Paddington Academy hosts lecture for students from leading neuroscientists

As students are sometimes told by condescending parents or teachers, A-levels may be tough, but they’re not exactly brain surgery.

But for a group of talented students at Maida Vale’s Paddington Academy, their Monday morning lesson came very close.

Professors from Oxford University and University College London (UCL) visited the academy on Marylands Road to host a day of lectures about the inner workings of the human brain.

Moska Rasoul, a Year 12 student from Westbourne Park studying maths, chemistry, biology and economics, said: “It has really opened my eyes to what neuroscience is.

“I always wanted to be a doctor, maybe in neurology or cardiology. Today really made me feel like I could do this stuff one day.”

Fellow Year 12 student Tanjir Zaman, Westminster’s second-highest achieving Bengali GCSE student this summer, said he had enjoyed meeting the professors.

He said: “I had a conversation with one of them before and I expected him to be all grumpy and serious, but something about him was so calm and collected.

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“From what I’ve heard so far, I think I could become really interested in neurology.”

Professor John O’Keefe of UCL explained to the students how the brain maps out journeys from one place to another and Professor Christopher Kennard of Oxford explained how we process vision.

The day was organised by the Oxford International Biomedical Centre (OIBC), which seeks to expose state school students to scientific discussion.

OIBC head Professor Charles Pasternak said: “It’s very important for students in state schools not just to hear about science but to hear how scientists talk.”