Senior Stretch & Challenge Day

On Thursday 14 March, a group of Year 12 Aspire students, accompanied by Mrs Winchester-Snell, Academic Enrichment Coordinator, and Mrs Pike, Head of Careers, went to a Stretch and Challenge Conference in Oxford Town Hall. Within the conference there were an array of thought-provoking talks, which covered a range of captivating topics. These topics included:

  • The psychology of happiness
  • Does a snail have a conscious?
  • University of Oxford interview questions and how to prepare
  • Soaring to success - a┬átalk by a US military fighter pilot
  • Social Physics
  • A debate on the dangers of AI

The debate at the end of the conference required a student representative from each school to go up and present their proposition. Our student representative at Sidcot was Onyinye; she proposed the idea that AI would be detrimental to society in terms of medicine and dentistry due to computer error and lack of responsibility, as well as legal issues with holding the AI responsible for the mistake. This idea was sparked as a counter argument when a previous student from Stowe School suggested the idea that in healthcare the use of AI would decrease human error.

Here is what Year 12 student Sophie M had to say about her experience:

I found the specialist keynote speakers so well-researched and very engaging, and the topics they presented on really fascinating. They also gave very valuable advice on interview skills and the need to be creative and not fixed with our mindset. After the Conference, we were welcomed to tour Merton College, one of the oldest Foundations at the University of Oxford. The College had a traditional, yet beautiful structure and private gardens for staff and students to enjoy. Overall, the trip gave us all a great idea of what a campus college looks like and how the days are structured around meal time, study time, one-to-one sessions with tutors and the sense of community that university brings. I really enjoyed the day and I would highly recommend it to the upcoming Year 12s.