Page 175 - Hymerian_2017_18
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  Simon Yates
 The Sixth Form Lecture Programme has become a firm favourite amongst the students as the breadth of speakers has continued to grow. The 2017-18 Programme included some outstanding speakers and, once again, encouraged the students to think outside of their academic curriculum.
The programme kicked off with Richard McCann, the son of the first victim of the Yorkshire Ripper. Richard is always a popular visitor to Hymers and inspired the students to aim high and adopt an “I can” attitude. Richard tells his moving personal story, starting with how at the age of six he woke up one morning to discover his mum was not at home and later learnt that she had been murdered.
Another popular and slightly more controversial speaker
is Patrick McGee, the Brighton Bomber, who speaks at Hymers with the daughter of one of his victims, Jo Berry. The students were especially challenging in their questions to Patrick this year, asking if he regretted his actions. Patrick explains how he believes the Brighton bomb was the action that initiated the peace negotiations between the British Government and the IRA. In a challenging lecture, the students are invited to think of the potential power of forgiveness and whether they could forgive a man responsible for killing their parent. Jo Berry is an inspirational lady who has done exactly that and has taken time to get to know Patrick. They now travel around the world lecturing together on the subject of peace and reconciliation.
Ian Packham gives a very different lecture as he tells
his story of travelling around the coast of Africa using
only public transport. Ian’s talk shatters the students’ preconceptions of Africa, as nothing dangerous happened to him at all during his journey. He does speak of the friendliness of the people he met and of their diets and how the continent changes from country to country.
James Fergusson’s travels were a lot closer to home,
as he speaks about his new book, Al Britannia – A Journey Round Muslim Britain. James explains how his preconceptions have been shattered by his experience of interviewing Muslims across the length and breadth of the country. He also visited a Sharia Court and met people who had been accused of fundamentalism. The students were astonished at his findings and were encouraged to consider what life is like as a Muslim in modern day Britain.
Ian Hoskison’s story is quite shocking. He describes how, when enjoying life as a successful professional golfer he drove home from a meeting with his sponsor whilst drunk and killed a young cyclist. Sentenced to serve three years in prison, Ian shocked the Sixth Form with some brutal and horrific stories of life in prison and how he managed to get through his sentence.
Angela Findlay picks up the theme of prison life through
a lecture on her experiences as an artist who works with inmates. She encourages the students to consider whether prison works and poses the question as to whether more money should be spent on educational programmes.
Chris Hees is a local film-maker who was nominated for an Oscar in 2014. In an inspirational lecture, Chris recalls how he had struggled financially to complete his training and how his film, The Bigger Picture had taken him to
an Oscar ceremony. Paul Robbens also works in the film industry, in this case as a prop maker. In an especially popular lecture Paul brought a variety of iconic props from some blockbuster movies including Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Mountaineer, Simon Yates, speaks of his career and of the expedition with Touching the Void which was immortalised in the film, Touching the Void. Simon is the man who cut the rope in order to give himself a chance to survive, in the belief he could not save his partner and he explains how he had been left with no other option. Nevertheless there was a collective intake of breadth from the students, as he described the circumstances that had led him to that decision.
Sport also featured strongly in the programme as Steve Ingham, the former Head of Science at the British Olympic Association, visited. Brian Marwood, the Head of Football at Manchester City spoke of his career and his current
role at one of the largest football clubs in the world. Old Hymerians, David Prutton and Damian Johnson also spoke of their careers in football and as television presenters.
 Michael Crick

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