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Notre Dame Philosothon 2024

ND Philosothon 2024

On Tuesday 21st May, four other schools joined us at Notre Dame for an evening of philosophical thought and discussion.

ND Philosothon 2024

Students from Salesian, Woldingham, St George’s, Halliford and Notre Dame were put into groups and given texts, ranging from Winnie the Pooh and Barbie (the film) to Noah Yuval Harari nonfiction and government statistics on car use. They discussed questions in an Oxbridge interview style, starting more simply and building to much more philosophical questions such as ‘what makes someone a good friend?’ ‘what sort of power and meaning do words have to different people?’ ‘should we be more scared or excited by AI?’ and ‘what would an ideal education system look like?’

After round 1, students voted for a winner from each group, and after a lovely pizza dinner, we gathered for the final in the theatre. Winners and runners up from each group read a short text by Matt Haig and discussed the sentimental and practical importance of possessions, considering whether society would be better if we were less fascinated by ‘stuff’ and whether there is too much choice in today’s society.

All the students involved performed admirably, showing impressive cognitive skills and awareness of social issues, as well as the ability to listen and respond sensitively to one another and to involve others in the discussion.

A huge congratulations to everyone involved, who will be awarded a participation certificate, and particular congratulations to the following students, who did exceptionally well in their rounds:

Anya-Bee (Y8) – won in her group

Mira (Y8) – won in her group

Salma (Y9) – won in her group and was joint 2nd overall

Amy-Lee (Y12) – won in her group

Beth (Y12) – came 2nd in her group

Georgie (Y8) – special mention

Thank you to everyone involved. We hope that you had an enjoyable and enriching evening!

Ms Rusholme, Head of English