The Leys

Learning in Cambridge


Read about some of our links with the University of Cambridge and other local academic, business and cultural organisations:


  • Links with Clare College for mathematics enrichment tutorials - STEP and beyond


  • A pilot group has embarked upon a STEM Project using Raspberry Pi technology (based in Cambridge) and 3D printers (with advice from Cambridge University Engineering department)


  • Year 11/LVIth trip to the Old Cavendish Laboratory in the city centre where the structure of DNA was discovered
  • Annual LVIth videoconference with the Sanger Institute, world leaders in malaria vaccine research
  • Annual UVIth trip to the Sanger Institute to study genomics. The institute  was instrumental in sequencing the human genome

Business Studies/Economics

  • Annual trip to the Cambridge Economics Department to participate in their competition – “Running the UK Economy”
  • Participation in an Enterprise Competition – Regional Final held at Cambridge Judge Business School
  • Links with current Cambridge Undergraduates
  • Participation in the Enterprise Day held by the Perse at the Hilton Hotel


  • Participation in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s ‘Top of the Bench’ competition (Years 9-11)
  • Participation in the Young Analyst competition (L6) 
  • Year 7 and 8 boarders to Chemistry lecture at the University of Cambridge
  • A Cambridge post-gradgraduate doing academic stretch work with Oxbridge candidates and mock interviews
  • A Cambridge undergraduate helping with eight sessions in the department as part of an education module
  • Participation in the C3L6 challenge for L6 run by St Catharine’s College

Computer Science

  • Annual trip to Microsoft Think Computer Science event for Year 11, with talks and demonstrations from leading designers, scientists and engineers covering new and emergent technologies.
  • Annual trip to IBM Cambridge for Year 8, covering the Art of Intelligence Analysis, how intelligence analysis can be used to solve real world problems.
  • Gadget Design for Year 8, a part of the syllabus originating from Microsoft’s ‘Great Gadgimagining Competition’ several years ago: the pupils work in groups to design theoretical gadgets from a set list of components, identifying how they could be integrated together to form solutions to real life problems.

Design Technology

  • Strong links with Cambridge University Engineering Department (CUED), both at professor level (two links, one of which is an Old Leysian) and in the ‘making’ i.e. their workshops.  
  • CUED students have made presentations to our pupils as part of their Phds.
  • CUED student visits as pre PGCE experiences
  • Links with CUED STEM Outreach Officer, they supplied materials and tools for the ‘Bridge Challenge’and ‘Build Your Own Hovercraft’ exercises
  • Support from evening class (Friday Night Group) for DT and STEM activities including two software designers, an ex-CEGB manager and ex-CEO of Microsoft Research Cambridge 


  • Annual trip (top two year 10 science sets) to the ‘Physics at Work’ Exhibition at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge
  • The Leys has good links with the organiser of this, Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright.  So too with the Administrative Secretary of Department, David Peet, former Head of Physics at The Leys.
  • Annual workshop usually attended with one other year group to the Cavendish, depending on availability/topic/timing.
  • Monthly (approx.) trips to the Cambridge Physics Centre evening lectures at the Cavendish
  • Annual entries to the Institute of Physics Environmental Physics Essay Competition, in which our pupils usually win prizes.
  • Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR) evening lecture visits, as topics suit us. CSAR are very keen to work with us to receive our feedback and to promote their Student Awards Programme. CSAR goes beyond “Science”. 
  • Engineering Department public lecture visits, various series. Often up to ten a year.
  • Engineering Department, recent liaison with Dr Hugh Shercliff and M.Eng student to run computer modelling of West House, in terms of its heat profiling, leading to a comprehensive report. Other liaison with Dr Shercliff regarding sustainability issues in terms of buildings and energy, including some work on Energy Teaching Materials.
  • Annual trip to the Institute of Astronomy for workshop, L6 this year.
  • Annual trip to High Energy Physics Group (Cavendish) Particle Physics workshop.
  • Alistair Morfey, Technology Director, Cambridge Consultants has come in and spoken with the L6 about the ‘Year In Industry’ programme.
  • Professor Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics & Head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group in Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, gave a lecture last year on the Arctic ice and attended dinner to talk to a few students informally afterwards.
  • Cambridge University Eco racing have brought their solar car onto site to show pupils and talk to them about the challenge, or run a mini solar-car building exercise (LS Science Club) and they have, in return, used our roads to film with ITN. Mr Harmsworth will invite them back.
  • Dr Enrico Gili, from the Cavendish Laboratory, visited to deliver a talk on “How are computer CPUs made?” to the L6.
  • We support the Institute of Physics’ School Experience Programme, run via the Cavendish Laboratory. This involves us allowing undergraduate and graduate students to come in to observe classes when they are considering undertaking teacher training. This interaction is useful and often leads to their return to talk about their research, etc.
  • Dr Stephen Martin, various affiliations, started supporting our High Flier pupils with some additional tuition once a week.
  • Tony Richards, Senior Consultant Engineer at Plextek RF Integration, came in and gave a presentation about the use of radio in electronics. He has been invited back.
  • Cambridge Science Festival always falls at a critically busy time of year, but attendance is encouraged and endorsed, with occasional trips led.
  • Some liaison with DCP Microdevelopments on IT in Science Education. Detailed feedback on Time Machine product. Currently awaiting iPad direct datalogging solution beta testing.
  • STEM Team East communicate with us, have had some interactions and pupils.
  • Mr Harmsworth has taken pupils to biannual Engineering Festival at Duxford
  • BPhO entries made, yrs 11–U6, but not Cambridge specific. Other non-Cambridge links.

