Skip to main content

Redwood Hosts Pilot Summer School

22 January 2024

On Wednesday 5th July the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences welcomed fifty Year 10 pupils from Ysgol Cwm Brombil in Neath Port Talbot for a day of pharmacy-based activities.

Based around the journey of a drug from bench to bedside each activity was curated to fit into the WJEC GCSE Biology syllabus, ensuring pupils involved took away not only a taster if life as a pharmacist, but also knowledge applicable in their exams.

The narrative sweep began with Dr Marcella Bassetto, who discussed drug discovery using molecular modelling through an interactive game using Molymods. Professor Andrew Westwell then spoke about the importance of drug design before Dr Sam Jones with his PhD student Georgia Farr went on to demonstrate medicines optimization in the context of the fight against cancer resistance with their innovative skittle game, where the pins become magnetized as the game continues, just as cancer cells become more difficult to knock out as they develop resistance. Drug delivery lessons came in the form of Lego 3D skin printing with Dr Sion Coulman and Dr Chris Thomas, whilst Dr Meike Heurich demonstrated how anaphylaxis can be treated with a dummy epi pen. After lunch hands on clinical skills and practice activities were laid on by practicing pharmacists and lecturers at the School, Cher Thomas and Wyn Davies.

The day formed part of a project funded by HEIW via Welsh Government for widening access to pharmacy. With an official shortage of pharmacists in the UK, particularly in rural and deprived areas, promoting the profession is a key need for achieving a modern future health service. With the role of the pharmacist expanding the summer school was intended to show how attractive a career in the field can be.

This pilot project was a test run for a two day summer school that will be run in 2024, with an overnight stay for pupils and a more involved experience. Funding for this exciting venture has been secured by a grant from HEIW and will see children from all over Wales brought in to the Redwood Building.

Academic lead for the project, Wyn Davies, said, “Engaging with schools and their pupils is of huge importance to us as a school as we recognise the importance of normalising the idea of higher education as early as possible in a student’s educational journey. Having worked previously with educators at Ysgol Cwm Brombil it was a real treat for us to welcome the pupils to the Redwood building to provide them with a taste of life at university, but also demonstrate how their classroom learning relates to potential future careers… and hopefully, we will see some of the faces again walk through the door as pharmacy students.”

Share this story