Senior School

Lecture Series 2020-21

September 23rd 2020: Ben Althen, Year 13 

Drone Strikes, Spies and the Intelligence State; the changing face of counterterrorism post 9/11. 

Ben will explore the changes to counterterrorism and intelligence post 9/11, using two of the main criticisms levelled at the West as a starting point. Have we become too reliant on technology? Has security become too politicised to be effective? Ben will be analysing the approach of the UK and the USA both at home and overseas through a number of case studies such as the 2016 Investigatory Powers Act and the reaction to the death of major terrorist leaders,  using scholarly views to support his own conclusions.  Open to Year 12 and 13 students only; if you are studying Politics, History and PRE you will certainly not want to miss this.

November 11th 2020: Oliver Garrad, Year 13

 “HS2 and its impacts on the environment and economy”.

Oliver has connected with politicians, such as Tom Hunt, and people who work in rural land management to pursue his interest in this subject. He hopes to study at the Royal Agricultural University and is particularly interested in Rural Land Management. To that end, he has worked with OI Richard Patient to gain insight into the legalities of planning and construction on major road networks. Closer to home, he has investigated transport and issues concerning it, dealing with the possibility of building bridges or a northern bypass to relieve traffic around Ipswich. His lecture will consider all of the implications of this type of development and will be of particular interest to geographers, economists and Politics students.  

December 11th 2020: Felix Han & Loeeky Xiao, Year 13

Disneyland -the hidden agenda!

Felix & Loeeky intend to explore elements of behavioural psychology at work in our famous theme parks; in essence how people are unconsciously disciplined to behave in a certain manner that maximises profit for the company. This ‘discipline’ is directed at the two main groups of people who have a stake in Disneyland— the staff who work there and the customers who enjoy their Disney experience. They will examine and analyse the influences on both the staff and the customers that ensure the outcome that most benefits the company, including behavioural economics, nudge theory, the psychology of design, the psychology of advertising, and motivation techniques directed at employees. This lecture is a must for students of Economics, Business Studies and Psychology as well as any Disney fans!

January 22nd 2021: Year 13 EPQ Candidates 

EPQ Exhibition

Our EPQ students will be exhibiting all of the EPQ projects that they have completed this year. They will be on hand to explain their process and their findings, sharing their passion for their projects and answering any questions that you may have. Do come along and see what they have produced.

February 4th, 2021: Vadan Khan, Year 13

“Sci-fi and Science: From the Futile to the Future”

Many of us love the concept of sci-fi technology and how the world will be in the not so distant future. Sci-fi permeates our culture and often people look to the scientists and engineers of this work demanding to know when sci-fi can become a reality: when will I be able to drive my hover-car, summon my force field to protect me and fly into the distant depths of the galaxy? However the reality of creating such devices is far more complicated than what we imagine and we often just don’t know what our world will look like and whether any of these features are possible at all.  In his lecture Vadhan will aim to shed light on what the fringes of technical and physical innovation are exploring; what may be far more difficult than what we initially assumed and how some of the most impossible concepts could be designed and made a reality. 

March 18th, 2021: Euan Caskie & James Preedy

Data, Privacy and the Rise of Surveillance Capitalism. 

What happens to the personal information you exchange when using your favourite social media websites? What happens when you click send? Who controls this data? Opinions, elections, and freedom of speech are all manipulated by international organisations who sell your personal data to political campaigns and anonymous third parties across the globe. The results of such surveillance contaminate both political institutions and individual liberty, undermining the very essence of Western democracy. Euan and James will explore the basis of Surveillance Capitalism, the technology behind this mass internet surveillance, and the socio-political consequences that inevitably arise, hoping to uncover a solution that challenges this digital dystopia.  

April 21st, 2021: Angelie Aravinath, Honor Giles, Jemima Tarleton, Sophie Garner, Mia Gonzalez-Jones

 ‘The Myths of Modern Day Feminism’

In this lecture the intent is to  break down the myths of feminism and what it actually means to be a feminist. Some of the myths of modern day feminism will be addressed, such as ‘Does being a feminist take away your femininity?’ The influence of politics and the media on the stereotypes of feminism will be investigated. There will also be reflection on and an assessment of  data collected from the school community to address these points in our local context and assess how far we have come and what more needs to be done to ensure equal opportunities for all. Is it time to change the conversation?

Previous lectures


January 22nd 2020:  Julian Chan / Bertie Titley, Antibiotics: Past, Present and Future

 Antibiotic resistance is on the rise and there appears to be very little development of new and more powerful antibiotics. In this lecture we discuss the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, factors that have created these deadly bacteria and what we can do to reduce the risk. We will also be addressing the chemistry of an antibiotic, how it works and why they have stopped working. Does the future of effective antibiotics look worrying? Or do we have an ace up our sleeves?

February 13th, 2020: Hannah Smith, ‘ Sleep deprivation could improve your mental health, myth or reality?’

With approximately 1 in 4 people being affected by one (or more) mental disorder(s) in their life and 1 in 3 adults not getting enough sleep, it is fair to say that mental health and sleep deprivation do not discriminate when choosing their victims. Both of these issues are extremely prominent in every county, state and country and have the potential to affect every one of us. Hannah considers the connections between these issues and the relevant research.

March 18th, 2020: , Matthew Ludwig / Kevin Zhang,   “From baseball to black holes, does gravity control everything?”

Gravity is a concept that we are all familiar with and something we take the effects of for granted. However, this fundamental force controls aspects of the universe at every scale possible, from the trajectory your toast follows in the morning, to the motion of satellites around the Earth, to the ultimate fate of the universe. In this lecture, I will explore how gravity is intimately involved in all manners of physical phenomena, first by exploring the origin of gravity, then by investigating the relationship between gravity and our daily lives and finally, by exploring how gravity controls the extremes of our universe. Moreover, I hope to explain how future study may uncover the connection between gravity and the quantum realm by examining the burgeoning field of quantum gravity.

April 29th, 2020: Matt Brown, Jack Dyble, Katie Evans, Flora McIntyre,  Calum Strang ,  “A tale of two countries: The world on the edge of war.”

After the Second World War, the world stood divided between two very different ideologies, and with them, two very different countries. Unlike other wars, the Cold War was fought through propaganda, ideology, culture, and when necessary, open conflict. This war, which started over differences between the very ways-of life of the USA and the Soviet Union, soon resulted in humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance. We will be examining the impact of the Cold War and analysing its effectiveness.

November 13th 2019; Dr Liddy Reeves-Croft & student ensemble

Dr Reeves-Croft travelled from Eastern Europe to North East Asia, visiting countries in which the course of history has been shaped by their proximity to Russia as well as travelling across the Russian Federation on the Trans-Mongolian train. She shares this adventure with us in her lecture and talks about some of the key events of the last century, based on her experiences during her trip.