE level, in Devon. However, we do not place sole emphasis on academic prowess. Instead we recognise that there are a number of vital qualities needed in helping to develop a well rounded individual. The breadth of the curriculum including Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Ten Tors and Exmoor Challenges, charity work and various clubs and extra curricular activities allows the pupils the opportunities to discover their strengths and gain the confidence and self esteem required for today’s world.

Year 7

BBC News Report

This is a weekly report of all the news that happens in St Wilfrid’s and from the outside world!



Year 7 have been learning all about Edward I’s castle building skills.


They were set a challenge to build their own castle, based on Edward I’s designs used to keep control in Wales.



Year 7 have been studying the Norman invasion of England in 1066. They have looked at the build up to the Norman Conquest and have now been paying attention to how the Norman’s managed to take control of England.

We have been doing an indepth study into the Motte & Bailey castles used by King William to take control of Saxon England.


We visited Rougemont Castle in Exeter and were able to witness a real life Motte & Bailey castle.

We saw a moat, a motte, a bailey and a keep. We also saw the place where the last witches of England were sentenced.


Year 8


Year 8 have been investigating the reactivity of metals.  Here we are reacting calcium with water and collecting the hydrogen produced.  The best bit was testing the gas by making it pop in a flame!


Year 8 as part of their plate tectonics work made a volcano incorporating all the things they had been taught. They constructed them as a long term project and they all looked really good. To finish the work off in the last week of term we simulated erupting the volcanoes using vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and red food colouring. The results were really good. Well done year 8!

Year 9

Art & Chemistry


CHEMISTRY – Painting with Chemicals by WD

Recently in Chemistry we have been doing a project to change the colour of red cabbage stained paper.  This acts as an indicator, something that is changed by acids and alkalis.  The acid turned the paper pink and red, whereas the alkali turned it blue and green.



In Chemistry recently we have been using a range of substances with different pHs to paint with.  We have been painting these substances on paper washed with red cabbage indicator.  This means that, for example, a colourless liquid could come out bright pink because it had reacted with the indicator on the paper.  We had great fun doing this experiment.  This is how we did it.

Step 1: First of all we took a plain piece of paper and lightly covered it in a red cabbage indicator solution, making sure not to soak it too much, but also to get enough on there so the end colours would be vibrant enough.

Step 2: We then had to decide what we wanted to pain on our paper and make guides out of cardboard.  We then traced around our guides so we had a rough idea of where things had to go when it came to painting it.

Step 3: Once we were sure we had everything on our picture we got out the solutions.  The idea is that the indicator will react with the acid or alkali in the solution and change colour.  We used lots of different things in our solutions, including bleach (to make it go white), lemon juice and lots more.  The solutions had to be mixed with water so we could use them easily, but we got to play around with the concentrations of the solutions and see what different colours we could make.

Step 4: We then had to leave our creations to dry which was actually quite interesting because the indicator is sensitive to the air as well, so the colour of the paper changed a lot.  The colours on the paper also changed as they dried and became more concentrated.

Overall I think this was a very interesting and fun experiment to do an I learned a lot more about indicators and their properties.



For our Art and Chemistry project we have been painting pictures using acids and alkalis and red cabbage.  To do this we had to paint the red cabbage onto a piece of paper.  Then we cut out shapes so that we could trace around them on the paper.  After that we chose some acids and alkalis.  The red cabbage acts as an indicator so that the paper changed different colours with the different pHs of the chemicals.



The Year 9’s have completed their World War 1 trench projects. As you can see, we have some excellent model trenches.


Year 9 have been learning about Victorian Britain: The Industrial Revolution, Wars, technology, crime and punishment (Jack The Ripper!).


To finish off the topic, the pupils were set the task of making a Victorian board game! These ranged from Victorian snakes & ladders to a murder mystery game. Very impressive!



This week we have been learning about basic Trigonometry.  Each pupil has made their own Theodolite, and on Wednesday, we went outside to use our Theodolite to measure the height of the Big tree in the playground, and the height of the Chemistry lab.


The pupils began by measuring their own height.  They then used their Theodolite to measure the angle of elevation to the top of the tree or lab.  From this we were able to calculate the total height of the tree and of the lab.


The purpose of this project was to demonstrate the practical implications of Trigonometry.


Based on our calculations, the tree is about 16m high, and the Chemistry lab is about 5.5m

Year 10



Year 10 on an architecture photography trip around the locality on Friday 17th June.

They also had fun popping in to Exeter College’s Art School, who were mounting their wonderful art show.

We can highly recommend a visit there to see the fantastic art- including some brilliant work by our ex pupil Ella Slade!


Year 10 have been making nylon which is a polymer.  We had to be extra careful with the chemicals as they were smelly and harmful!  This experiment is called the “Nylon Rope Trick”.


HE – Lemon meringue pie practical (to demonstrate technical skills)

This dish shows three distinct skills; shortcrust pastry, lemon sauce, showing the gelatinisation of starch and a piped meringue top

Year 11


Year 11 have been investigating the amount of energy released when different alcohols are burnt.  Some of the alcohols burnt with very sooty flames and so we had to do a lot of cleaning after this experiment!



As part of the section on the transport systems in animals we dissected hearts.



Pinhole Camera Image - Ross Bovingdon

Physics is a classic example of  “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand”. Pupils with good practical skills in tandem with an understanding of the subject are in big demand in today’s workplace and we want to help our pupils be confident becoming the next generation of engineers and technicians as much as pursuing purely academic courses.