Our Day at Peter Symonds College

At the end of June, our ‘Rising 9s’ group (Year 10 pupils who are predicted at least one GCSE grade 9) travelled to Peter Symonds for a PPE day. This was a day wholly comprised of politics, philosophy and economics.

Peter Symonds College in Winchester has the largest philosophical department in the country.

We were divided up into three groups to learn and also to enable us to work with pupils from other local schools. We participated in many debates which allowed us to question other peoples’ opinions and our own.

In Philosophy we made mind maps of social and ethical questions such as discussing the death penalty and its use in American laws. We also discussed how racism and prejudice affects sentences of criminals in other countries and our own. We were asked how we view ‘moral life’ and given philosophical concepts and theories that challenged our opinions. In conclusion, we theorised that living a moral life is doing what you believe is kind to others and voicing your opinion as long as it does not hurt others physically or mentally.

Politics was a real eye opener to the polarising debates and theories of how government decisions affect our society. The main focus was on Brexit and how, if we had the opportunity, we would change government policies for the better. We took an open test to see where we stand on the political spectrum and to help our understanding. We also created our own political parties to see how persuasive our strategies could be on society.

The study of Economics is a social science concerning world worth and country trading. For this, we took part in a practical event where we were each given resources depending on the country we represented. This showed that different factors play a vital part in a countries’ worth and poverty.

At the end of a day we participated in a question and answer exercise to test our knowledge on our data security. For instance, the fact that terms and conditions are pasted in small print but that ingredients in food may be bold and defined. We argued whether it was our fault for not reading what was given to us or the companies fault for making it hard to read.

A big thank you to all the staff and volunteers who allowed us learn about PPE. We are grateful for the experience and hope to return in the future!