Sexey’s School Philosophy Fest 2024

Sexey’s School Philosophy Fest 2024

Long time friend of Sexey’s, Dr Peter Vardy joined students, staff, parents and the wider community of Sexey’ s School for two days of thought provoking insights into a wide range of topics for the Sexey’s School Philosophy Fest.

Dr. Peter Vardy was Vice Principal of Heythrop College, University of London (1999-2011); he is internationally well-known as a leader in the fields of Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics and Values Education.

We started with a GCSE conference where our own GCSE RS students joined with students from Warminster School and Colyton Grammer School discussing such topics as the concept of God, evil and suffering and sin and salvation. The day culminated in a debate in which students are encouraged to argue their case for ‘all good people should go to heaven’. It was wonderful to hear such passionate arguments being put forward from representatives from all schools present. The day was structured for both revision and going deeper intp the topics and I am sure that many will be inspired to consider Religious Studies for A Level.

An evening event with a light supper was held, and a diverse audience attending which included members of our local community, teachers from other schools, Sixth Form students and staff gave rise to an enjoyable evening. The topics discussed were both challenging and inspiring. Dr Vardy encouraged conversation and debate on Just War Theory including thinkers such as Aquinas and Aristotle. This was followed by exploring the possibilities and challenges of being part of the new world of AI and the ethical and philosophical issues which are already arising and will indeed become more relevant in the coming years.

The final day saw a conference for our Sixth Form students, designed to enrich and support their academic studies through philosophy and ethics. The conference covered a diverse range of subject areas: genetics, fertility, AI and the issues surrounding an aging population. Its was great to see both members of our sixth form and staff taking the microphone to challenge and debate these topics which without doubt, will affect your young people as they leave school and move on to university, employment and adulthood.

Once again, Dr Vardy was generous with his time and expertise over the two days he was with us and we thank him for joining us again this year.