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ISI Inspection of the Girls' Division 2016

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Medieval History at Café Culturel

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Boys and girls from the Sixth Form and Year 11 were invited to a lunchtime lecture as part of Café Culturel. This series of events has been organised by Miss C Pealing, one of the Chemistry teachers in the Girls’ Division. She originally set up Café Scientifique, a similar series of enrichment events aimed at bringing together boys and girls for extra-curricular lectures about Chemistry, Physics and Biology throughout the year. These turned out to be very successful, and now run on a regular basis.

There was also a great deal of interest for a similar series of enrichment events for the arts, and so Café Culturel was born. Sure enough, there was an excellent turnout to the lecture, with the front rows of the Girls’ Division Theatre completely filled, and the pupils listened attentively and were able to ask questions at the end.

The guest speaker was Dr Fiona Edmonds, who is a Fellow of Clare College and is part of the department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Cambridge University. As an Old Girl, Dr Edmonds was delighted to return to the school to give a talk on medieval history.

Dr Edmonds spoke about one of her own recent research projects, which focused on Jocelin of Furness and the international connections which Furness Abbey had even in the medieval period. She likened her research to detective work, using a diverse range of sources, from texts and manuscripts to buildings and architecture, to pull together information. She also told her audience about the difficulties and skills involved when trying to put the evidence together when there is such a wide range.

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Dr Fiona Edwards (centre) with two of the Sixth Form girls who attended the lecture

Dr Fiona Edwards (centre) with two of the Sixth Form girls who attended the lecture

Cafe Culturel has been a hit with pupils from Years 11, 12 and 13

Café Culturel has been a hit with pupils from Years 11, 12 and 13