Y12 Academic Conference

On Friday 15 March, Y12 More Able students participated in their first Academic Conference. Through a series of intellectual yet highly engaging academic lectures, the event encourages bright, ambitious students to readily manipulate abstract ideas and make connections across school subject areas. This day, organised by Mrs Doran, was designed to specifically target the development of the capabilities of higher attaining students by adding depth, complexity and richness to their learning. Experienced, gifted educators stretched and challenged the students’ thinking using a multi-media and inter-disciplinary approach. Highly able students were also able to spend the day with like-minded youngsters all keen to reach the ceiling of their ability and share ideas. The students listened to four academic lectures, presented by lecturers from top universities, including Oxford University.

The Lectures:

‘What Dreams May Come?’ – Julie Arliss examining claims about the afterlife. What is the ultimate nature of reality? Is there anything more to life than this?

'Holocaust, Hitler and Historiography: How the Writing of History affects the World Today’ – Professor Tom Greggs. This lecture looked at the role of history writing today. Looking at examples from the second world war onwards, this interactive session encouraged students to examine what it means to say, ‘Who controls the past controls the future and who controls the present controls the past.’

‘The Psychology of Outstanding Achievement’ – Dr. Christopher O’Neill. This session examined the hard evidence of what really produces a life of outstanding achievement. A fascinating interactive examination of what really makes a difference.

‘Rock in 11 Dimensions: Where Physics and Guitars Collide’ – Dr. Mark Lewney. This mind-expanding and ear-stimulating lecture addressed some of the biggest ideas in contemporary science: Big Bang; and how the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – the biggest experiment ever built – let us peek into extra dimensions.

Students also participated in a live debate, with students contributing to the BIG Debate and practising their public speaking, persuasive language skills and demonstrating their ability to think on their feet. The debate was: “This house believes that the monarchy should be abolished”.

Mrs Doran