As part of our STEAM X CYL week we have welcomed an array of expert speakers to the school who have spoken on a range of subjects from an art historian’s perspective on the Sultanate Period, Dick Moore’s remarkable and poignant talk on the importance of resilience: Learning to Dance in the Rain, to Dr Bettina Hohnen’s advice to parents on Understanding the Teenage Brain.
The week began with an incredible assembly by Drummond Money-Coutts – fresh from his series on Netflix – who left us all amazed and scratching our heads at his mind-blowing magic. The girls were very keen to take part and he was ably assisted by Dr Ramsey! He also gave our students some inspiring tips and advice for success in life, urging them to find what they love – even if it seems a crazy dream like being a magician; start their journey to their goals now; and seek out the people who have had success in their chosen field and ask their advice.
Oli Hunter-Smart is certainly a man who has followed his dreams. Oli’s tales of trekking from the northern-most point of India, through the snow-capped mountains and the central dusty plains to the southern-most tip of the continent certainly impressed the girls – especially when they saw the state of his walking boots! Oli dealt with temperatures of up to 45 degrees and was walking nearly 50km a day through challenging terrain such as a National Park that’s home to native tigers, and yet he was sustained by the kindness and hospitality of the wonderful people he met along the way.
Fresh from working on ‘Maleficent 2’ and the latest instalment of ‘Star Wars’, stunt performer Olivia Slee regaled our girls with amusing anecdotes on her most dangerous stunts, the most interesting people she’s worked with and the six years she spent training for her profession. She urged the girls to have the courage to take the first step towards confronting a challenge they wanted to face and explained how she challenged her limits in between films by spending three months camping in the Australian wilderness taming wild horses!
After this amazing line-up it needed someone quite incredible to live-up to the billing of closing speaker, and the extraordinary and inspirational Grayson Perry, speaking about ‘Celebrating Creativity’, didn’t disappoint. Grayson talked about the importance of ‘making art’ rather than being an artist, discussing ideas around multi-level ‘layer-cake’ identities. He urged the audience not to worry about being ‘cool’ but to be impulsive and ahead of the curve. He recommended that to be successful you should ‘turn up on time, be polite and nice, and put in the hours’. Grayson totally engaged with his audience, not only our students but the 500 students and staff from twelve partner schools. It was a fantastic event and the icing on the cake of an amazing week.