PUTNEY HIGH SCHOOL LAUNCHES NEW LECTURE SERIES

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Putney High School is launching a new lecture series featuring a great line-up of thought leaders from the worlds of science, politics, business and education

The series, PIE+, is open to the community as well as to current pupils and parents. It launches with a talk by renowned neuroscientist Henry Marsh CBE on Thursday 30 March 2017, offering a discussion of the psychology behind decision-making and the physical nature of feeling.

The series builds on Putney High School’s commitment to intellectual agility. It is one of many initiatives in which students themselves have played a significant role, including innovative TEDx talks. Future PIE+ speakers include philosopher A.C. Grayling, and historian and television presenter Suzannah Lipscomb.

‘It is because of the students that PIE+ has come to life and it is through their hard work and persistence that we have such a brilliant line up of speakers,’ says Pippa Wadey, Head of Research at Putney High School.

‘Having the opportunity to take a concept from its genesis, right through to the launch event itself, is a unique opportunity for students and I have no doubt that the evening lectures will ignite the passion and enthusiasm that the PIE prefects have for the programme.’

The initiative builds on the school’s existing intellectual agility programme of instilling curiosity, debate and creativity in pupils during lessons and extracurricular activities. As soon as students start their school journey in Reception they are encouraged to have an opinion.

This ethos is brought to life with the Student Council as students across the school are given a platform to speak, engaging in discussions and decisions on day-to-day school life and their surroundings.

While the debate club may be chosen by those keen to get their voice heard, students across the school are encouraged to have an opinion both inside and outside of the classroom

Actively hearing and responding to pupils encourages them to speak out. At Putney High School, debating is a widely employed teaching technique for developing confidence, a capacity for independent critical judgement, an awareness of current affairs, and the maturity to appreciate that a single issue can be viewed from a range of equally valid standpoints.

While the debate club may be chosen by those keen to get their voice heard, students across the school are encouraged to have an opinion both inside and outside of the classroom, at TedEd events, Q&A sessions at PIE talks and Model United Nations conferences to name just some of the opportunities.

‘We want to equip students with an intellectual agility to discuss, to challenge what they hear and read, to try out their own ideas and to pursue their academic curiosity,’ says Putney High School Headmistress Suzie Longstaff.

‘At the core of this is student voice. We value pupils’ input by actively listening and responding to them. We want students to take ownership of their learning, to follow their own passions, stretched and supported by our staff.’

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