The Engaging Minds programme consists of an annual lecture series covering a wide range of cultural, political, sporting, business, current affairs and global issues taking place each Friday afternoon in the school hall.
Students complete preparatory work in their form time in the week prior to each presentation and there are opportunities for small groups of students to have lunch with the speakers. The programme is designed to enable students to broaden their experience and understanding of various aspects of contemporary culture. The talks are intended to pique students’ interest in a range of topics and to inspire them to pursue the issues further through independent learning or tutor group discussion.
In the past the school has attracted some very eminent speakers including David Puttnam, Lord Winston, Will Gombert and Matthew W Barzun (U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom). In the current lecture series we are particularly happy to have David Runciman (Professor of Politics, University of Cambridge). In addition to writing critically acclaimed books on politics Professor Runciman writes regularly about contemporary politics for the London Review of Books and he hosts the popular weekly podcast Talking Politics which the Daily Telegraph described as “a kind of miracle” and “Britain’s brainiest podcast”.
We are also happy to invite back Grant Kennedy a former student who is currently employed as an aerodynamicist with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team. Having alumni return particularly resonates with current students as the stories of their success can have a strong influence on student confidence and motivation to succeed.
|Date||Speaker||Area of expertise|
|06/09/2019||Kick it Out||Racism, equality and inclusion in football|
|13/09/2019||Dame Helen Hyde||Refugees to Recovery charity; helping refugees settle in Watford area and in Europe|
|20/09/2019||Paul Brodrick||All Things digital; the internet of things|
|04/10/2019||Hope Virgo||Anorexia/mental health|
|18/10/2019||Professor Leon Freris||Retired lecturer Loughborough University; Global warming|
|08/11/2019||Anabel Ramirez Aragon||Building Research Establishment; use of Big Data|
|13/12/2019||Professor David Runciman||Head of Politics Cambridge; democratic deficit suffered by younger people and lowering of voting age|
|10/01/2020||Dr Martin Glynn||Criminology/Data verbalisation – using music as an aid to presenting complex research material|
|24/01/2019||Grant Kennedy (former student)||Aerodynamicist; Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team|
|07/02/2020||University Challenge Quiz|
Friday 17th January 2020 – Debate
Friday 7th February 2020 – Student University Challenge
Friday 28th February 2020 – Debate