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Festival of Thought to challenge our way of thinking

By John Lavery

A three-day Festival of Thought being staged by a Stamford school will offer a host of competitions, workshops and activities for the whole community.

The festival, which takes place from Wednesday to Friday next week, will be the first organised by Stamford Welland Academy.

It will focus on five themes - Community, Critical Thinking, Culture, Creativity and Curiosity - and kicks off on Wednesday with a series of events for teaching staff, open to teachers from all schools.

Then, on Thursday, primary schools from the Stamford area will be invited to attend some of the workshops, including a session on what it is like to be an astronaut and a workshop run by Stamford Library.

Students at New College Stamford will have the opportunity to attend a talk about discrimination in the law by lawyer and writer, James Hazel.

Also on Thursday there will be a host of workshops and talks for the wider community. This will include a moving testimony from Holocaust survivor Dr Martin Stern, from 4.30pm to 5.30pm.

Those attending on Thursday will also get to see a digital exhibition by the National Holocaust Centre, a ‘Publishing Secrets’ talk (5pm to 6pm) and the school’s own version of ‘Question Time’ (7pm to 8.30pm), with Coun Jacky Smith, James Hazel, Maxwell Sawyer (Mayor of Stamford), Janet Meenaghan (Principal and chief executive of New College) and students from both Stamford Welland Academy and New College.

The ‘Question Time’ guests will debate current topical issues, including mental health, data collection and the big brother nation, and discrimination.

The festival concludes on Friday with a charity fundraising school fete, raising money for a new charity, Don’t Lose Hope, that offers a free means tested counselling service for children and young people, their families and other members of the community.

For more information and to view the programme, visit www.stamfordwellandacademy.org/festival-of-thought or contact Sarah Oliver at SOliver@stamfordwellandacademy.org.

Sarah Oliver, senior leader at the academy, said: “The festival will provide a new and exciting way for our students and those in our community to explore their imagination and challenge their way of thinking.”

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