02 Jan Gifted and Talented Event with Dr Peter Vardy & Charlotte Vardy in Norwich
More than 250 students from across Norfolk gathered at Norwich High School to take part in a special day of debates and lectures led by two leading figures in the world of critical thinking on 11th December 2013. Dr Peter Vardy, former Vice-Principal of Heythrop College, University of London, and Charlotte Vardy, an educational consultant who worked as a university tutor of Religious Studies and Philosophy, led an inspirational Gifted and Talented Conference called ‘Ignite’
Throughout the event, students were encouraged to explore the art of critical thinking and reasoning in a number of open debates which explored profound ethical issues and asked probing questions, including the dilemmas faced by doctors in a world of modern medical technology, whether political assassination can ever be justified and if profit should be the sole motive when making far-reaching financial decisions. Joining girls from Norwich High were students from 10 senior schools across the county.
Lucy (Lower V) said: “I thought it was really interesting to consider ideas we have touched upon at school but not gone into as much depth before. Some of the ideas were quite radical, but hearing all these different ideas helps you develop your own.”
Mr Emerson-Moering, Head of Religious Studies at Norwich High, said the school wanted to organise an event based on Philosophy and Ethics to help students become even more ‘reflective learners’. “We want to allow students to think about their choices at a more profound level, to ask what kind of person they want to be, what kind of world they want to live in and what contributions they want to make to it,” he said. Mr Emerson-Moering added: “The Conference went exceptionally well. All of the students did well in thinking about very complex issues and making thoughtful and well expressed contributions to the discussions.”
The discussions continued into the evening when the two speakers hosted a special Question Time on the topics of Genetic Engineering and Creationism attended by students in Upper V to Upper VI, their parents and teachers.