By Victoria Gillespie, Lay Chaplain at St John’s Beaumont

Ignite conference 2021 at St John's Beaumont SchoolOn Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th April, four of our Lower Figures (Y6) boys took part in the Ignite Conference 2021. Replacing the annual trip to visit Jesuit schools across the country, Fynn, Luke, Ryan and Zach took to Zoom to meet with peers at five other schools to explore this year’s theme: the Good Samaritan.

Ignite Conference 2021 at St John's Beaumont SchoolMonday morning started by exploring racism, discrimination, and prejudice. Luke and Zach experienced discrimination when trying to make paper aeroplanes while Fynn and Ryan were given help and advantages. Luke and Zach were only allowed to use one hand to make their paper aeroplane and when it was their turn to throw theirs gone screwed up. The boys explored the unfairness of the activity and put that work into their research project. In the afternoon, the first zoom meeting took place and the representatives got to meet each other. The highlight of the afternoon was linking with St Mary’s Hall and getting to compare lockdown stories.

On Tuesday, the boys explored how the Jesuits are living out Pope Francis’s ‘Fratelli Tutti’ message of ‘All the peoples of the earth’ with their work in Malawi. they came up with some interesting facts about Malawi and the incredible work the Jesuit Centre for Ecology and Development are doing to help people in the 4th poorest country in Africa have access to electricity and clean water. In the afternoon part of their zoom call with the other schools included a live link to a member of the JCED. This gave the boys an opportunity to see their research in real life and ask questions about the impact of the project to the people involved.

The whole conference was really interesting and the boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The boys ended their Ignite experience by giving an assembly to everyone, sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm. They are looking forward to an opportunity to meet their Ignite partners in real life soon.