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Students from schools across the Dukes family attended a Thriving Minds Symposium hosted by Lucy Hawking, daughter of Stephen Hawking, at Sancton Wood School in Cambridge.

This special event titled ‘Creating Mindsets for Bright Futures’, gave students the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and explore subjects with higher-level thinking.

The day started with an inspirational keynote speech from Lucy Hawking, where she shared her experience of bold ideas, curiosity, daring to think differently and asking questions. She encouraged students to think about how they can make the world a better place.

Principal of Sancton Wood School, Richard Settle said, “We have been delighted by the interest in the Symposium and that 170 students from across Dukes joined the event. It has been a wonderful opportunity for the students to take a deeper dive into those areas of the curriculum they are interested in. Everyone involved hopes that this future generation of leaders has left feeling inspired and full of ideas of how they can be a positive influence and make a difference in what they go on to do.”

The day was a wonderful example of the power of the Dukes family, with attendance from nine schools and a Futures Fair run by Dukes Plus organisations, A-List, InvestIN and Summer Boarding Courses, enriching the day with guidance on how they can support students on their educational journeys and beyond.

The carefully curated workshops, held by experts in a range of areas, explored the impact of their fields and how they will develop and affect futures. Former England rugby international and Dukes Education Managing Director, Mark Bailey, drew on his experience in sport to deliver a very popular talk to sports enthusiasts on ‘Creating a Winning Mindset’.

Lucy Hawking’s workshop, ‘Creating the World You Want to Live In’, opened debate on the big issues around science and technology and how young people can influence our journey into the future. She explored how creative writing and ethics are key to how we communicate thinking around these areas and was genuinely thrilled to hear our students’ views and ideas on how we can make positive changes for the future.

‘The Future of Finance’ from Chris Munson of Lloyds Bank, offered excellent context to how our students’ learning is practically applied in industry. They discussed the fundamentals of Money and Banking whilst exploring how technology is changing the way we manage our finances.

Dr Tim Witney of the Witney Lab at King’s College London, came armed with a wonderful array of practical activities to show our young people how radioactivity is more than just atomic bombs and cosmic rays. The session used ‘hook a duck’ to explore cancer cell detection, radiology monitors and organ aprons to show how cancer is detected and tested radio frequencies of different household items such as apples. It showed how radioactivity can be used as a promising tool for cancer detection and revolutionising treatment.

Other workshops included ‘From Blank Canvas to a Signature Style’ from by children’s illustrator, Kate Winter and ‘Creative Writing Finding Your Voice and Making it Heard’ from novelist, Jim Keeble.

Eaton Square Senior School in London has picked up the baton to hold next year’s Symposium and we hope that this wonderful opportunity for Dukes Education students will continue across the family for years to come.

Schools have shared wonderful feedback from the day, with one saying it was their ‘best school trip yet’.