QE boys frequently participate in academic symposia with pupils from other leading schools. These events bring significant benefits, both academically and socially.

Through such symposia, pupils acquire the skills required: to research questions and topics analytically; to develop conclusions collaboratively, and then to present these findings persuasively in an open setting. Discussion and the ability to think on one’s feet form an essential element of our symposia, which thus give boys a valuable opportunity to develop debating and team-working skills.

These skills and attributes become increasingly necessary as boys move through the School and, especially, as they embark on their Sixth Form studies. Moreover, they equip boys for the demands of university study and for modern professional careers in which collaborative working is often highly prized.

Queen Elizabeth’s School’s symposia are mostly run jointly with academically strong girls’ schools. Recent events have involved The Henrietta Barnett School, North London Collegiate School and St Albans High School for Girls. Not only do our boys learn to work together with classmates and strangers alike, but they also learn to socialise and collaborate effectively with girls – an important benefit in the context of our single-sex environment.

The Extended Project Qualification in Year 12 is often the focus of our symposia, with boys and girls getting together to work on Science or Humanities-based topics of their choice. The subject matter of other symposia varies from year to year and may cover any academic discipline, as opportunities arise: recent events have centred on English poetry and on Modern Languages, for example.