TEDx Event - Surviving vs Thriving

19th April 2017

On the 24th of March, Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School held a TEDx event, organised by students with the help and assistance of Mrs Rosen. TEDx events are independently organised by communities such as schools. The event received an incredible response; the tickets, which were sold by students, sold out in under a day and just under 100 students attended the event. This was the second time the school held such an event  - this time on the theme of "surviving vs thriving" and it was another great success.

The Speakers:

Captain Nick Hill

Nick Hill spoke about his time in the army and the life skills he learnt, and also how grateful he was that he had this experience.

He wanted to speak to the students about the value of life experiences in general, and not just about the benefits he gained from being a part of the army. He gave a passionate speech, which the students were very keen to listen to. He told anecdotes and personal stories that have stuck with him throughout his life. He showed to everyone in the room - the audience and speakers alike, that it is okay to not have your whole life planned out by the end of school: if you work hard and stay motivated there will be success for you.

Kayleigh Stevens-Keatley & Alistair Manclark- Musical performers

Kayleigh and Alistair both study A-level music and performed a piece that Alistair composed for his GCSE last year. They were excited to perform this piece because they felt it fitted the theme well. They both love performing and have both been involved in school shows such as ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and hope to study music in the future.

They were eager to showcase this piece again and be able to revisit previous work and edit and evolve it using musical skills they have learnt from now studying A-level. The audience was captivated by their confident and strong performance.

Ellie Madiera

Ellie Madeira is currently a sixth former at Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School. She has Dyspraxia- a complex neurological condition that is regularly misunderstood, misdiagnosed or missed altogether. Ellie has been struggling with the disorder since birth, having to face the consequences of it from an early age. However, she went to physiotherapy which helped her to carry out day-to-day tasks and encouraged her to think of the benefits of this condition and adapt to it to the best of her abilities. Although Ellie admitted she found planning her TEDx talk difficult, she presented with confidence and even touched people’s hearts, emotionally as well. She thinks of herself as lucky and not someone who is ‘abnormal’ in today’s society, which enables her to survive and thrive.

John Levy

John Levy is an experienced lecturer on developments in Israel and the Arab world. He gave a speech about Israel and how much it contributes to the world- socially, economically and environmentally, providing many fuel sources, which MEDC’s depend on. Mr Levy passionately conveyed some of the realities of Israel and its positive doings, instead of the negative impacts the country produces which the media constantly portrays. He talked about how Israel has developed and advanced in terms of technology, education, health issues, which were fascinating to hear, as the public do not generally hear about such things, especially when terrorism is often associated with the country. These major developments enable Israel to survive and succeed, and transform into a country where people’s perception of it are more positive.

Nathanael Wright

Nathanael Wright gave a truly inspirational talk on his struggles with CFS- chronic fatigue syndrome, which affects 1 in every 250 people. There is currently no cure due a lack of awareness of its cause. Nathanael’s dream to play rugby for England was something that came near impossible to achieve when he was diagnosed with this condition. Even though it’s something he’s suffered with for more than 4 years with periods of time where it was extremely severe, he has managed to find things that help him. He believes “the only cure is time and effort”.  “You learn to look on the bright side” was something he saw as a positive for dealing with this and shows how he is thriving through the difficulties that he faces. 

Other features shown

A video of Sandi Toksvig was also part of the event. She spoke about the importance of the development of Women’s equality. Sandi told the story about how she started a political party in Britain called the Women’s Equality Party with the aim for others to copy the party’s model, encouraging equality for all. The party is not only based around gender equality but equality for all races and ages. After a very motivational speech, which also included elements of comedy, the talk ended with the enthusiastic slogan “Let’s activate, let’s change the world”.

The students would like to say a massive thank you to Mrs Rosen for all her help and for allowing them to have this opportunity.

Report and photos by: Izzy Grogan, Bhavya Giddaluru and Jathusa Peethamparam.


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