On Thursday 22 March, Cumberland Lodge hosted school students from the Langley Academy.

The participants came as part of a group which originally formed as a lunch club for developing research and presentation skills. The select group of students, ranging from Years 7-12, came to Cumberland Lodge for a final round of presentations. Of the 40 students in attendance, 12 of them took to the stage to share their research on a topic that interests them. The topics presented were very diverse; however, it was clear that each student was passionate about their chosen subject.

The group of students demonstrated their knowledge surrounding moral and social issues such as bullying, the silence around the psychological and physical abuse of men, the psychological impact of exams on students and the pressures to conform within society.

Some of the participants focused on more scientific themes teaching the audience about antimatter, the science behind sleeping disorders, the planets and whether immortality could be achieved in the twenty-first century.

The slightly more obscure presentations were concerned with the successful take down of Silk Road, the online drugs marketplace and Vlad the Impaler, more commonly known as Dracula. The energetic presentation that explored the murderous prince from Transylvania caught the attention of the judges and landed the presenter first prize.

The day was part of an ongoing partnership with Langley Academy, designed to encourage young people to engage critically with topics outside of their normal areas of study. The presentations gave the students the opportunity to work independently on topics they are passionate about, and to share their discoveries with their teachers and each other. The partnership, and the presentations, helps to empower young people to give voice to their ideas and inspire creative thinking in others.