With the summer come the festivals!



It’s the time of year where with the summer sunshine (well some), the festival season is upon us. Ok, so I wasn’t showing off my wellies and descending down on Glastonbury trying to make my way through all the mud and find a spot for my tent,  however I did  attend The Sunday Times Festival of Education along with some of my colleagues and customers at Wellington College , Berkshire.

This is the second year that this festival has run and is already showing popularity with attendees growing from 500 attendees last year to 2000 attendees this year, continuing to grow next year with a target of 5000.

Dr Anthony Seldon, Master, Wellington College opened the weekend festival with his keynote speech, describing how Wellington take pride in holistic education and the development in full of each individual student through The Eight Aptitudes and encourage all students who attend Wellington;

    • To develop their full potential academically, culturally, sportingly and spiritually

    • To develop into open-hearted and open-minded young adults

    • To question, to think and to work independently

    • To respect the views and beliefs of everyone in our community and beyond

    • To serve and support others at all times

    • To be calm and purposeful in everything they do

    • To help one another achieve the most from their school years

    • To prepare themselves fully for life after school

    • To become the person that they uniquely are rather than being influenced unduly by others

    • To look after the body, emotions and mind through proper rest, relaxation and nourishment

During his keynote, Anthony Seldon interviewed a selection of students in a ‘’Question Time’’ style to give examples of how Wellington College has given them the opportunity  to use education to help prepare them for their future, going through university and into the working world, which is constantly changing.

Some of his students talked about The International Baccalaureate (IB), offered alongside GCSE and A 'Level's, an international education to broaden the mind, ways of thinking in the bigger world, socially and now recognised at universities world wide.

I was quietly surprised by how ‘’grown up’’ they were and under the spotlight came across as very fine, articulate young adults demonstrating awareness that there is a bigger picture once education comes to an end in the schooling environment and they join the world of work. The qualities that they take from the IB will no doubt follow them all through their life and coming across as outstanding young citizens, will pass these qualities on.

During the 2 day festival, those attending were able to attend varying presentations with over 150 speakers including Bob Geldof, Michael Gove, Terry Leahy, Robert Winston  as well as Microsoft with guest speakers from some of our schools.

Ollie Bray, Musselburgh Grammar School – Why computer games change the way students learn

Mandeep AtwalSHOUT  - Inspiration to explore, connect and make a difference

Dan Roberts, Saltash.net – A climate of change and being brave

Isobel Bryce, Saltash.net– School transformation through partnership

Stuart Ball, Partners in Learning, Microsoft – Connecting teachers, connecting learners

Jan Webb , Partners in Learning, Microsoft– A classroom without walls

Sir Mark Grundy and Kirsty Tonks, Shireland Collegiate Academy– Outstanding school improvement through technology

Overall the festival saw some great speakers, interesting debates and a wide and varied audience from across the country. On top of all this success,  for once instead of the typical rain clouds often seen at festivals, the weather turned out exceptional as well. No wellies needed!

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