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Educational Partnership Days at Canford School

Karen Smith

Each June, as part of its ongoing commitment to work with and support pupils educationally from a range of backgrounds, Canford holds an educational partnership day, with Lower Sixth pupils from Canford joining those from academy and local secondary schools for a varied and challenging programme of activities aimed at sparking discussion and inspiring reflection on the ways we think and learn.  The day also offers 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.  Since its inception, schools participating have included the Globe Ark Academy, the City of London Academy, Queen Anne’s School Caversham, The Purbeck School and The Bourne Academy.   

Each year there is a different theme and a keynote speaker.  For example, in 2019 neuroscientist Catherine Lutz from discussed the way in which the brain develops shapes, our understanding of the world around and impacts on the decisions we make and explored the psychology of social interaction and group dynamics, considering the mechanisms of emotional contagion and group conformity.

In 2021, the Partnership Day moved to its first online event, welcoming Dame Mary Richardson whose lifelong commitment has been to help break cycles of deprivation and to support project the young which provide opportunity and hope particularly to those who have little of either. This was followed by talks on presentation skills and applying for jobs and university courses, and the opportunity to take part in some group challenges and discussions involving pupils across the schools. The afternoon session involved groups containing pupils from all schools working together to interview OCs who work in newly emerging career sectors to explore the skills required and decisions points those OCs have made on their professional journeys. Each group then had to present their findings in a plenary. 

Canford Headmaster Ben Vessey said:

It has been a difficult and challenging few years across the educational sector. The Covid-19 crisis has forced all of us to reconsider the way we do things, to adapt and to rise to the various challenges that the pandemic has posed. It is in the spirit of embracing this challenge that we offer our Educational Partnership Day for bright and ambitious pupils with a wide range of different educational experiences taking part."

Educational Partnership Day 2021


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