Skip to content

Spotlight On…talks: encouraging curiosity

Spotlight On - Solar System talk

From the origins of the solar system to China’s belt and road initiative and the influences behind Beyoncé’s music, this term’s lunchtime ‘Spotlight On…’ talks series has provided insight from visiting speakers, staff and pupils as part of our academic extension programme.

During the first term of the academic year we had talks from Dr Shane McKie, Research Scientist at the Neuroscience and Psychiatry Unit at University of Manchester and Old Stopfordian Mr Yusuf Ramzan from the Thales Group about ‘Medical Imaging and the Brain’ and ‘Working as a Software Engineer’ respectively; whilst Second in English Mr Rob Jones and Deputy Head Mr Ben Bowles delivered related talks about ‘Visions of the Apocalypse’ and the ‘End of the World’.

Interesting talks on ‘Questioning the Laws on Three-parent Babies’ and ‘Who’s the Real Monster in Frankenstein?’ were also delivered by Upper Sixth students Anna Davies and Kitty Grant.

Following the half term break, Head of Sixth Form Mr David Stone spoke about ‘German Responsibility for World War One’, Avro Heritage Museum volunteer Mr Roger Yates talked about ‘A.V. Roe – Stockport’s Pioneer of Aviation’ and Professor Jamie Gilmour from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at The University of Manchester explored the ‘Origins of the Solar System’.

Student Faza Qadiri also delivered a talk on ‘The Heart (Emotional and Scientific)’, Raleigh International’s Georgia Walkden looked at ‘What Can be Gained from a Gap Year?’ and Head of Classics Mr Alistair Thorley examined the influences behind Beyoncé’s music.

To conclude the series, Upper Sixth student Amy Gardner discussed ‘China’s Belt and Road Initiative’ and Dr Annabel Latham from Manchester Metropolitan University’s School of Computing, Mathematics and Digital Technology (and Vice-Chair of IEEE Women in Engineering (UK & Ireland)) spoke about ‘Careers in Computing’.

Assistant Librarian Mrs Trudi Stephenson said: “The ‘Spotlight On…’ series of talks aims to offer insights into a wide variety of topics from a diverse range of speakers and gives pupils the chance to hear about subjects they may have an interest in in a forum outside of the classroom.

“Sessions generally contain a Q&A session and have provoked some stimulating debates! They also provide the opportunity for our older students to deliver talks and hone their presentation skills in front of an audience.”

If you are a STEM ambassador, university lecturer, business leader or community volunteer and would like to deliver a talk, please email the Library on