Shiplake College’s rendition of Question Time returned for another edition on Monday 13 November and for this instalment, it was our Year 11 pupils who gathered in the Lecture Theatre.
The host, Mr Player, had assembled a dream-team super panel to discuss some of the big issues not just in the world, but in the College today. Each panellist had a minute to respond to the questions and there was an opportunity to add and discuss throughout.
On the panel was somebody who 'has facts that go far and wide while not letting any violations slide', Mrs Bayley; 'rugby legend who's always first and never second', Mr Edwards; 'the geo supremo', Mr Cooper; and 'a true gent and scholar', Mr Alcock.
Is the world in a worse position than ever?
Mr Alcock was the first to answer and while believing that we are generally in a better place technologically, the advancement of weaponry on the other hand means that we have the capability to destroy ourselves and our planet. We have the capacity to do great things but can equally sink to great depths. Mrs Bayley thinks that we are in the best spot that we’ve ever been, especially after the pandemic where we eradicated a virus in a short space of time. We can produce electricity, go to space, and grow artificial meat. However, as Mr Alcock said, Mrs Bayley believes that we could easily go back to square one if we’re not careful. Mr Cooper says that we invent our ways out of issues, but we are now at a tipping point (environmentally) where even more needs to be done. Lastly, Mr Edwards believes that we have changed as humans in that we are a lot more tolerant and open about things - inclusivity is a lot better than it used to be in the past.
Is violence the answer?
On the whole, the answer was to this question from the panel was that violence is not the answer. Mrs Bayley pointed out to the Scandinavian approach and how talking amongst opposing parties is a far better solution to violence while Mr Alcock, who approached the question from a religious perspective, spoke of Jesus and how his ways were of peace. Mr Cooper questioned whether picking up arms was necessary in conflict and if disputes be solved if all parties took a step back and talked? Mr Edwards, on the whole, doesn’t think that violence is the solution though made reference to cases such as World War II where extreme actions were met with equal and opposite reactions. Nazi Germany was a dark period and he questioned where we would be today it wasn’t for the actions of The Allies.
Were you a good Year 11 pupil? What advice would you give to your Year 11 self?
Arguably the most important question from the day’s session and most apt considering the audience’s upcoming years in school! Mr Edwards considered himself to be a bad pupil in Year 11 which had a knock-on effect at A-level. His advice to the Year 11s was to absorb everything that the teachers have to offer and not to leave things to the last minute. Mr Cooper added to this and recommended not taking for granted your strongest subjects and that it’s important to focus and study across the board. Mrs Bayley suggested doing practice papers, while Mr Alcock advised the Year 11 group to make the most of opportunities such as Revision Day as they focus on the ‘how’ part of revision - something he wasn’t taught to do when at school.