The conference, which brings together pupils from six Jesuit preparatory schools from across the UK, is now in its eighth year.  The very first IGNITE Conference was held at St John’s Beaumont in 2011 and was created to help build links between the Jesuit primary schools of the United Kingdom and to share ideas and good practice on pupil leadership.

This year’s theme of the conference was ‘Justice’, around which a two-day programme was put together by the pastoral team of St John’s Beaumont.

Boys from St John's Beaumont Preparatory School enjoy views from Windsor Castle during the IGNITE conference 2019Upon arrival at St John’s Beaumont in Old Windsor, pupils were welcomed by host families from around Berkshire and Surrey. The pupils then went on to visit the nearby historic Windsor Castle, gaining inspiration from the building, its history and particularly its stained glass windows.

Afterward, the children went to visit Runnymede to investigate the concept of justice: The fact that this can be imposed by governments, but also, perhaps more effectively, by our own contact with and respect for each other. The visit included the new installations at Runnymede that commemorate the Magna Carta (The Jurors, Writ in Water, and the JFK Memorial).

Children from St John's Beaumont Preparatory School enjoy a trip to Runnymede during the IGNITE conference 2019In the afternoon, the children returned to school to enjoy bushcraft activities, exploring the 70 acres of school grounds. This included building a campfire and dens. The day was finished off with a wonderful pool party and barbecue.

During the following morning, the children spent time at St John’s Art Studio with Head of Art, Grattan Keating, who helped them to create a joint triptych that will be shared and put on display amongst the six schools.

The conference concluded with a mass in the St John’s Beaumont chapel, which was designed in 1888 by JF Bentley, who went on to design Westminster Cathedral. The mass was joined by all year six St John’s boys who then bid their new friends farewell.

St John’s Beaumont would like to thank everybody involved in making this conference such a special occasion and particularly to those Jesuit schools who took the time and trouble to join us, and to their staff for their tremendous support. A special thank you to all Year 6 families and boys who were involved.

Click here to view a video of the IGNITE conference 2019 on YouTube or view more images of the event click here on Flickr.