THE ERUDITE CLUB: Live. Know. Enjoy.

There are a lot of different clubs at Concord College, mainly subject-orientated and very specific. However, in a developed society, people always benefit if they have knowledge about how the world works and if they are better-rounded than others. This idea made us think about how we could unite people with different interests and goals in life. That is why we decided to create our ERUDITE club, which helps people to know something about everything.

The structure of each session is the same, but the content changes every time. The significant parts of the sessions are biographies of famous people from science, politics, art or religion and interesting concepts, which could be applied in daily life. They interlace with smaller sections like brief description of some countries; book, fact and quote of the day and music recognition.

Another useful part is that we offer people the chance to talk on the topic they are passionate about. Thereby, they can improve their presentation and discussion skills. Additionally, we have an interactive knowledge check quiz at the end of the session. And for “dessert” we offer the renowned Japanese practice, called “kokology”. In other words, by imagining different unusual situations we discover something new about our subconsciousness.

What are we aiming for? A friendly and cosy atmosphere, where people are not afraid to express themselves and can be sure that their opinions will be heard and valued. We have already had 2 sessions. For the first, only 8 people showed up, however, on the next session we were pleased to welcome 22 people. We, Anastasiia and Azhar, have indeed experienced how the beauty of knowledge and will to succeed has brought together completely different people that help each other to learn something new about life and share what they are passionate about. After all, Concord is like a greenhouse, a place that offers a possibility to try out our abilities and potential. So why not make the most out of it?

Anastasiia and Azhar – 6.1

CREATE. ENGAGE. DISCOVER. The Revival of Concord’s CED

When Leo He, an ex-Concord student (now studying PPE at Oxford) started ‘Create Engage Discover’, I was only in Form 4. My love for learning and my fascination with stories quickly drew me to the club and I thought it was a brilliant idea to bring the widely acclaimed ‘TED Talks’ home to Concord. Over the years, I watched CED decline due to Leo’s exit from Concord. Last year, I decided to revive the club to ensure that Concord teachers and students would once again have a platform to share their knowledge, passions and ideas. This led to the rebirth of ‘CED’ in 2017 and we have never looked back since then.

It has been an amazing journey so far. We have organised six talks on very different topics ranging from “How to improve your memory” to “Dolphin”. Our first and by far our most successful talk was “How to do well in your Oxbridge interviews” in which five students who received Oxbridge offers talked to about 60 Lower Sixth students regarding the process of a successful application to the prestigious universities. We were thrilled to see the Old Chapel filled with many driven and open minded Concord students.

In terms of organisation, firstly, we look for people who are interested in giving talks. Sometimes, people come to us and sometimes we ask specific individuals to talk. We then try to find a suitable date and time. In choosing this we consider the speaker’s timetable and we seek to attract as many people as possible. I think this is the hardest part because there is always so much going on at Concord and clashes with other clubs are inevitable. Next, we advertise the talk by sticking posters around the school and updating CED’s Instagram page.

Although I am no longer the ‘head’ of CED, I am very happy to have a team of 6.1s who are enthusiastic about continuing it after I leave. Mentoring and working with them has been a really lovely process and I wish them the best of luck! In the future, I hope that CED will become a bigger club with wider recognition at Concord. I also hope that it will continue to inspire people to learn and share their knowledge with others, as well as erasing the fear some people have – that they are not good enough to give a talk. No one is “not good enough!!!” If you have something that you really want to share with others, share it!

Heidi Vuong – 6.2