Year 10 Symposium delivers lively discussion

A group of Year 10 students have taken part in an academic symposium at a leading independent girls’ school. The 45 boys joined a group at the North London Collegiate School (NLCS) for an afternoon of discussion and debate on a broad range of academic topics, including core areas of English and Science, specialisms such as Music and History of Art and Classical Civilisation and Current Affairs.

The purpose of the symposium is to broaden the academic opportunities on offer to QE’s pupils and has become an annual event since its successful launch last year.

“We enjoy a number of links with high-achieving schools, both in the state and independent sectors,” said Headmaster Neil Enright. “A cross-curricular symposium such as this gives students the opportunity to develop their critical thinking and discursive talents. It also takes them outside the comfort zone of learning and discussion solely with their classmates, and helps to develop social confidence too.”

NLCS was named Sunday Times Independent School of the Year in 1999 and 2006, while QE was top state school in the Financial Times Top 1000 Schools 2011 table.

""During the symposium a number of topics were introduced by the teachers, but it was then left to the students to ‘drive’ the discussion. Tahmer Mahmoud, who is QE’s Head of Academic Enrichment, said: “The boys thoroughly enjoy these symposia and the opportunities they provide to generate sophisticated responses to a given issue. The level of critical thinking that is provoked amongst the students is of a very high standard.”

During the afternoon, each student gave a brief presentation on a source material before joining in a more general discussion within their groups. The sessions were chaired by Year 12 students, providing them with useful experience of overseeing and directing lively debates.