Bell Burnell: Physics star gives away £2.3m prize


One of the UK’s leading female astronomers is to donate her £2.3m winnings from a major science prize she was awarded.

The sum will go to fund women, under-represented ethnic minority and refugee students to become physics researchers.

Prof Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell has been awarded a Breakthrough Prize for the discovery of radio pulsars.

This was also the subject of the physics Nobel in 1974, but her male collaborators received the award.

The Breakthrough award also recognises her scientific leadership.

‘An inspiration’

Prof Bell Burnell believes that under-represented groups – who will benefit from the donation – will bring new ideas to the field.

“I don’t want or need the money myself and it seemed to me that this was perhaps the best use I could put to it,” she told BBC News.

Prof Bell Burnell’s story has been both an inspiration and motivation for many female scientists. As a research student when pulsars were discovered, she was not included in the Nobel prize citation – despite having been the first to observe and analyse the astronomical objects (a type of neutron star that emits a beam of radiation).

She now says she wants to use her prize money to counter what she describes as the “unconscious bias” that she believes still occurs in physics research jobs.

Fresh perspective

The former president of the Institute of Physics (IOP) believes that it was because she was from a minority group herself that she had the fresh ideas required to make her discovery as a young student at Cambridge University more than 50 years ago.

“I found pulsars because I was a minority person and feeling a bit overawed at Cambridge. I was both female but also from the north-west of the country and I think everybody else around me was southern English,” she said.

“So I have this hunch that minority folk bring a fresh angle on things and that is often a very productive thing. In general, a lot of breakthroughs come from left field.”

Factbox on physics and girls and ethnic minorities Girls perform just as well as boys in GCSE Physics but only 1.9% of girls choose A-level physics compared to 6.5% for boys; 44% of schools don't have any girls who go on to study A-level physics; The number of black first-year undergraduate physics students in 2016 was 85 - that's 1.7% of all first years studying the subject

Professor Dame Julia Higgins, president of the Institute of Physics, said: “This is an excellent and hugely appropriate acknowledgement of Jocelyn’s work. Her discovery of pulsars still stands as one of the most significant discoveries in physics and inspires scientists the world over.

“Her example of using insight and tenacity to make a discovery that rings through the ages stands her alongside the greatest of scientists.

“Alongside her scientific achievement, Jocelyn has become a hugely respected leader in the scientific community. She has been instrumental in making sure the issue of access to science by people from under-represented groups is at the very top of the science community’s agenda.”

The fine detail of the scholarship have yet to be decided. In addition to women and under-represented ethnic minorities, refugee applicants will also be eligible for a slice of the funding.

She said of these groups: “Those are the people that tend to be discriminated against through unconscious bias so I think that’s maybe one of the reasons why there aren’t so many. And so if they come with some funding with them then they look much more attractive”.

Age profile

Prof Bell Burnell has been diplomatic when asked about the Nobel Prize controversy. But she hopes that her scheme will play a part in changing the current disparity.

“There certainly has been a notable lack of women Nobel Prize winners, except maybe in areas like literature where you know there are women,” she said.

“I think in part that’s to do with the age profile of the women that there are in the subject at the moment. Nobel Prizes rarely go to young people; they more often go to established people and it’s at that level that there are fewer women in physics.”

And her message to those thinking of applying for her scholarship?

“I’d say go for it if you’re at all interested. I think physics is immense fun… and if you don’t want to continue in it forever you’re very well equipped to do all sorts of things afterwards,” she explained

Summer Programme

Dear friends and colleagues, 

I am in the process of putting together a programme of lessons which will run over the school summer holidays. I hope to provide some broad based English or maths for primary as well as secondary age level.

In addition we will be able to offer individual lessons for students including English, maths and science and we now have access to other specialist tutors, such as a dyslexia specialist, so please let me know if you are interested in this programme.

Please remember that tutors take holidays during the summer vacation so it will be different tutors at different points across the six week period.

