St Peter's School
St Peter's Sixth Form students have many opportunities to hear from visiting speakers, but we also have a wealth of talent and experience amongst our pupils. In this new lunchtime series, our Sixth Formers address our staff and students on some of their own experiences.
Over eighty people turned out in the Memorial Hall to hear from two of our boarders. Fatima spoke about Islam and its importance to her as a young woman in 2019. She set out to disabuse us of some of the misconceptions about her faith, which she said had been brought home to her through the false stories she’d read in the UK media since coming to Britain. Fatima explained the part Islam played in her life and the value of it to her and her family.
Pierre’s parents have worked around the world, most recently in Saudi Arabia. Returning to Riyadh during school holidays has enabled him to observe and understand Saudi life. He explained the liberalisation of Saudi society in recent years, symbolised by a lifting of some restrictions on women’s dress codes and the introduction of driving licenses for women – with social media and especially snapchat driving Saudi people’s desire for more freedom, especially in terms of music and entertainment.
Pierre and Fatima spoke from their own knowledge and experience giving staff and students insights we would not have gained just from reading about these topics. Following on from James Smith’s earlier talk there’s now great enthusiasm from students to develop this series and be the next to address their friends.
Lower Sixth pupil James has shared the journey of his remarkable trek to the Everest base camp, in a talk to pupils and staff at St Peter's. Here, James offers a brief account of his adventure:
"Over the Easter Break, my Dad and I walked to the Everest base camp, the site from which all full Everest expeditions are started. From Kathmandu I flew into the regional airport in a settlement called Lukla (2804m), one of the world’s most dangerous airports where the runway ends as it disappears over a cliff edge. Then, over the course of 7 days, we walked to Gorak Shep (5180m), one of the most elevated settlements in the world, gaining close to 4400 meters in elevation, from the altitude in Kathmandu, staying in Nepalese tea houses at night. The going got tougher as the atmosphere thinned - and some of the long but simply constructed swing bridges swung dramatically as we crossed them at the same time as ‘trains’ of heavily loaded Yaks approached."
Above: James addressing his audience in the Memorial Hall.
"From Gorak Shep, I pushed on to the basecamp (5300m), where we spent an hour, taking the obligatory photo with a banner to mark our achievement, before scaling Kala Pathar, a nearby peak, the following morning to catch the sunrise over Everest. It was an amazing experience and it’s now a lifetime goal to tackle Everest itself, but that’s an altogether more dangerous (and expensive) expedition."