Over the past two weeks, we have enjoyed a series of daily live lectures from some really interesting and inspiring people. The series started with a lecture from Emma Haddleton, a psychologist who spoke about how we can better understand our brains. She provided examples of how to keep our brains healthy and remain calm under pressure. She also got us to think about how we can overcome feelings of failure and fear. We loved the brain gifts, too!
Gary Milne, a professional golfer and coach, joined us for our next live lecture. It was fascinating to hear about how he coaches people to become better golfers. He spoke about how we should be like sponges and not stones. A sponge is able to view feedback positively and use it to improve whereas a stone is fixed in their approach and finds it harder to improve. We liked this analogy!
The next lecture was a virtual talk from Roland Williams, an adventurer in his spare time away from his office work. He inspired us with stories of his adventures in Alaska, Scotland and the Pyrenees. We liked his encouragement for us to adventure safely and for us to join adventuring teams (Ten Tors, CCF etc) at our new schools in September.
Mezzo Soprano Madeleine Shaw joined us the following day and she was sensational! We loved watching her perform with Mr Roberts and hearing about her life on stage and in concert halls around the world as an opera singer. Her vlog was a real highlight and we want to thank her for bringing her passion and skill to life.
The first week concluded with a debating masterclass from Oliver Ridley, Head of Sixth Form at King’s College Taunton. Along with two A level students, Oliver taught us how to debate effectively and use rhetoric. We enjoyed the opportunity to share our views and debate some fun topics.
Week Two started with a mind-boggling talk from Richard Biggs, the Headmaster of King’s College Taunton. He spoke about the concept of infinite numbers and performed a few mind reading tricks that fooled us all! We found his talk challenging, but inspiring at the same time.
The next day we were lucky to spend our PSHE Spotlight session with Dr Peyton-Jones who spoke about drug misuse and dangers of addiction. We found the talk very informative and liked her tagline: Knowledge is Power. We also loved taking part in the practical activities.
Kai Horstmann, former captain of the Exeter chiefs joined us next. He talked to us about the different things that contribute to the making of a good team. He spoke about the importance of trust and how we can strive to better in what we do. We loved the idea of Marginal Gains – breaking something down into its component parts and improving all aspects before putting it back together to create a cumulative improvement.
On Thursday we enjoyed hearing from Ben Huggins, an architect and founder, along with his wife Hannah, of New British Design. His talk gave us a fantastic insight into the design process and what it is like to be a top architect. We loved hearing about the Kudhva projects in Cornwall and who had inspired his love of design.
Today, was our last live lecture and we were delighted to see a former pupil and Head Boy, Will Kennaugh, back at ECS. Will gave us some valuable tips for when we move to our senior schools and spoke about life beyond ECS. It was good to hear that the next step will not be as daunting as we imagined!
We would like to thank all the speakers for giving up their time to plan and present to us. We would also like to thank Mr Bartlett for organising the talks. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed hearing the guest speakers’ stories and we feel that our horizons are a now little broader. It’s fair to say that they have definitely sparked some aspirations for our futures!
Written by Xanthe , Harry, Josh and Sam with feedback from all in Year 8