Operating Theatre Live – the boys get hands on and hands in …

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Boys in Years 7, 8 and 9 took part in “Operating Theatre Live”, a travelling school-based medical programme. Langlands Hall was converted into an operating theatre, allowing students to experience anatomy up close, in a clinical setting.

Under the watchful eye of two doctors, an A&E nurse and an operating theatre technician, the boys took a very hands-on approach to study anatomy. They dressed and acted as surgeons to surgically remove a pig’s brain and eye, dissected hearts, intubated a patient and studied the breathing and digestive systems up close.

An Introduction to Medicine session outlined the process of selecting and applying for higher education courses in health, bioscience and medicine. Pupils were presented with the statistical facts surrounding the importance of GCSE and A level results as well as given an idea of the things they need to be doing over the next few years that will enhance an application to health/medicine in the future.

During ‘Patient care’ pupils were given a ‘patient’ and a set of notes and discussed the importance of record keeping for accountability and get to grips with the problem solving required when interpreting patient notes.

The Gastrointestinal tract and live dissection began in the abdominal cavity. Pupils first used their booklets to identify the different parts of the GI tract and match structure to function. In groups they got hands on with a real GI tract to see, touch and feel the oesophagus, stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus. This session includes discussion on Chron’s disease, lactose intolerance and parasitic threadworm.

The Cardiovascular system allowed pupils to gain an understanding of the structure and function of the human heart. Firstly pupils located the heart and listen to the “Lub-Dub” sound using a stethoscope.

Following this students used their knowledge of the four chambers and four blood major blood vessels to perform an angioplasty, fit a pacemaker and carry out a heart transplant all on their life-size patients using real thoracic anatomy.

In the final session of the day pupils developed their understanding of the nervous system.

Firstly identifying the main structures of the central and peripheral nervous system before moving on to look at the structure of the skull and meningitis as an infection. Pupils then took part in a head dissection, removing the brain from the cranial cavity to observe the left and right hemisphere; pupils observed the brain stem and the top of the spinal cord before removing the eyeball from the orbit to observe the optic nerve.

Mrs Callaghan commented:

“The day really engaged the boys, with many displaying new skills and an enthusiasm for science.  I am sure this will act as a catalyst for many boys to refresh their view of science as seen in context and in a ‘real life’ situation they can relate to the topics we cover in the lab.”

As they pupils themselves said ‘It was brilliant, so much fun and we learnt loads’

The day ended with the awarding of an ‘Operating Theatre Live’ certificate for each student to add to their personal development portfolio, which can be used as evidence for participating in activities related to a career in medicine enhancing a personal statement, college or university application.

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Welcome to the Head

Matthew Bryan

“It’s a huge privilege to be coming in as Head at Kingswood House, particularly in this its 125th year. KHS is an exciting, kind, progressive and ambitious school and I’m looking forward to building on the foundations laid by my predecessors to take the school from strength to strength”.