On Tuesday 10th November 2015, Radley hosted 6.2 girls from St Helens and St Katherine’s for an enjoyable day of talks and debates. The Conference (which has been continuing for nearly twenty years) was hailed as the most productive one ever, with a genuine atmosphere of interest lasting all day.
The day began with breakfast in Hall, where the teams for the day congregated and discussed their allocated topics over coffee and croissants. The topics (chosen by girls from St Helens) ranged from ‘Education’ to ‘Aliens’, giving sixth-formers a wide range of argument to discuss.
The morning was spent hearing talks from four different guest speakers, with question-and-answer sessions between each. Visiting were Rodney Graham, Director of ‘Design Engine’ Architects (pictured), who designed Radley’s Clock Tower Court; Kevin Jackson, broadcaster, filmmaker, pataphysician, and otherwise vampire fanatic; Jamie Feilden, Founder and CEO of the ‘Jamie’s Farm’ Charity, which helps transform the lives of 500 vulnerable children a year, and Gillian Brooks, from the Said Business School, Oxford, who gave a highly-relevant talk on how social media has impacted on product marketing – and how teenagers should cultivate the correct kind of digital footprint.
After the inspiring set of diverse talks, the groups of eight spent the afternoon preparing a four-minute presentation of their own argument, before delivering it in front of an audience. This required cooperative effort, as those not presenting were busy researching facts and statistics to defend the occasionally dubious motion (such as trying to convince an audience that aliens do exist). The best of these talks were then asked to present them in front of the whole group, where they were judged and awarded by Kevin Jackson. The winning group is pictured below.
(Above Rodney Graham; below the three other Speakers)
The eventual winners (pictured below) were chosen by adjudicator, Kevin Jackson, and presented with Prizes.
Report by George Willcox, H Social, 6.2