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Educational Partnership Day 2019

Educational Partnership Day 2019
Karen Smith

The second Canford Educational Partnership Day was held on Friday 14th June.  Sixth Formers from the Ark Globe Academy in Southwark, The Bourne Academy, The Purbeck School in Wareham and Queen Anne’s School, Caversham joined fellow pupils from Canford for a varied and challenging programme of activities aimed at sparking discussion and inspiring reflection on the ways we think and learn.  It also offered the opportunity to explore the scope of life beyond school and the variety of career options open to pupils today, and to prepare for the potential career paths of the future.

The morning was dedicated to an introduction to neuroscience by Catherine Lutz from  A discussion on the way in which the brain develops shapes, our understanding of the world around and impacts on the decisions we make was followed by an exploration into the psychology of social interaction and group dynamics, considering the mechanisms of emotional contagion and group conformity. The final session examined the way that the brain responds under pressure, and how we can prepare our brains to achieve optimal performance through mental exercise training to help with stress reduction.  Lunch gave the opportunity for the pupils to exchange ideas and their learning experiences.

The afternoon sessions focused on the development of skills which would help pupils when considering higher education and the world of work.  Kerr Wells from, a company that specialises in developing communication and presentation skills, gave a talk about the importance of first impressions and some advice on interview techniques.  This was followed by a workshop where pupils tested their interpersonal skills in groups by interviewing visiting professionals representing many different industries and then offered a plenary on their findings.  Each pupil also had twenty minutes with each professional on a 1-1 basis, to find out more about their industry, their experiences and career paths in that particular profession. This session concluded with each group presenting their findings.

A final plenary over tea allowed members of each group of pupils to share their thoughts on the day and their particular highlights in terms of their learning.

Tom Marriott, Head of Academic Enrichment and organiser of the day, was delighted with the response to the sessions:

“It is very important that young people have the opportunity to spend time exploring outside the confines of their exam subjects, in order to develop their wider knowledge and skills which will be invaluable in the world beyond school.  The atmosphere today has been one of real enthusiasm and excitement for learning, and it has been great to see all the pupils sharing their ideas and working together to produce some really inspiring and thoughtful responses.”

Ben Vessey, Headmaster, added:

“The removal of formal exams at the end of the Lower Sixth year has created a breathing space in which serious academic interest and enthusiasm can be nurtured and developed. It is in the spirit of embracing this opportunity that we welcomed bright and ambitious pupils with a wide range of different educational experiences to take part in today’s event.”

Many thanks to all those who contributed to making our educational partnership day such a success for all the pupils involved, with special thanks to David Levin and the team at Tutoring to Thrive, whose kind donation made today possible.

Canford Educational Partnership Day 2019


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