School News

London Research Trip 2017 Presentation Evening

The six winners of Birkdale’s London Research Trip competition presented their findings and conclusions at the end of last week. This was the culmination of a research process which began in London back in June when the students spent two days studying in the capital’s libraries and archives, an opportunity they’d won by submitting the best of this year’s research proposals. 

Our annual Research Trip is a chance for pupils to work independently on a project unrelated to exam syllabuses, simply following their curiosity.  Our winners once again demonstrated just how strong a motivation ‘intellectual curiosity’, or learning for learning sake, can be…

Was Einstein really a pacifist? This was the key question Lewis Chinchen set out to answer. In a clear, well-crafted presentation, Lewis helped us understand not only the political beliefs of the man but also the way the development of Einstein’s thinking mirrored the way the pacifist movement evolved during the first half of the 20th Century.

Haroon Tariq and Oliver Flint chose to analyse the changing face of the Communist regime in China from 1949 until the present day. Their incisive, knowledgeable presentation explained how China has emerged from the ideological decisions of the past to become a prosperous superpower, balancing communist policies with aspects of capitalism.

Ellen Knight’s hard-hitting presentation questioned the ethics and legality of capital punishment in the United States. Her informative, well-argued speech outlined the way this often cruel and discriminatory punishment breaks both the 8th and 14th Amendments respectively, demonstrating the clear injustice of the famous case studies Ellen presented.

Have you ever wondered what turns a non-violent protest into a violent one? With a particular focus on the Arab Spring, Rafal Faraj and Daoud Salman helped us understand the political triggers that turn a protest towards violence. Their erudite analysis, comparing protests across the Middle East, showed that when ruling parties are prepared to compromise and when basic infrastructures remain intact, violent conflict can be avoided.

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