Delving deep: QE teams up with leading girls’ school for academic discussion event

Seventy senior pupils from QE and one of London’s leading girls’ schools met up for an academic symposium, organised by Geography teacher and Academic Enrichment Tutor, Helen Davies.

The afternoon event saw QE and North London Collegiate School pupils sharing ideas, discussing complex topics and challenging the ideas of others through detailed argument.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “This symposium was an excellent example of an academic project conducted in partnership with another school of a similar profile. It afforded our boys and the NLCS girls the opportunity to interact with each other both academically and socially, and proved to be enjoyable and beneficial for all the participants.”

""Involving 70 Year 13 pupils and 12 staff drawn from the two schools, the afternoon began with a thought-provoking introduction from QE’s Head of Politics and Head of Year13, Liam Hargadon, in which he touched on the US election, the importance of intellectual debate and the development of one’s own viewpoint.

The pupils were then split into different subject groups for discussions that were led by the students themselves, but prompted with challenging questions from teachers.

""Topics included:

  • English (Head of English, Susannah Sweetman): The use of humour in passages of writing and how appreciation of it might differ for different readers (ages, genders, occupations, etc.)
  • History (History teacher and Head of Year 12, Charlotte Coleman): What is war?  Is ‘not peace’ equivalent to war?
  • ""Economics (NLCS teacher): Is free-market economics the most beneficial system for Less Economically Developed Countries as well as More Economically Developed Countries?  How do we measure innovation in LEDCs when there might not always be the funds available to patent new ideas?
  • Medicine (Chemistry teacher Susanna Butterworth): The morals involved in genetic engineering; how should scientists and governments deal with the risk of people wanting to create ‘designer babies’?