Privacy policy

With the recent changes to the law and uptick in cybercrime we have decided to update our privacy policy in order to better protect you data. Below ou can read our new policy:


Privacy Policy Notice

The policy: This privacy policy notice is for this website; [http://www.high flyers] and served by high flyers tutoring 24 Altrincham road, Wilmslow SK95HY and governs the privacy of those who use it. The purpose of this policy is to explain to you how we control, process, handle and protect your personal information while browsing or using this website, including your rights under current laws and regulations. If you do not agree to the following policy you may wish to cease viewing / using this website.

Policy key definitions:

  • “I”, “our”, “us”, or “we” refer to the business, High Flyers Tutoring.
  • “you”, “the user” refer to the person(s) using this website.
  • GDPR means General Data Protection Act.
  • PECR means Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulation.
  • ICO means Information Commissioner’s Office.
  • Cookies mean small files stored on a users computer or device.

Processing of your personal data

Under the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) we control and / or process any personal information about you electronically using the following lawful bases.

  • We are exempt from registration in the ICO Data Protection Register because [provide reason].
  • Lawful basis: Consent
    Data retention period: We will continue to process your information under this basis until you withdraw consent or it is determined your consent no longer exists.
    Sharing your information: We do not share your information with third parties.
  • Lawful basis: Contract

    Data retention period: We shall continue to process your information until the contract between us ends or is terminated under any contract terms.
    Sharing your information: We do not share your information with third parties.
  • Lawful basis: Legal obligation
    Sharing your information: We do not share your information with third parties.
  • Lawful basis: Vital interests
    Data retention period: two years
    Sharing your information: We do not share your information with third parties.
  • Lawful basis: Public task
    Data retention period: two years
    Sharing your information: We do not share your information with third parties.

  • Sharing your information: We do not share your information with third parties.
  • Lawful basis: Criminal offence data


If, as determined by us, the lawful basis upon which we process your personal information changes, we will notify you about the change and any new lawful basis to be used if required. We shall stop processing your personal information if the lawful basis used is no longer relevant.

Your individual rights

Under the GDPR your rights are as follows. You can read more about your rights in details here;

  • the right to be informed;
  • the right of access;
  • the right to rectification;
  • the right to erasure;
  • the right to restrict processing;
  • the right to data portability;
  • the right to object; and
  • the right not to be subject to automated decision-making including profiling.

You also have the right to complain to the ICO [] if you feel there is a problem with the way we are handling your data.

We handle subject access requests in accordance with the GDPR.

Data security and protection

We ensure the security of any personal information we hold by using secure data storage technologies and precise procedures in how we store, access and manage that information. Our methods meet the GDPR compliance requirement.

Transparent Privacy Explanations

We have provided some further explanations about user privacy and the way we use this website to help promote a transparent and honest user privacy methodology.

Email marketing messages & subscription

Under the GDPR we use the consent lawful basis for anyone subscribing to our newsletter or marketing mailing list. We only collect certain data about you, as detailed in the “Processing of your personal date” above. Any email marketing messages we send are done so through an EMS, email marketing service provider. An EMS is a third party service provider of software / applications that allows marketers to send out email marketing campaigns to a list of users.

Email marketing messages that we send may contain tracking beacons / tracked clickable links or similar server technologies in order to track subscriber activity within email marketing messages. Where used, such marketing messages may record a range of data such as; times, dates, I.P addresses, opens, clicks, forwards, geographic and demographic data. Such data, within its limitations will show the activity each subscriber made for that email campaign.

Any email marketing messages we send are in accordance with the GDPR and the PECR. We provide you with an easy method to withdraw your consent (unsubscribe) or manage your preferences / the information we hold about you at any time.

New tutors: A dyslexia specialist and a science tutor

Dear friends and colleagues.

High Flyers is pleased to announce that we have lined up for September a very experience and well qualified specialist teacher of students with dyslexia. We will be able to offer regular lessons as well as an initial assessment that can be used to negotiate additional support at school.

We have also now recruited an additional tutor to work with us who specialises in science up to GCSE and A level standard. This is good news because we have seen very strong demand for maths and science at senior school ages and this year we were almost stretched to breaking point and so please let me know if you are interested in tutoring in this area.

