talks@ is an opportunity for our Year 6, 7 and 8 pupils to meet really interesting people from a wide range of backgrounds and hear them talk about relevant, exciting and challenging issues in the world around them.

The most recent talks@ lecture heard Alex Chalk – Conservative MP for Cheltenham – give a riveting presentation around a number of topics including these: the routines and daily life of an MP; Brexit – how it is affecting the nation; his aim to make Cheltenham a “cyber centre”; his campaigning for local causes, particularly the threatened closure of Cheltenham General Hospital A&E Department and more regulation of social media platforms with regard to mental health.

Alex was open and honest in his presentation, and did not try to push his particular politics onto his audience.  In response, our pupils were very focused, and aware that they were listening to a person of great importance within the local community. They clearly felt privileged to be able to pose thoughtful questions to him during his presentation in the hall; furthermore, Alex generously agreed to stay on, despite his busy schedule, to hear the individual concerns of pupils who wanted to speak with him afterwards, in smaller groups, in our Atrium.

DCPS Head of English Bob Shelley commented, “this talks@ was a wonderful opportunity for DCPS pupils to understand more about the daily work of an MP; about what it means to live in a democratic country; about how important our parliament is.  At times we may feel a bit cynical about politics and politicians, but this talks@ lecture was an important reminder that we are lucky to live in a country with a strong democracy, with hard-working politicians (the majority of whom are trying to do their very best) and with freedom of speech.”