Giving Independent School Pupils ‘The Edge’ In A Competitive World

We live in an increasingly competitive world, whether that’s seeking to gain entry into the best universities or finding employment that fits with our passions and skills. At Ellesmere College we are seeking to give our students an ‘edge’ by connecting them to our global network of Alumni and their willingness to mentor and inspire students at their ‘old’ school.

Offered to all Year 11 and Sixth Form students at Ellesmere College, as part of our Leadership and Entrepreneurship programme, The Edge is a series of short talks and presentations from Old Ellesmerians and current parents at the school, all of whom are at the top of their profession or certainly on their way to the top.

Examining everything from, Architecture, the Police Force and Banking, to the Law, Theatre, Global Exploration and life in the Royal Marines. These presentations give students an opportunity to hear from Old Ellesmerian’s first hand and question them face to face and, in some cases, to engage in a professional mentoring relationship. Some students have changed their whole career choices after being inspired by visiting speakers.

The Edge is supplemented each term with a Headmaster’s Lecture; these are more in depth talks and discussions and have featured, Richard Godwin, CEO Zero Gravity Solutions Inc., Matthew Syed, Sunday Times award winning journalist, Ross Jobber, Managing Director of Citibank, David Whitehouse QC and Bryan Oates, Oscar winning film editor. Each of these evenings has been exceptionally inspirational; one additional feature of the Headmaster’s Lecture is ‘supper with the speaker’ where students, who are particularly interested in the career being discussed, meet the speaker in a more informal setting over their evening meal.

Nick Pettingale, Director of External Relations and host of these events, commented, “At Ellesmere we don’t see our students as ‘batches’ to put on an educational conveyor belt but rather believe in the individual and focus much of our effort on individual achievement and development. Therefore The Edge and the Headmaster’s Lecture series create a breadth of professional input and real life experience for our students to learn from. The most exciting aspect from my perspective is the individual connections that are created with our Old Ellesmerians. Anyone in business today knows that success is often based on relationships and our goal with The Edge is to create those relationships before our students even leave the Sixth Form. I know that mentoring and even employment have already taken place through these professional networking events”.