Please let me know if this will be of interest to anyone.

Let’s Get Physical

Alright then, let’s start your day with a challenge! 

The first part of our life is all about education. We go to primary school, then secondary and end up at college. Throughout this time we are learning the subjects our teachers teach us, to get us through our exams. We’ve all been there and our High Flying GCSE students are currently going through the trials and tribulations of revision.

Have you ever stopped to step outside the box of algebra and word clauses to think about how these concepts and ideas came about? How could such a thing come to be?

Now, for all of you who are wondering what is the point of studying subjects that you feel you have no need for, think again. The world is full of opportunities, and your life will be full of changes and different ideas. The ‘father of science’ Mr. Galileo Galilei can vouch for me here. This Italian man expanded his knowledge into the fields of:

  • Astronomy
  • Physics
  • Engineering
  • Philosophy
  • Mathematics

So basically don’t ever think that there is only one path out there for you- try new things and have fun exploring!

Today’s topic is gravity – the concept of the magnetic force that the earth produces to keep everything grounded to the floor instead of flying around. Though the idea of floating around in the air may seem fun, how practical would it really be for our food to be escaping our mouths when we’re hungry?

So back to our main man of the day: Galileo. One of the most ingenious discoveries that he made occurred around 400 years ago when he investigated the power of gravity and weight. When standing atop the Leaning Tower of Pisa he dropped two objects of different weights to see what would happen. In technical terms the hypothesis of this experiment would be that the heavier object would hit the ground first – I’m sure we can all agree with this assumption.


However, this was not the case! Instead, once the two objects were dropped from the same height they fell the ground at the same time!

How is this possible when it completely defies common sense?!

Our High Flying students have taken in upon themselves to attempt this experiment themselves. Unfortunately, we were not able to go to the Leaning Tower of Pisa to create an accurate replication but have a look at what they found when they copied the experiment in our classroom.

We now challenge you to try this at home and figure out how this is possible. 

Year 7 English group

At High Flyers during Autumn 2 we have focused on developing writing skills.

What is good writing?

How do we encourage readers to be interested in our writing?

How do we make our writing descriptive and create imagery?

How do we use, metaphors, similes and personification?

How do we improve our writing to engage readers?

As a writer we need to develop ideas that are interesting, which hook the reader. Our writing needs to have fluency, so that the words flow and are expressive, inviting the reader and creating a voice in the readers mind. Writing needs to express the writer’s thoughts, personality and feelings. Added to this the writer needs to also use the correct conventions (grammar, spelling, punctuation) of writing, whilst creating  a piece that is logical, effective and easy to read.

Our year 7 English group has worked hard all term to accomplish excellent writing skills. As an end of term task they wrote a piece on what Christmas means to them. We are very proud of their writing and have attached it to share.

What does Christmas mean?

Ameline, 11
Christmas is the most joyful and magical time of the year. Where all the family come together and everyone is happy and filled with love, faith and hope.

Smells of mulled wine, cinnamon and gingerbread fill the air, as people line the busy streets eating Christmas food and doing last minute Christmas shopping.

Snuggling next to warm fires with cosy blankets and cups of delicious hot chocolate. Watching Christmas classics with my family. The gentle glow of flickering candles makes the room feel even more like Christmas and the sweet smelling scents fill my nose.

A Christmas tree in nearly every home, carefully decorated with shining baubles and beautiful lights. Underneath are lots of family gifts, each wrapped individually in festive paper, waiting for the day you get to see their face to light up with excitement at the gift picked especially for them.

Christmas is much more than a day. It is a season. Several weeks where we spend our time and efforts seeing our family and friends, time with people we love. Where people spend time giving and sharing with others. Christmas is like a huge soft blanket that covers everyone with excitement and cheer and fills them with festivity. Christmas is the best time of the year.

Charlotte, 11

Christmas is the most wonderful and sparkly time of the year, full of decorations, pantomimes/plays, gifts and food. It brings friends and families together to celebrate the birth of Jesus that happened over 2000 years ago.

