Young Observer

Students to hold What Matters Conference

  • Keynote: teacher Brian Abdallah with What Matters Conference speakers Arabella Parker and Aydin Fahy

Somersfield Academy will be buzzing with excitement next Tuesday morning as it hosts the ninth annual What Matters Conference.

The conference is a culmination of the P6 students’ interdisciplinary studies.

Each student is tasked with coming up with a well-researched project about a topic that means much to them and which takes them out of the classroom and into the community.

In addition, they are required to compose a research essay and use a form of technology as part of the What Matters project presentation requirements.

Topics covered this year are impressive and wide-ranging and deal with issues such as climate change, energy consumption, robotics, coding, animal welfare, pollution, and skateboard parks.

The What Matters Conference co-ordinator, Primary Stem Innovations teacher Brian Abdallah, commended the students for the pride, tenacity and skill shown in their projects.

“Students thrive when they are given choices on how to demonstrate their understanding of a topic. I am very proud of the P6 students for they have clearly demonstrated their passion and skills in their projects this year,” he said.

“They have been engaged in our Stem Innovations Project Based Learning model using the design thinking method, and their success with this programme is accentuated in their projects.”

Somersfield Academy principal Carlos Symonds described his vision of the conference: “The purpose is to inspire independent thinking and to simply listen to what matters to our students.

“The conference enables us to listen to our students’ voices and to support them as they uncover and discover new learning experiences that result in their growth and development. Through each of our inquiry-based programmes, students are challenged to solve problems, to innovate and create and thereby learn how to learn. The diverse investigations of this ‘primary capstone project’ not only reflect, respect and reinforce the students’ vast interests and passions, but also showcases what can be achieved when students are simply set free to pursue what matters to them!” The conference will open with greetings by Upper Primary Division chair Charlie Judd and Mr Abdallah. Keynote speakers for the conference are P6 students Arabella Parker and Aydin Fahy. Mr Symonds will close the conference with a few words on behalf of the school community.

The Somersfield Academy community extends a warm and open invitation to the parents, grandparents, relatives and all of the Bermuda community to attend the What Matters Conference on Tuesday from 9.30 to 11.15am in the school gymnasium. It promises to be a wonderful, educational and inspiring event. Come and discover What Matters to the Somersfield P6 Students.