Watch and Listen

1. Watch the video. Write T (true) or F (false) next to the statements below. Correct the false statements.

___ 1   The students at the Simon Langton School conduct experiments similar to those of professional scientists.

___ 2   The Simon Langton School science curriculum closely follows the government’s recommendations.

___ 3   The student’s work is designed to help them to pass their exams.

___ 4   Langton students are conducting advanced research in physics and health science.

___ 5   This kind of science curriculum is quite unusual.

2. Watch again. Match these ideas to the speakers in the video.

 Tom Stevenson, former student at the Simon Langton School

 Becky Parker, Head of Physics at the Simon Langton School

 Christopher Cundy, student at the Simon Langton School

 Tom Ziessen, Engaging Science Manager at the Wellcome Trust

 I believe that experience, and not exams, is a better way to learn science.

 The curriculum at Langton is the only one of its kind.

 The work I did at school can help protect astronauts.

 It’s an amazing opportunity for us to work on these real world problems.



1 T  

2 F; The school ignores the official government science curriculum.

3 F; Instead of just learning to pass the exam, the students contribute to science, do science and live science.

4 T   5 T


1 c   2 a   3 d   4 b


Langton School science programme

Narrator:   In the southeast corner of England, near the famous city of Canterbury, is the Simon Langton School. It is certainly no ordinary school. The research conducted by science students at the school ranks up there with work done by scientists at NASA and at CERN, the international atomic physics research facility in Switzerland.

For more than ten years now, the school has ignored the official government science curriculum and engaged students in real research project that have drawn the attention of the scientific world. Fifty percent of the school’s students go on to STEM subjects – that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – at university. Probably their most well-known effort is a physics and astronomy project. Following a visit to CERN in 2007, Langton students designed a device that could detect radiation in space. One of the students describes the project.

Tom Stephenson:   Our data is very relevant to NASA because cosmic rays’ effects on electronics and technology can cause corruption of data and things in satellites, but also there’s aspects to do with astronaut safety.

Narrator:   Dr Becky Parker, Head of Physics at Langton, thinks that the study of space can inspire young students and get them excited about a wide range of scientific research. She told us that the students are doing fundamental research while they’re at school. Instead of students just learning to pass the exam, she believes that they should be contributing to science, doing science and living science. This is a new approach to science education. And Langton science students are not just studying physics. They are also doing ground-breaking research in the health sciences, with one project looking at the structure of a protein that plays a role in the degenerative nerve disease, MS. They may be the only school with a licence to modify the human genome, the complete set of human DNA.

The student are aware of how unusual this experience is.

Christopher Cundy:   You look at new drugs and they’re always manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and you look at new products and they’re always done by big corporations, but this is just, you know, a school.

Narrator:   Tom Ziessen of the Wellcome Trust, which help fund some of these projects, describes the Langton science curriculum in this way.

Tom Ziessen:   I think that Langton is inspiring for what they’re doing. It’s absolutely phenomenal. I mean, they’re doing not just real experiments, but they’re doing real experiments into things that nobody knows the answer to and that’s sort of … fairly unheard of in schools. I’ve never heard of another school doing something like that.

Listening 1

1. Listen to the meeting between a student and a careers adviser. Then answer the questions.

 What is Laura trying to make a decision about?


 What field is she interested in working in?


 What do Laura and the careers adviser decide she should do?


2. Circle the correct answers.

 Laura is considering studying Engineering / Maths.

 Laura is interested in space flight, so her adviser suggests Electrical / Mechanical Engineering.

 Laura feels a degree in Engineering would be very academic / vocational.

 Laura prefers academic study / manual work.

 Laura would rather talk to someone / read information on website.

 Laura says she would enjoy the academic side of Engineering / designing and making things.

3. Listen to the meeting again. Look at the notes that Laura took during the meeting with her careers adviser. Complete the notes with details that Laura missed.

 Choose a career that will use _________ and _________ skills.

 Consider _________ Engineering.

 Also consider Aerospace _________.

 Find out more about Engineering _________.

 Visit some _________ and colleges and discuss Engineering _________.

 Attend the _________ fair.

 Talk to _________ at the fair about their _________.

