Darwin College Lecture Series

University_of_Cambridge_coat_of_arms_official.svgDarwin College’s 2017 lecture series continues in the coming weeks. This year’s theme is ‘Extremes’ – fairly topical at the moment. However, the lectures are not only on politics; there is ‘Extreme Rowing’, ‘Extremes of the Universe’ and ‘Reporting from Extreme Environments’ as well as ‘Extreme Politics’ all still to come. The talks are really interesting and accessible, and free!

If you’re interested, check out this link: http://www.darwin.cam.ac.uk/lectures

Cambridge and Kindertransport

Mike Levy, currently undertaking a PhD at Anglia Ruskin University, gave a fascinating talk to members of History society yesterday, on Cambridge’s role in the Kindertransport project of the 1930s. Following intensified attacks on the Jewish population by the Nazis, Britain organised local groups to receive and provide care for child refugees. 10,000 children from Germany, Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia, were brought to the UK in the late 1930s, including 2000 to Cambridgeshire. The children were between age 5 and 17 and came on the provision that they were unaccompanied, that their stay would be temporary and not at a cost to the state.

significance1Many of us were previously unaware that our school (then Perse Girls), took an active responsibility in taking care of some of these children. Miss Cattley, our headteacher in this period, ensured free or subsidised places for some refugee girls. One of these girls was Doris Rath, who came to Cambridge in 1937 with her younger sister. Through such individual cases, the generosity and kindness of these families in fostering the refugees was clear.

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Spring History Forum

The annual Cambridge History Forum is coming up on Saturday 4th March with the theme ‘Revolutionaries and Revolutions’ at Selwyn College. The day runs from 10.00-13.15 and consists of three lectures:

  • ‘Russia in 1917’ – Prof. Chris Read.
  • ‘The Marxist’s Model Revolution’ – Prof. Robert Tombs.
  • ‘The Aftermath and Legacy of the Russian Revolution’ – Dr Jonathan Davis.

The lectures are followed by a forum discussion and you can choose to stay for a Buffet Lunch in Selwyn College that can include a tour of the History Faculty.

One lecture £3 on the door, Two or Three lectures £5 on the door, All lectures and lunch £15 (must book in advance) so see http://www.cambridgehistoryforum.com for details.

The lectures this year look really interesting and will be especially useful if you study History in L6 as they are directly connected to the IB/A Level content.

The 39 Steps

Tickets are on sale NOW for the production of The 39 Steps! 11 Sixth Form students will play a total of 130 characters in this play with drama, high-jinks, plot twists, slapstick comedy, silly accents and lots of moustaches guaranteed!

Tickets are only £2.50, available at reception. Friday 3rd February.


Santa, Lies, and a very Merry (psychologically destructive) Christmas to you

A new study conducted by two psychologists has warned that parents encouraging the belief of Father Christmas can actually cause psychological damage and throw off a child’s moral compass.

imagesThe premise is simple. The fact that your parents can lie to you, even about something which is seen as magical and exciting, can lead a child’s trust in their parents to be undermined and leave them open to “abject disappointment” when they eventually discover that Santa doesn’t really exist. If a relationship between a parent and child is vulnerable, the child may come to realise that if their parents can lie so convincingly over a long period of time, they could be lying about other things too. In fact, one of the researchers stated that ‘this may be the final straw’.

The researchers also stated reasons why the ‘Santa lie’ is so global and why it continues to persist in today’s society. Firstly, they say, humans have a natural tendency to conform to what is around us, even if it seems illogical. In other words, our parents and friends and everyone around us tells us Santa is real when we are a child and thus we believe in him so as not to be left out. Second, the evidence suggests that even adults as well as children have an urge to escape reality though make believe and fantasy. So in a way, believing in Santa is a form of escapism for us all.

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Mr Walker Interview

An interview with the Senior School’s Headteacher – Mr Walker

By Qifei Zou and Francesca Boyce-Cam

Could you give us an introduction into your educational/work background?

I grew up in Berkshire, where I went to a state primary and secondary school. At A-Level, I studied Maths, Physics and Biology and went to Bristol University, where I took my degree in Physics and Philosophy. I enjoyed living in Bristol during these years so I decided to stay there to do my teacher training and worked at Clifton College for three years. Then I worked in Africa for a few years with VSO – Voluntary Service Overseas –  as a teacher in a secondary school. After I returned to England, I worked in a boarding school in Croydon, then at Wellington College as head of department, house-master, and then eventually headmaster. And here we are today.

What advice do you have for university applicants? How did you find your own university experience?

Do something you love. I think you should be authentic to yourself in your application. Aside from that, every human being is interesting – but how do you show that? You need to do interesting things. It could be as simple as reading books but you could visit interesting places or start an organisation. Lastly, I think try and enjoy the process. Despite the pressure, it is a wonderful opportunity not everyone receives.

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