Christmas brings back traditions like Christmas dinner, putting up a Christmas tree, writing Christmas cards, pantomimes and advent calendars. Children play around on the streets having snowball fights and making snow angels.

Gifts are neatly stacked under the tree, the lights are all turned on in towns, villages and cities decorating the skylines. Roaring open fires send warm air into rooms keeping you warm under a blanket and the snow falling onto the ground and kissing your cheeks with coldness are beautiful sights at Christmas.

The smells around you remind you Christmas is almost here, in every room there is a different smell from candles that the wax melt sending lovely smells around our homes.  The Christmas tree decorated with fairy lights baubles and tinsel embrace you with forest type smells, cinnamon wafting from the kitchen and the smell of food on the streets coming from the markets in town make your mouth water.

On the radio you hear carols and songs being played creating cheer. The tastes are mouth melting, gingerbread that has been made into houses and people. The turkey, stuffing, vegetables and gravy in Christmas dinner, chocolate log with cream and Christmas pudding are a few of my favourite tastes at Christmas.


Recommend us to a friend and if they sign up for a term you get a…

£10 voucher

At High Flyers Tutoring, we have a course of action to cover your needs. For more information contact us on 01625 552 255 or

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“PEE all over your books, PEE all over your work”

Hello everyone!

After a delayed initiation we at High Flyers are determined to bring you our thoughts and ideas. It has come to our attention that children are getting very confused when it comes to writing essays. Now, don’t think this just concerns GCSE students, this a confusing topic for all ages.

I’m sure we have all had the thought: “Essays are easy, just write your opinion and argue it.”

I’m not going to tell you that you’re wrong, because having an opinion is one of the most important things! However, there is simply so much more to it. So, here we go!

I’m also sure you have all come across the term PEE before, whether it has been in class or you’ve heard your child reiterate the word and you have thought they were being very rude. When I was in high school my teacher said to the class, “PEE all over your books, PEE all over your work” – yes, that does sound rude indeed. We giggled and thought our teacher had gone insane, but this is exactly what we at High Flyers pride ourselves on teaching.


For those of you unfamiliar with the term, PEE stands for:

P – Point                             E – Evidence                     E – Explain

Though this may seem quite basic, mastering this technique can prove quite tricky but once you have it you can fly through any written assessment whether it be in English Literature, English Language, History, Science etc. PEE will be the foundation of answering any question that aims to be clear, concise and get TOP MARKS every time– how fabulous is that?!

Let me now break down the term:

P – What is the main point of your answer? Let’s make sure we have actually answered the question before we get ahead of ourselves

E – What evidence can you find to support your point?

E – Now here is the tricky part! To explain yourself requires multiple steps that are not easy to figure out without some help. The biggest clue I can give you now is the question – Why? This is probably the most important, if not the most frustrating, question that you will have to ask yourself.

Since we were children we have been trained to attend to different social, cultural and educational situations by learning how to understand things through inference rather than an explicit explanation provided to us. This process becomes second nature to us that we don’t even realise we are doing it! So when we must explain how we came to a certain conclusion most people will find their brains starting to hurt and in frustration blurt out:“I don’t know, just because it is!”

Well fear no more, here at High Flyers Tutoring we have the patience and guidance to support your children from young ages so that when they have reached A level they will be able to blow their examiners away.

For more information on how to help your children at home, we will not only return to this topic to future blogs but upon request we will open our doors and help you help your children be the best that you can in fun and effective ways.

The start of a new year!

With only three more days until High Flyers Tutoring opens its doors to commence the beginning of the academic year, we are all excited and geared up to take on the new challenges. As a team we are truly determined to ensure that every one of our children will blossom and approach learning with a fun and happy experience.

This year will be our first year to try out a new idea that has been on our minds for a long time – a BLOG! This blog will become our platform to give advice and support for parents at home who are up for trying something new at home to help with their children’s learning. We are strong believers in creating a relationship between the classroom and home so children can become the very best that they can be!

Keep an eye out for posts – they will include games, activities, videos and tutorials.

High Five for High Flyers!