Academic Scholars and other high-achieving Cokethorpe pupils recently prepared and delivered a series of ‘Mini Spark Lectures’ to their First and Second Form peers. These events were held in the newly-refurbished top floor of the Senior Library, which was packed with an audience of over 40 pupils. Barney (Third Form, Vanbrugh), Katie (Third Form, Feilden), Neve (Third Form, Vanbrugh) and Hayden (Third Form, Vanbrugh) spoke brilliantly on a variety of topics that were chosen for these talks, from Linguistics to Medical Science.
The opening talks concerned Psychology and Computing, with Barney investigating the media portrayal of Schizophrenia and attempting to convey a more accurate understanding of the condition to the receptive young audience. The next topic of Binary Numbers was particularly engaging, with Katie offering up a party trick to demonstrate the benefit of counting in base-2 (2, 4, 8, 16, 32…).
The following week, Neve explained the culture surrounding Japan’s use of symbols and characters. Her experience living in Japan was drawn on to provide pupils with a background in when each set of characters was used and why. This was followed by a talk from Hayden about a medical condition known as ITP, in which platelets in the blood are mistakenly targeted by the immune system. The impact of this rare disease on its sufferers, and the potential remedies available were explored.
This series of short lectures empowers the Third Form pupils involved, enabling them to get a taste of teaching and understand the challenges of communicating their knowledge to audiences of differing abilities. The benefits to their First and Second Form audience come in the form of an accessibly presented glimpse of the topics they will be covering in the years to come. Throughout the presentations, there were moments where the younger pupils were visibly excited and engaged in the material presented by their peers.