ACS International School

Rules and Rebellion at Oakham School

Published Monday 24th of November 2014 11:26:45 AM

Pupils from Oakham School have enjoyed a thought-provoking �Rules & Rebellion� week, a series of over 40 workshops, lectures, seminars and activities run by leading philosophers, academics and artists.

�The aim was to encourage pupils to really think about rules, and how the world has been shaped by acts of rebellion,� says teacher and event organiser, Megan Fairley.

The variety of activities that took place during the week, from leading specialists, has been impressive. They include a keynote speech by Roger Scruton, one of the most well-known English philosophers working in Britain today, an etiquette workshop by Britain�s foremost etiquette expert, William Hanson, and a lecture titled �Fashion: Run by rules or changed by rebellion?� from leading fashion curator, academic and author, Professor Amy de la Haye.

Headmaster Nigel Lashbrook asserts �It is a fundamental part of any education to encourage pupils to have a strong moral compass, and to teach them to understand and abide by laws and regulations. However, it is also our responsibility to give pupils the skills and the confidence to know when and how they should question the rules.� He continues, �Our Rules & Rebellion week goes, in some part, towards teaching our pupils to understand and look beyond the rules, so they are prepared to stand up for what they believe.�

Old Oakhamian Janek Schaefer, an award-winning artist known for his work with sound and installation art, also returned to Oakham to take part in Rules & Rebellion week. He provided students and staff with a unique insight into the world of sonic art; running workshops, discussing his work and performing an improvised concert using found sounds.

Every day saw an astonishing range of activities that all pupils were able to take part in; either during their classes, at break time or in the evening. One morning, Mr Jon Thompson, the Permanent Under Secretary responsible for the Ministry of Defence, gave an address in Chapel about faith, work, rules and rebellion. Over the weekend, amongst other activities, the renowned poet, songwriter and broadcaster Stewart Henderson ran a poetry workshop, and Steve Berry, who has over 20 years� experience in performing, teaching, composing and arranging, ran a music improvisation workshop.

In conjunction with the lectures and talks from specialists in their field, Oakham�s teaching staff also hosted a variety of talks. These included a series of music and art talks, breakfast club discussions and seminars. Topics ranged from �How many rules and rule-breakers did it take to produce the chemistry textbooks of today?� to �The 10 Rules of Being a world-class Athlete and how they are being broken�. There were also lively student debates and student-led sessions throughout the week.

This year�s event follows on from last year�s hugely successful �Truth & Beauty' week.

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