The Medawar Society has got off to a busy and impressive start this term, having started writing essays for the Immerse Education Competition, presenting in assembly in front of the Senior School and attending sessions on revision skills and influencing behaviours in others. A real focus this term has been filling the Medawar Society calendar with ‘Academic Tourism’ sessions. In line with Marlborough College, UK and other Scholars programmes around the globe, the Scholars have been ‘touring’ the departments of the College for one off sessions delivered by specialist beaks.
The aims of the programme are to give the highly talented Medawar Society Scholars exposure to novel subjects and concepts which are beyond the scope of the normal Shell curriculum. They have delved into the broad world of Neuroscience with Miss Poots, modelling brains and learning about the use of fMRI in studying the brain and how this links to our imagination. Mr Duncan introduced a model of Disaster Management and posed a tricky moral dilemma about the right of an elderly person to live close to disaster-prone areas which led to heated debate in which Scholars introduced mature topics such as euthanasia, freedom of choice and the unpredictability of climate change.
There has been an overwhelming response from specialist beaks who wish to work with the Academic Scholars and as such, we are able to offer ‘blocks’ of lessons on a theme, ensuring sufficient time is given to building the soft skills and depth of knowledge expected of an Academic Scholar. After the initial novel subjects (Neuroscience and Disaster Management), we started to focus on Critical Thinking skills and Theory of Knowledge. Mr Tapp led the first session on Creative and Critical Thinking and gave Scholars the difficult ‘Door to Heaven or Hell’ riddle to solve. This tested the Scholars’ critical and out-of-the-box thinking, though the very creative group impressed Mr Tapp and Miss Poots by solving the puzzle together in an efficient manner. Mr Scott will follow on this theme by looking at the idea of ‘Bad Science’ and posit a convincing argument for not buying into everything ‘scientific’ you read. Following on from their Influencing Behaviour session with Mr Lennard, they are asked to invite a guest to the next session. Their critical thinking skills will be put to the test at the end of term by Mrs Eatough in a top secret event taking place in the LRC.
This programme will continue into the Lent Term with one-off lectures on revision skills ahead of exams and a beginners’ language block in which Beginners German and Greek will be offered. Summer is set to take on a Science theme with several trips to the appropriately named Medawar block to perform dissections and Sports Science research.
Miss Poots wishes to thank all of the participating beaks and Scholars for their excellent contributions this term. Applications for prospective Scholars are currently open until 13th December 2019