St Hilda’s Welcomes Earl Attlee
It was an incredibly exciting day for the school as we were visited by the Earl Attlee for Parliament Week. Earl Attlee gave a fascinating talk explaining his role in the House of Lords, and was then presented with a cake as he celebrated an important birthday in October. “As a member of the House of Lords, I have to keep a lot of state secrets, and I thought I’d managed to keep the state secret that I love chocolate cake!” he joked. After the assembly, it was time for the ‘launch’ of our new play boat, and the girls were over the moon to discover the name of the boat at last: HMS Happy Hilda’s. The Chair of the Aldenham Foundation Governors, Trevor Barton, made a rousing speech to mark the occasion, talking fondly about his time in the Navy. Forms 5 and 6 then returned to the hall for a question and answer session with Earl Attlee, who praised the girls for their participation and interest. He answered a wide range of questions, from “What was your favourite debate to take part in?” to “What has been the most important recent event for the government?” Following the Q&A, Form 6 engaged in a thrilling debate, with the rest of the Upper School as their audience. Earl Attlee adjudicated the debate and gave valuable feedback, commenting, “I wouldn’t have been able to speak so confidently at your age.” To end his visit, Miss Styles asked Earl Attlee for a few words of wisdom for anyone wishing to go into politics. Without hesitation, he responded, “Have another job first.” He elaborated, “The best and most influential politicians have experience in a revenue-paying job.” We all learned a lot from Earl Attlee’s visit and a tremendous thanks must go to Miss Charles, who organised the whole event.