Sedbergh Joins American School for Unique History Lesson
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Following on from a successful zoom call last year, Sedbergh pupils shared a live classroom link with 12th grade pupils from Choate School, Connecticut.
As part of the History A level syllabus, pupils study modern USA since 1945, specifically the American Dream; reality and illusion. This shared classroom experience, provided a chance to ask and answer questions. It prompted lively debate and forceful speeches from either side of the Atlantic.
The meeting of pupils was organised through Mr Peter Akins who was a Hart House tutor from 2001-2003 before returning to his native America to serve in the US Navy and who now teaches at Choate.
Both sets of pupils were keen to engage. Sedbergh started first with Carolyn Weller asking ‘Is the American Dream alive today’. Choate students had a lot to say on this topic and arguments ranged across many issues. The second question from William Veys stirred up a hornet’s nest of debate when he asked ‘are Americans really one nation under God?’ Choate students were roused about college and inequality, it seemed to be the hot topic for American students. The debate then ranged into flaws in American politics and society. It was then Choate’s turn to ask questions of the Brits. Choate pupils were interested to understand our perception of the late president John F Kennedy, who was a former pupil of Choate, they also asked question about the longevity of Her Majesty the Queen and were interested to hear about Boris Johnson and ‘partygate’.
“It was excellent to be able to again link with American students in one of the foremost American boarding schools with Sedberghians. Both groups gained a lot from the exchange. The next classroom link up is already being planned.” Said Mr Follett, Head of History at Sedbergh School.