Ignite Programme

Our programme of visiting speakers sparks the imagination; kick starts curiosity and challenges perceptions. From conservationists and journalists to film makers and musicians, our Ignite Programme speakers come from all careers and all corners of the world, offering children unrivalled insight into some of the world’s most fascinating people, careers and challenges.

2020-21 Ignite Programme

The Ignite speaker platform continued from strength to strength, with another fantastic line-up of speakers, talking both in School and virtually via Google Meet, enthusing about their lives, careers and adventures.

Egyptologist Hilary from the Southampton Ancient Egypt Society gave a virtual Ignition talk to Seligman children as part of their creative curriculum topic. Hilary’s enthusiasm for and love of ancient Egypt was infectious and the children asked her some great questions.

Clarissa Ward, CNN's Chief International Correspondent and aunt of Thalia (Year 8) and Lucia (Year 6), gave the first Ignite talk of the summer term  from isolation in an hotel room in Greece on route home from covering the covid pandemic in India. Clarissa told the children that she was completing her final year at Yale University when the 9/11 bombings occurred. From that moment onwards, she wanted to become an investigative journalist and television presenter. For more than 15 years Clarissa has reported from the frontline across the world from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen to Ukraine, Georgia and Iran. She was formerly with CBS News, based in London, and before that was a Moscow-based news correspondent for ABC News. She has won five Emmy awards, graduated with a Distinction from Yale, is fluent in French and Italian, conversational in Russian, Arabic and Spanish and knows basic Mandarin Chinese and is author of ‘On All Fronts’. She reinforced the importance of listening, understanding both sides of a story, putting yourself out of your comfort zone and the skill sets needed by a journalist.

Mr Martin brought Seligman’s ‘Sail Away’ creative curriculum topic to life with an Ignition talk on his career as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy for 12 years in HM Ships Campbeltown, Invincible, Liverpool, Hurworth, Nottingham, Severn, Clyde and Dragon and latterly as the Captain of Archer. He talked about why ships and the Navy are still important and discussed the similarities in navigational techniques now and 100 years ago. The children were fascinated and loved Mr Martin’s naval memorabilia.

Mr Martins Navy Career

Seligman’s ‘Sail Away’ creative curriculum topic was brought to life by Mr Martin who, before entering education, was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and served for 12 years in HM Ships Campbeltown, Invincible, Liverpool, Hurworth, Nottingham, Severn, Clyde and Dragon, and latterly as the Captain of Archer for 12 and a bit years.

He talked about why ships and the Navy are still important and discussed the similarities in navigational techniques now and 100s of years ago. The children were fascinated and loved seeing Mr Martin’s naval memorabilia.