Other subjects


  • Lia Reyes, Head of Spanish at The Leys has a long –standing professional and personal link with some members of the Spanish department at the Languages Faculty of the University of Cambridge. Dr Carmen Olmedilla and Angeles Carreres have been able to provide advice on material and resources in the teaching of Spanish. They have also been very helpful in supporting our Careers Event at the school where a member of the Languages Faculty took part, providing information and advice to students wanting to do languages at University level. Since then Helen Williams, Head of German at The Leys,  has benefitted from a very good link with Dr Martin Ruehl.


  • Alex Welby (Head of the Classics Department) has connections in the Classics Faculty as well as with Professor Pat Boyde, an Emeritus Professor of Italian at St Johns.
  • Postgraduate students have been giving academic stretch Latin and Greek lessons in the department for some years now.
  • Through our connections with Robert Culshaw, we can use contacts at the British Antarctic Survey.


  • Links through the Cambridge and District Branch of the Geographical Association of which David Nye (Head of Geography at The Leys) is the former treasurer.
  • Lectures for Sixth formers at Cambridge University Geography department or Homerton College.


  • Simon Leader (Head of Modern Foreign Languages at The Leys) has links with the Department of Modern and Medieval Languages of the University of Cambridge with Dr Rory O’Bryen and Andrew Martin.
  • The department also invites languages graduates to teach our most able and motivated linguists in small groups. This term we have a graduate writing a PhD on film giving a presentation on How to “read” films to our 6th form linguists.


  • The VI form benefit from our ‘Artist in Residence’ scheme, which we hope to start again in 2015-16
  • The University has its own Artist in Residence schemes in certain colleges and we have benefitted by having two of their former Artists. Tom de Freston came to us from Christ’s College & Ulyana Gulmeniuk from Trinity.


  • Regular lectures from members of the Faculty of Divinity e.g. Dr James Carlton Paget from Peterhouse and Ruth Jackson from Corpus Christi. 
  • Rev Charles Fraser (Head of Divinity at The Leys) is a member of the Rotary Club which provides the annual Technology Tournament supported by STEM East. 
  • Many Rotarians come into school to help with interview practice and now Independent Research Projects supervision. 
  • Also a potential Oxbridge tutee was able to visit the Whittaker Laboratory looking at prostate cancers as a result of a contact made via the Rotary Club. 
  • Through the Independent Research Projects Reverend Fraser has an extensive bank of contacts within several universities. 


  • The English department enjoys links with Pembroke College. We attend an annual lunch designed to encourage networking among English and related academics; student visits to the college Library; and text-related lectures for Sixth Form.

International Support:

  • Individual pupils are taken to seminars by Research Fellows prior to Formal Hall on High Table at Homerton College. Many of these have been science based.
  • Arranged meetings Hawkins and Associates on the Science Park for pupils interested in Chemical Engineering.
  • Arranged meetings with Senior Tutor of Robinson College, Dr Bill Nolan. He has also been to talk to interested pupils in the past.
  • Collaborated with CEEDS (Cambridge University Continuing Easter Education Development Society) on cultural days, events and organising a Chinese Artist from Nanjing University to teach a group of Lower 6. This has led to invitations for our pupils to attend events.



01223 508900

The Leys School