Student Projects

Independent-learning super-curriculum projects: reading, research and ideas shared by Perse students

How has Sherlock Holmes Been Portrayed Through the Ages and How Does it Compare to the Books?

By Charlie S – Y8

Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed many times in different media, from actors Basil Rathbone and Peter Cushing in the early twentieth century to the more recent Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr, each one a slight variation on the original books, with spin-offs such as Young Sherlock (books [1] and film [2]), Mr Holmes (film [3]) and the Baker Street Irregulars (graphic novels [2011]). I thought it would be interesting to compare some of the many versions of him to see which is the most fitting to the original books by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Continue reading

To what extent is Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler a feminist play?

By Georgia G – U6

 Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler is often labelled a feminist play, but this has not been universally accepted. This essay explores arguments for and against the assumption that the play is feminist; one can argue that it is since its protagonist is undoubtedly oppressed by society’s patriarchal conventions, contemporary audiences identified with her for this reason, and there are reasons to suggest that we can all sympathise with Hedda. Arguments to the contrary are that Hedda is in fact entirely unsympathetic so cannot positively advocate feminism, that Ibsen’s intentions point away from feminism, or that her suffering is the result of her own weak character, not society’s gender inequality. I will conclude that Hedda Gabler is an implicitly feminist play since it asserts that women are primarily human beings, and equal to men in the sense that they are allowed universality, and are not restricted to the feminine. To complete my research, I used a range of critical articles from 1891 (the year the play premiered) to today, as well as extracts from books on Ibsen and his plays. Conscious that a play is about more than the written word, my research includes references to Hedda Gabler productions and the views of actors and directors, again from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Continue reading

Investigating images of bioluminescence from the Protein Data Bank and use these to design and create a garment through laser cutting

By Rachel G – U6

The Protein Data Bank Europe issued a challenge to students to create a piece of artwork that incorporates science (via their collection of protein molecule images) with art. I was intrigued by this idea of crossing the boundaries of art into science and vice versa, and was excited by the opportunity to have access to PDBe’s specialist software to design some interesting images for use in my project, and subsequently chose to attempt my own interpretation of this challenge. One idea for inspiration they presented me with was bioluminescent proteins; an area of biology which I knew little about, and after some research into the science behind bioluminescence and its uses, I found it an interesting topic to research.

Continue reading

Fordlandia: Why Henry Ford’s Utopian City in the Jungle failed

By Daniel R – Y9

This essay aims to explore why the now mostly derelict city of Fordlandia in Brazil was established by the American industrialist Henry Ford in the late 1920s. Ford aimed to overturn the British monopoly of rubber production, but no Ford car ever used rubber from his ill-fated plantation. This essay looks at the failure of this project whose name is associated with a man of unprecedented industrial success.

Continue reading

Soap – A brief history and what is new?

Jemima F – Y8

Soap is a product that is easily taken for granted in the modern world because it is so readily available and cheap to buy but it is a necessity that saves lives. 1.4 million deaths around the globe every single year can be prevented by hand washing properly with soap. Almost everyone in the world has used it but what is actually in it, how is it made and where did it come from?

Continue reading

Why do some countries have female leaders, while in others, women have no rights at all?

Imogen W – Y8

Throughout 2016, there were a lot of news stories about the increase of women in positions of political power. Reuters wrote “May, Merkel, Clinton – the year of female leaders.” And the BBC’s headline says, “Are women taking over British Politics?” At the same time, I was reading Malala Yousafzai’s biography which includes information about how girls in Pakistan were being encouraged not to go to school. I wanted to know more about the rights and opportunities of women across the world, so I decided to investigate.

Continue reading


Kamran B, Year 8

I wrote this Python code because I wanted to create a program to convert to and from a made up language. It allows you to communicate with your friends in secret. A further improvement would be to make the language more random instead of 01~ = a, 02~ = b, etc.

  Continue reading