On Sunday 19 September, The King Alfred School (KAS) in Hampstead, London, finally had the chance to stage their TEDx talks event.
The event, which was initially scheduled for February 2021, featured 14 talks.
Half of the presentations were from KAS students, with four members of staff also speaking about their topics of interest, as well as three parents from the school’s community.
The TEDx talks were held in front of a small audience at the King Alfred School’s Phoenix Theatre. A range of topics were explored from gaming, not giving up after initial failure, all the way to an inspiring talk about insomnia from a Year 13 student.
Organiser Kara Conti enjoyed seeing the ‘confidence’, which is ‘so valuable’, that this platform gives to speakers:
“This all started with a Zoom call in November 2020 when we first heard ideas for the talks so it was wonderful to see it finally happen. The thing I enjoy most is seeing the different people up on the same stage and the confidence it gives to them – something that’s so valuable, especially for the students but is equally true for the adults.”
All of the talks can be seen below, ranging from ‘Embrace the Ridiculous’ from a student, ‘Finding Comfort in Discomfort’ from a member of staff and ‘I Chose Hope’ from a King Alfred parent:
— King Alfred School (@kingalfredsch) October 11, 2021
Despite the talks covering a wide array of different topics, it’s clear that there was a theme in mind as subjects like embracing the negatives as well as the positives and personal growth were underlying messages throughout many of the talks.
Audience member Lucy found the talks from the students ‘fantastic, really punchy and pertinent’:
“What surprised me most today was the diverse range of topics and the fact that there is such a broad range of interests in the school. I especially enjoyed the students talks – they were fantastic, really punchy and pertinent. I’ve really enjoyed the way it’s a collective vision of contemporary society.”
Having also collaborated with TED in 2019 and 2020, it’s clear that the school are passionate about offering a platform to all members of their community and take pride in discussing a diverse range of subjects.
Students clearly value the opportunities on offer to them at KAS, Year 13 speaker Alanna labelled this a ‘big achievement’ and something she’ll ‘remember forever’:
“I was quite nervous but once I got going, I relaxed. It feels like quite a big achievement and something I’ll remember forever. Since I joined the school they’ve given me so many opportunities, things that other schools wouldn’t, so it was really special.”
Parents appreciate the experiences just as much as the pupils, Cathy, the mother of one of the speakers, loves that King Alfred School are prepared to ‘build up’ areas which students are interested in with events like this:
“I haven’t had such a wonderful afternoon in a long time, it was emotional, it was thought provoking, it was just fantastic – very impressive. I was very proud of my son but I think it’s a great example of why I love this school. Whatever a student is interested in, they build that up, they don’t have to fit into boxes.”
The King Alfred School teach children from Reception through to Sixth Form and is based on the edge of Hampstead Heath in London.