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News > School News > Lunchtime talks series at Moulsford a huge success

Lunchtime talks series at Moulsford a huge success

Weekly external speakers brought in by Henry Weeks are widening the boys' horizons.
16 Mar 2022
School News

Inspired by the ‘High Performance Podcast’ series, Henry Weeks, Head of Scholars and Humanities Coordinator, launched a new initiative for the boys in Years 6-8 in September 2021.  The ‘Moulsford High Performance Lunchtimes’ series aims to give the boys an opportunity to listen to speakers from different career paths.  The guest speakers are either directly connected with the school or are friends/colleagues of a member of the school community. The talks, which take place every Tuesday lunchtime, are entirely voluntary for the boys, but for each session, there has been an impressive average turnout of 40-50 boys. The guest speakers have varied from professional sportspeople to business entrepreneurs, and have included Spencer Bull (Ex-Military/ Disabled athlete), Iain Percy (Olympic Sailor), Rear Admiral James Parkin (Navy) and Cath Bishop (Olympic Rower & Foreign Office Diplomat) to name but a few of the fifteen speakers to date.

The overriding objective for Mr Weeks with this initiative is to broaden the boys’ outlook by exposing them to people of different walks of life in vastly different situations. In some cases, speakers have shared the challenges they have faced in life, be that overcoming a disability, dealing with disappointment within the sphere of elite sport, or overcoming dyslexia to achieve great things. It is the exposure to these life skills of handling whatever life throws at them which will stand them in good stead for the future. Mr Weeks explained, “The talks provide real life examples for the boys to better understand the qualities required to be successful and fulfilled in the outside world.  Guest speakers have highlighted the traits and values which they recognise as being essential in helping their careers develop, rather than specifically talking about their field of expertise.”  Equally important is that these talks open the boys’ minds to the array of possibilities in life beyond the well-ploughed career routes of finance and law.

Interestingly, a common theme that has emerged throughout the series of talks has been the importance of the attitude people have taken on their life journeys. Mr Weeks went on to explain, “These are the important life lessons.  When Cath Bishop spoke recently, she highlighted two of the key drivers throughout her changing career ‘exploration and curiosity’. It’s about sharing those insights with the boys, that’s why I’m passionate about this project.”


Commenting on the response from pupils to date, Mr Weeks said, “The boys have really enjoyed the opportunity to take time out over lunch to sit and listen to the interesting and diverse speakers, as well as asking questions in conversation with guests towards the end of the sessions.”  Most of the talks have taken place on Zoom, although some guests have been able to join in person. The series has been opened up not only to staff but also to parents to listen in via Zoom, with a good number choosing to tune in each week.

The ‘Moulsford High Performance Lunchtimes’ project was picked up by BT Sport Football presenter Jake Humphrey, who hosts the ‘High Performance Podcast’ series. As a result, Mr Weeks was invited to ‘appear’ on the podcast with three Year 8 boys, and this was recorded at school last November. The short eight-minute piece appears in this episode at 1 hour 13 minutes after the main guest who is All Black Legend Dan Carter and can be accessed via this link (click here)

Following its initial success, Mr Weeks is keen for this project to continue to evolve and grow.  Recently another school has joined in to listen to the talks, and other schools are due to follow in the coming months.  Such has been the enthusiasm amongst some pupils, that a couple of them have taken the initiative to write to potential speakers themselves to encourage them to join the roster of guests.  

Mr Weeks and the Moulsford boys would be extremely grateful to any Old Moles who would be willing to speak themselves or alternatively anyone in the community who can suggest interesting contacts they have who would be willing to share their life experiences. You can contact Mr Weeks with your suggestions at hw@moulsford.com

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