Last week students hosted the annual Benenden ACE Talks, in which students and external speakers gather for an evening to present a TEDx style talk on a topic surrounding the given theme, which this year was The Importance of Perspective. Six Two pupil Saskia reveals her highlights from the evening: “The first speaker was Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, former Private Secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and to Prince Harry. From 1979 to 1998 he was an officer in the British Army, serving with the Irish Guards and the Special Air Service (SAS), including in the first Gulf War, and in Colombia and the Balkans. “His talk was focused on the Army and SAS. He spoke about the importance of understanding both sides to a story and trying to see things from someone else’s perspective, as well as talking about how context is crucial to perspective. He told many amazing stories about his time in the British Army.
“The second speaker was Dr Neil Pillai who is a GP from Ivy Court Surgery, Tenterden. He has been trained to teach mindfulness-based courses at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, Oxford University. He is an enthusiastic mindfulness teacher who is keen to bring the benefits of mindfulness to the widest possible audience. “Dr Pillai severely suffered from Covid-19 during the first lockdown in 2020 and had to be admitted to hospital. His talk was about the importance of perspective both as a GP and a patient and how that perspective has been crucial in supporting his own wellbeing to be able to effectively treat his patients.
“He gave a thought-provoking insight to how we think about stress and how we react to it. He showed us how stress doesn’t always have to be a bad thing, depending on our perspective towards it. He finished his talk with a very powerful video called Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. “Both speakers were excellent and we are very grateful to have had them in to talk to the Sixth Form. It definitely gave everyone something to think about and made us realise how important perspective truly is.”