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News > Learning > Philosophy Day

Philosophy Day

From Aristotle and Environmental Ethics to describing a cactus... Our students reflect on their experience of the 2021 Philosophy Day.
14 May 2021
Students in attendance at 2021 virtual Philosophy Day
Students in attendance at 2021 virtual Philosophy Day

Seventeen girls from Years 10-12 were involved in a virtual conference day presented by Academy Conferences for Gifted and Talented students. This would normally be held at Ascham School but due to COVID-19 it was made available online. It was an intensive, mind-stretching conference day where students had the opportunity to develop their critical thinking skills, manipulate abstract ideas and make connections across school subject areas. Students listened to lectures and were involved in discussion on the following areas:  

  • Oxbridge Interview Question: Here’s a Cactus. Tell us About it – Julie Arliss
  • A Slow Strange Death – The Failure of Environmental Economics – Peter Baron (Alumni of University of Oxford)
  • Aristotle 384-322 BCE His Big Idea – Julie Arliss
  • Social Physics – Julie Arliss

I was very encouraged by their thoughtful responses and passionate arguments in relation to some major issues. The following girls attended, and a couple of their reflections are included below.

Year 10: Becca Zammit, Sophia Zybenko, Indianna Cane, Grace Sukari, Olivia Daly, Maya Yogesvaran, Samiksha Rajesh, Molly Hanly

Year 11: Chiara Prinsloo, Ryleigh Bladen, Maya Rengaswamy, Michelle Hoffman

Year 12: Charlotte Forwood, Jacqueline Dwyer, Annika Shankar, Anna Garnsey, Olivia Holmes

The Cactus lecture helped me see how many ways one question could be answered. In the Environmental economics lecture I was initially really intrigued by the idea of utilitarianism being a harmful ethical framework in our economy, however I had never thought about it in an economical setting and I now have a different viewpoint on that ethical framework as I can understand its flaws. The Social Physics lecture showed how our perspectives and viewpoints can so easily be swayed by the information we are presented with which made me think about the use of social media to spread news and ideas. Overall, the day was really interesting and extremely beneficial, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sophia Zybenko Year 10

The Oxbridge interview question has helped me feel more confident when taking part in interviews, and the environmental economics seminar has given me a clearer understanding of climate change and its possible solutions. I felt the overall day was beneficial as I am participating in an oratory competition called Ethics Olympiad, and this content helps enhance what I have learned through that.  

Indianna Cane Year 10

The girls were also provided with some amazing resources so they can continue their exploration of these topics. Thank you to Marco Scali, Philippa Dowers and Adam Saleh for their support on the day.


Mrs Robyn Roffey

Diverse Learning

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