On Thursday lunchtime there was a lively discussion amongst Lower Sixth students who had voluntarily completed Independent Academic Projects. This was the second session of discussions and once again, there were some extremely impressive projects to explore. Andrey Ivanov (G) went far beyond the parameters of the project to produce a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the multiple factors that led to the conclusion of The Cold War.
The depth of detail and analysis was worthy of undergraduate study, and Andrey was highly assured as he dealt with an array of questions.
Luca Boot (C) gave an entertaining and energetic presentation on The Age of Discovery, which was wide-ranging in its scope and clearly explained the various reasons behind the European empires that spread across the world between the late 15th and the mid-17th century. The task required translating material from medieval Spanish into engaging modern English – a task Luca completed with aplomb. Jazz Lai (Cr) gave reasoned and mature reflections on the #MeToo movement and its impact on various industries and on the world of education.
Sofya Kovalenko (W) triggered an arresting and most thought-provoking conversation on whether the widespread and often unquestioned belief that aspiring towards greater equality was actually a good and laudable aim.
Such radical and original thinking is rare and Sofya deserves praise for the fearlessness of her thought.
Further stimulation was provided by Seojin Park (W) who gave a clear and compelling argument for more Latin teaching in schools: Seojin clearly articulated the multiple benefits a student gains from the subject and she admitted that she regretted not pursuing it to A-level.
Continuing the classical theme was Henri Muller (Rv) who skilfully explored the parallels and differences between Athenian and modern-day democracy and this led to a conversation regarding the limitations of the democratic system.
Finally, Emily Vandrau (R) carefully evaluated the four gospels’ portrayal of the death of Christ and drew a conclusion that Mark’s account was the most authentic.
Regrettably, Raveena Dhami (R) was unwell but we shall try and find a time to discuss her exploration of the conflict between law and morality in McEwan’s recent novel The Children Act.
The whole project was overseen by Mr Jonny Bailey, Head of Lower Sixth, with expert assistance from various Heads of Department: Mr Dunn, Mrs Keevil, Miss Saul, Miss Evans and, Mr Greenbury.