This year was a unique year for the 15th annual Fairbairn Exhibition, held in honour and memory of Carole Fairbairn, a Year 4 teacher who tragically died in the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.
Everything was completed online - with all parts of the competition replicated to take this into account. A multifaceted challenge that rewards students’ critical thinking skills, logic and reasoning, participants are challenged to argue their case in team debates. Students also take part in reading comprehension tasks and deliver confident individual presentations, focusing on the values of courage, imagination and respect.
This year, the only major change was the debate, which became an argument completed digitally. Following a first-round, where over 30 students took part, 16 finalists were selected for the final. They participated in several planning sessions through Google Meetings, and as part of this, they had to prepare a filmed presentation.
The final was held on June 2nd and June 4th. Children had to complete a demanding reading task about the recent volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They also had an interview where a test of current affairs was held with a series of difficult questions.
Finally, students were asked to present a balanced and two-sided argument about whether vaccination against COVID-19 should be mandatory, culminating in their own considered and thoughtful conclusion. Their presentation was shared live with the judges.
The Fairbairn Exhibition helps nurture Year 6 Shrewsbury students as they transition into Senior education from Year 7. In preparing our students to become future thinking innovators and leaders, we emphasise balanced conflict resolution, reward good interpersonal and communication skills and nurture confidence.
After careful consideration and much discussion, we had four worthy winners from a very close competition: congratulations to Jeena, Ami, Prim and Isabella.