Students from St Edmund’s College were joined by other like-minded learners from local schools on Thursday 5th October, to participate in an inspirational and thought-provoking conference held at the school. The event entitled: ‘Intermediate Stretch and Challenge’, was designed to help pupils further improve their advanced thinking skills and boost their learning by developing questioning techniques that can help broaden student capabilities beyond the curriculum.

The conference was organised by ‘Thriving Minds’, which runs the largest series of national conferences for academically gifted pupils in the UK and Australasia.  Proving a big hit with attendees, the event ran from 9am to 3pm and was delivered by Julie Arliss – a well-known international educator of gifted students. Julie is a Farmington Scholar at Harris Manchester College, Oxford. She is a highly accomplished teacher and author. She is also on the examining team for Cambridge International Examinations and is the founder of Academy Learning.

The study day was spilt into four sessions, comprised of the following interactive topics:

Session 1: An introduction to quantum mechanics. This session took students into the quantum world, looking at wave / particle duality, non-locality, superposition and much more.

Session 2: Guided community of inquiry. Celery munchers vs steak stokers. Is diet a free choice? A member of staff facilitated this discussion before a shared plenary.

Session 3: Justice, truth and beauty. This topic delved into what justice is and does it actually exist. It asked what the point of punishment is and what is it supposed to achieve.

Session 4: The big debate: This house believes that freewill is an illusion. A vibrant session, which gave everyone the opportunity to get involved in a debate, which concluded with a vote.

Cathy Noble, Assistant Head, Teaching and Learning at St Edmund’s College, said:

“Aligned closely to our High Performance Learning (HPL) ethos, this conference allowed our students to truly stretch their capabilities beyond what is taught in the curriculum and challenge themselves to the next level of deeper thinking. It also provided an informative and inspiring opportunity for our students to meet other like-minded pupils from neighbouring schools. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Julie for her time, as well as Thriving Minds for organising this thought-provoking and stimulating event.”

Teaching at St Edmund’s is underpinned by the High Performance Learning (HPL) framework. Employed by many of the world’s leading independent schools, HPL mixes academic confidence and attainment with the development of robust personal values, attitudes, and attributes. The outcome is intelligent, ambitious yet caring global citizens, who are advanced performers and enterprising learners.

Learn more about this conference.