16 Jul Philosopher extols the IB’s freedom to explore
Hurstpierpoint College has held an IB Conference for its entire Vth form (Year 11) with the pre-eminent speaker Dr Peter Vardy; emphasising the freedom of education beyond the GCSE.
The IB programme aims to attract students by inspiring new angles of enquiry and analysis across a breadth of subjects; a skill set that Dr Vardy champions as an essential part of the IB’s compulsory ToK (Theory of Knowledge) subject.
Dr Vardy is a British academic, philosopher, theologian and author. He has been communicating with students for 25 years at both schools and universities around the world.
Beginning his presentation, Dr Vardy introduced the pupils to many of the big ideas in existence today and in tomorrow’s world. In a fast paced and balanced talk, he outlined the types of decisions facing not just those 130 pupils inside the Bury Theatre but also the wider world.
The pupils were guided and challenged by Dr Vardy to think independently about areas in the sciences, arts, languages and humanities, giving them an early opportunity to experience the sort of academic depth that the IB offers.
The conference concluded with an open question and answer session, taken advantage of by pupils for whom the discussion had stirred some of the most fundamental philosophical debates in human history.
Speaking after the event, Fifth former, Gitanjali Khot said, “Dr Vardy made me think about subjects and their significance in greater context”. Meanwhile for fellow pupil, Ben Cooke, the conference made him think differently about the IB, saying, “It helped me to look at the IB with more understanding; there is more to it than just the subjects you do and the grades that you get”.
Reflecting on the session, Head of Senior School, Tim Firth said, “Peter Vardy excited and motivated Year 11 by asking them questions like, ‘What’s education for?’ and ‘How will you look back on your life?’ He endeavoured to get the pupils to think for themselves and made the Sixth form life that lies in front of them enticing, particularly if they study the IB”.
For more information about the IB, please go to The IB at Hurst