Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress

EHS hosts a memorable Humanities Day

03 March 2017

Edgbaston High School was delighted to host Humanities Day on Wednesday this week. 150 girls from eight schools across the country travelled to EHS to join our Year 9 and 10 girls in attending a day dedicated to the Humanities. The event took the form of a series of workshops and talks, with the aim of demonstrating the range of academic disciplines and careers available to young women interested in pursuing Humanities subjects.

After Dr Weeks welcomed guests in the Octagon the conference got underway with a talk from our opening keynote speaker, Natalie Haynes. Writer and broadcaster Ms Haynes delivered a lively and comical talk about her passion for Classics and how she became a leading voice in the subject via a career in stand-up comedy.

The workshops followed, with girls attending a selection of sessions on rotation. We were delighted to welcome a range of presenters to speak about a wide range of topics:

Dr Tej Purewal, Social Scientist at the South Asia Institute in London: ‘Can asking questions change the world? An exploration of the social Sciences’;

Dr Ashley Cocksworth, Lecturer in Systematic Theology: ‘Harry Potter and the politics of Evil’;

Ben Smith, Director of Education and Learning, Worcester Cathedral;

Dr Oyinlola Oyebode, Associate Professor at the University of Warwick;

Anna Chrystal, Lapworth Museum of Geology: ‘Dangerous Dinosaurs’ (Fossils);

Dr Ross Jones, University of Manchester; and

Jo Haskins - Project Manager with Turner & Townsend.

After a busy morning there was time for lunch and visiting delegates and Senior School students were encouraged to explore the Careers Fair which had attracted a wide range of exhibitors. Thank you to employers Atkins, Gowling WLG, Dains, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, National Challenge Service, Rolls-Royce, RAF, RSM, Teach KEC and Wates, and to the universities, amongst them Aston, Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Plymouth and Surrey.  In addition, we were delighted to welcome Florence Mooney back to EHS. Having left EHS in 2015 at the end of Year 13, former Deputy Head Girl Florence returned to EHS to represent Sheffield University, where she is an undergraduate studying Philosophy.

The day ended with a keynote speech from Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE, a man widely recognised as the 'world's greatest living explorer'. Students, parents and staff gathered in the Octagon to listen as Sir Ranulph gave a vivid and amusing account of his life experiences and his many incredible feats of physical and mental endurance, beginning with his time as a boy growing up in South Africa and his time serving in the forces, before proceeding onto the series of courageous expeditions for which he is best known. The talk was a fascinating combination of story-telling, accounts of numerous close calls and his own struggles to overcome adversity and was greatly enjoyed by all. An informal question and answer session brought the talk to a close before guests were invited to attend a book signing with Sir Ranulph in Senior School Hall.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in making EHS Humanities Day such a success. We are also very grateful to the speakers and exhibitors who gave of their time to present their workshops and provide the Careers Fair to educate and inspire our Year 9 and Year 10 girls.

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