 Contact a _________ Engineering firm and arrange a _________.



1 what to do a degree in   2 Engineering

3 talk to some engineers, visit a careers fair and contact a Computer Engineering firm


1 Engineering   2 Mechanical   3 academic

4 manual work   5 talk to somebody

6 designing and making things


1 Maths; Physics   2 Mechanical   3 Engineering

4 degrees   5 universities; courses   6 careers

7 graduates; jobs   8 Computer; visit


Laura:   Hello, I’m Laura. Are you my adviser?

Adviser:   Yes, Laura. Welcome to the careers office. Good to see you.

Laura:   Hello.

Adviser:   Now, I saw from your file that you’re looking for advice on what to do after you graduate. You’re considering going to college, aren’t you?

Laura:   Yes, that’s right. But I’m not really sure which course to apply for.

Adviser:   Well, what are you considering?

Laura:   I like Maths and Physics, and I’m doing well in those classes.

Adviser:   Looking at your file, I couldn’t agree more! You should make use of your Maths and Physics abilities. Any ideas about an area of study?

Laura:   Well, I’m considering studying Engineering.

Adviser:   Ah, Engineering. That’s a big field. Well, Engineering jobs are definitely popular. The world will always need engineers! What kind of Engineering are you interested in? Electrical? Civil? Computer?

Laura:   I’m not sure. I’ve always been interested in the way things work, like cars and other machines. I’d like to study something technical, that’s for sure. You know, I’m actually really interested in space flight. I’d love to build rockets and spacecraft!

Adviser:   Maybe you should consider Mechanical Engineering, then. That would be a start anyway. That’s a good, basic Engineering degree – it covers the basic subjects. Mechanical engineers often go on to become specialists in lots of different areas – Aerospace Engineering is just one of them. It would definitely be a way to use your Maths and Physics skills. You’d also acquire some really useful new skills and an in-depth understanding of the field.

Laura:   Okay, but I’m not sure if that would be for me. An Engineering degree would be very academic. I wonder if I should try something more vocational. I actually like manual work better. I’d rather make something than write about it! Is it possible to do both? Maybe I could do an internship at an Engineering firm. Then maybe I could study later, after I see how the internship goes.

Adviser:   Of course, you should consider an internship, but it would be helpful to think about Engineering courses too. Have you done much research on different courses that are available?

Laura:   Not yet.

Adviser:   I suggest that you try to find out more about Engineering courses. I could give you the names of some universities and colleges that teach Engineering. You could visit them and discuss their courses in detail.

Laura:   Yes, that’s a good idea. I think I could do that. I’d like to know more about what engineers actually do, and I’d rather talk to someone than just read the information on websites. Thanks.

Adviser:   In that case, have you considered talking to some engineers about their work?

Laura:   I don’t know any engineers.

Adviser:   Well, there are several engineering firms that will be attending the careers fair next week. You should definitely attend that. Also, I know that some Engineering graduates will be attending the careers fair as well. I’m sure we could arrange for you to talk with them. You could ask them what their jobs are like.

Laura:   That would be great. I really want to know how hands-on Engineering work is. I wouldn’t mind the academic side of Engineering, the Maths and the Physics, but I think I’d really enjoy the actual work of Engineering – you know, designing and making things. Computer Engineering could be really interesting.

Adviser:   You might want to try contacting a Computer Engineering firm here in the city, then. In fact, I could help you with that. We could probably arrange a visit for you.

Laura:   That would be fantastic. Thank you.

Listening 2

1. Listen to the conversation between Adam and the medical student. Write notes about the pros and cons for each job.

emergency medical technician (EMT)

A&E (Accident and Emergency) nurse








2. Listen to the conversation again. What is Adam’s job preference? Summarize the reasons for his preference.



3. Tick (✓) the speaker who expressed each opinion about the job. Then listen again and check your answers.


medical student


1  That’s a tough a job. Exciting, but tough.



2  It seems like a great way to really help people.



3  You have to be very independent and confident.



4  It would involve a lot more complex study.



5  It would be great to actually work after so much study.



6  It may not be the ideal course for you.



7  I imagine the pay would be better.



8  That’s a great idea.





Answers will vary. Possible answers:

emergency medical technician (EMT)

A&E (Accident and Emergency) nurse

Pros: exciting, takes less time, can become a specialist

Cons: tough, physical job

Pros: pay is better

Cons: takes more time



Possible answers:

Adam wants to help people and have a practical and secure job. He wants to start work quickly. He doesn’t want to do a lot more complex studying.


