Date published: Thu 25 May 2017
Author: S. Lawson
Trinity Term has seen a number of special guest speakers visit Whitgift to talk to the students, as part of the Academic Enrichment Lecture series. At the end of April, ahead of the CCF Annual General Inspection, Lower and Upper First Form boys were treated to a highly engaging talk from Antarctic explorer, British Army reservist, medic and Old Whitgiftian, Mr Ollie Stoten.
Ollie enthralled Whitgift students with the gritty realities of his extreme adventure, skiing over 800 miles to the South Pole and on through the Transantarctic Mountains, carrying with them all the food and supplies they would need for the three-month-long journey.
Despite not having been a particularly high achiever or sporty individual himself when younger, Ollie reassured the Whitgift boys that it isn’t necessary to focus on just one hobby, encouraging them to merge their interests where possible. Indeed, it was the combination of Ollie’s desire to tackle this unique physical feat, with his interest in looking at the medical implications of such exertion on the human body (he is completing metabolic research following his return), that secured his place on the expedition; “If you want to push boundaries, it’s not impossible”, Ollie expressed to the boys.
Whitgift also welcomed, Jo Ruxton, producer of the recently released documentary, ‘A Plastic Ocean’. Jo spoke about her work with a number of Upper School students, and then gave a lively talk featuring clips from the film, encouraging pupils to rethink our consumer relationship with plastic packaging.
Representatives from the research company, Benevolent AI, also visited the School this term, revealing some of the fascinating secrets behind the use of artificial intelligence in the development of drugs. Whitgift Chaplain, Reverend Alan Bayes, is scheduled to speak about the sometimes troubled relationship between science and religion, and Aardman Animations will provide the final talk of the year, after exams. A big thank you to everyone who has visited the School this term, and we look forward to seeing what interesting enrichment sessions the Michaelmas Term will hold.