1 medical student   2 Adam   3 Adam   4 Adam

5 Adam   6 medical student   7 medical student   8 Adam


Medical student:   Hey, Adam. Come in. Sit down. Want something to drink?

Adam:   No, thanks, I’m OK.

Medical student:   Have you thought about the medical courses I suggested?

Adam:   A little. I’ve done a little research, but I’m having a hard time deciding what I want to do.

Medical student:   That’s understandable. There’s a lot to think about. Is studying medicine the most important consideration for you?

Adam:   Yes and no. The most important thing is probably that I do a medical course of some kind, but not necessarily one that involves a lot of study.

Medical student:   OK.

Adam:   I definitely want a secure job after I finish my course; that is important to me. And I really want to help people.

Medical student:   What about location? Do you care about where you study?

Adam:   Not really. That’s probably the least important factor.

Medical student:   OK, good. Well, I think we’re getting somewhere. You’re getting really good marks; maybe you should consider studying to become a doctor.

Adam:   I’m not sure about that.

Medical student:   Really? Why not?

Adam:   Well, I guess another one of my criteria is that the job is very practical.

Medical student:   Sorry, but I have to disagree. I think being a doctor is a very practical job!

Adam:   Yes, but if I choose that option, I’ll be studying for so many years and I’d rather not!

Medical student:   Maybe you should consider becoming an A & E nurse, working in the Accident and Emergency department.

Adam:   I’ve looked into that. It’s a degree course.

Medical student:   You don’t sound too keen. If you’re not too interested in that, what else are you considering?

Adam:   It depends. I’m not sure what I can apply to study. There are a few programmes where you can study to become an emergency medical technician – an EMT. They’re the people who work on ambulances, assessing patients’ conditions, performing emergency procedures, like applying manual pressure on someone’s wounds after an accident. It also requires some technical knowledge of ambulance equipment. It’s professional and practical.

Medical student:   That’s a tough job. Exciting, but tough, and very physical.

Adam:   Yes, but it seems like a great way to really help people when they need it.

Medical student:   So, what’s the difference between the two courses?

Adam:   The EMT course is very practical. When you work in an ambulance, you need a lot of practical skills to help people. You have to be very independent and confident to make decisions on your own, and of course there’s the driver training, too!

Medical student:   OK, I see your point.

Adam:   The A & E nursing course is also practical, but it includes more theoretical work. Especially when you study the core subjects – learning about the human body and about medicine, and so on. It would involve a lot more complex study. You have to work closely with hospital staff. It’s a degree course.

Medical student:   And the EMT course?

Adam:   It’s a diploma course. So, it would take a lot less time, and I’d be able to start work quickly. It would be great to actually work after so much study. I’ve been studying my whole life. I’m ready to do something, have some adventures, so I’m not too sure about nursing.

Medical student:   Yes, I can see that. Continuing with more studying like me isn’t for everyone. It may not be the ideal course for you.

Adam:   EMTs need in-depth understanding of how to deal with emergencies, and they need the ability to make quick decisions.

Medical student:   I think you’d be good at it.

Adam:   And if I wanted to continue my training, after working as a basic EMT, I could study to become an EMT specialist. That’s another diploma course.

Medical student:   But wouldn’t you rather study to be a nurse? I imagine the pay would be better.

Adam:   You’re probably right, but it’s not for me. I definitely won’t be studying Nursing.

Medical student:   Why don’t you get some more information about EMT courses, then, and find out which colleges offer that diploma.

Adam:   That’s a great idea. I am going to make a list of colleges this weekend.

Medical student:   I guess you’ve made a decision, then. You’re not going to follow in my footsteps and this time next year you’ll probably be working as an EMT – that’s pretty exciting!

Adam:   I think that’s really what I want to do.

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