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Insight Talks

An opportunity to meet and listen to experienced professionals 

In 2011 Gordon's School introduced an Insight Programme. The programme gave students, parents and staff the opportunity to meet and listen to experienced professionals and to have the opportunity to ask any questions. From this, we also begin another new programme consisting of professionals from different specialities giving talks about their experiences.

Quotes from attendees of previous talks:

"Thank you for arranging it. Different, novel, interesting and informative"

"It was a very enjoyable evening and both interesting and informative talk by the three gentlemen.  I am sure that everyone that attended enjoyed the evening as much as I did"

"I’ve directed my children to several of these talks but this was the first I’ve attended. I was very impressed how it was set out and arranged"

NExt Insight Talk: Thursday 10th May -  David Dein - 6.45pm

"The English Premier League is the most successful sporting league on the planet"

David joined the Arsenal Board in 1983 and was made Vice-Chairman in the same year. He also rose to Vice-Chairman of the Football Association and has served on numerous UEFA and FIFA Committees. David was an early proponent of women’s football having been President of the hugely successful Arsenal Ladies Team. He was the man who had the foresight to bring Arsene Wenger to Arsenal in 1996. During David’s reign, the Club won: a total of 18 trophies!

David was a prime mover when the Premier League was launched in 1992. As Greg Dyke, the former Chairman of the FA, told the Financial Times

“David Dein was the most revolutionary bloke I’ve met in football. David Dein created the Premier League, it was his idea.”

Last year the Daily Mail published a list of the 50 most influential people in the history of the Premier League and David Dein was in the top ten with people like Sir Alex Ferguson.

These days David spends much of his time speaking in schools & prisons as well as businesses – he recently spoke to students of the world renowned Harvard Business School in Boston.

To reserve your seat for this Insight talk please click here.

Previous Speakers

Sir Michael Rake, knighted in 2007 is chairman of BT Group plc (2007) and Worldpay Group plc (2015).  He is also a director of S&P Global (2008), and chairman of Majid AL Futtaim Holdings LLC (2010). He became Chairman of Great Ormond Street Hospital on 1st November 2017.

Mike’s business advisory roles include chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce UK, a Senior Adviser for Chatham House and a member of the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation Global Advisory Board.  Mike is a William Pitt Fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge.  He is also a member of the International Business and Diplomatic Exchange (IBDE) Advisory Board, EPI's Advisory Group on Education and Employment and the Productivity Leadership Group.  Mike is also Vice President of the RNIB. 

Mike’s former principal roles include Chairman (both UK and International) of KPMG, Chairman of easyJet, President of the Confederation of British Industry, Deputy Chairman of Barclays and director of the Financial Reporting Council.

"Nice camel but was Charles Gordon really a hero?"

Jeremy Paxman is an award-winning journalist, author and television presenter.  Beginning his career covering The Troubles in Northern Ireland for three years, he then spent eight years reporting from around the world for the BBC, before becoming anchorman of the BBC’s nightly news analysis programme, Newsnight in 1989, a post he held for 25 years. He has been chairman of University Challenge since 1994.

In May 2015 and June 2017, he anchored Channel 4's Election Night coverage.  He is the author of numerous documentaries and documentary series – on the history of the British Empire, on the poet Wilfred Owen, on Victorian art, on Churchill’s funeral and on the effect of the First World War on Great Britain.

In the last two years, he has presented three current affairs documentaries for BBC1 Paxman on Brussels: Who Really Rules Us?, Paxman on Trump v Clinton: Divided America and Trump’s First 100 Days and a series for Channel 4 about four British rivers.

His 2014 one-man show PAXO at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was a critically acclaimed sell-out.

Jeremy Paxman was born in Yorkshire in 1950, educated at Malvern College in Worcestershire and received his degree (in English) from St Catharine's College, Cambridge. He is an honorary fellow there, and a Fellow by Special Election at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He holds honorary doctorates from Leeds, Bradford and the Open University.

Irrelevant and Old-fashioned in the 21st Century?

Mr Michael More-Molyneux, Mr Richard Whittington and Mr David Munro

This term’s Insight Talk took a different format this time when parents, students, staff and Friends of Gordon’s joined three trustees of The Gordon Foundation for a unique audience. The three trustees each currently holds high office within the county of Surrey: Michael More-Molyneux as Lord Lieutenant, Richard Whittington ( Chairman of Gordon’s School Governors) as High Sheriff and David Munro who was elected Police and Crime Commissioner in May 2016. Each of our trustees was invited to provide a five minute summary of their role and responsibilities before the evening’s Chair, Susan Meikle, posed some challenging questions and invited the audience to ask their own. This was an enjoyable and informative evening and was followed by drinks where guests were able to continue discussions and inspect  the High Sheriff’s Court sword and the Lord Lieutenant’s Letters Patent under the Great Seal.

I'm a Disruptive Fashion Lover!

Caryn Franklin MBE ('The Clothes Show')

Former Fashion Editor and Co-editor of i-D Magazine and BBC Broadcaster (Clothes Show and Style Challenge) Caryn Franklin MBE has explored the politics of image and self-esteem extensively during 35 years of editorial, commercial, educational and activist positions. Her projects have involved refugees in battle zones, workers in free-trade-zone slums, mental health experts, MP's and Gov. Ministers as well as international design names, the fashion industry’s innovators and show hosting on some of the largest catwalks in the world - she holds a Guinness Book of Records for most models on stage). She has written and broadcast for a large variety of national publishing and broadcast platforms as well as authoring 4 books. She holds a variety of academic fellowships, an honorary doctorate, and is Director of Education at Clothes Show Live and Professor for Diversity at Kingston University. Co-director of Brilliant and delivering commercial events and campaigns to empower all women with emphasis on diversity of appearance, she is also co-founder and former co-director of the award-winning All Walks Beyond the Catwalk (2009-2015) which promotes responsibility for diversity in age, size and race within fashion education. Co-chair of the award winning Fashion Targets Breast Cancer since 1996, she recently completed an MSc study of Applied Psychology in Fashion and takes up a new position within i–D Online as editor of ‘Cool Psychology.

Matt Dickinson
Explorer and Film Maker
Tuesday 10th May 2016
Matt Dickinson is an award-winning writer and filmmaker with a passion for climbing and adventure. During his filmmaking career he has worked as a director/cameraman for National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, the BBC and Channel 4. His film projects have taken him to Antarctica, Africa and the Himalaya, often in the company of the world’s leading climbers and expeditioners. His most notable film success was 'Summit Fever', in which Matt reached the summit of Everest via the treacherous north face. His book 'The Death Zone' tells the true story of that ascent and has become a bestseller in many countries.

Alan Foster
Executive Operations Director at McLaren

 Wednesday 9th March 2016
Whether you were into fast cars and mechanics or interested in business management, Alan changed preconceptions associated with the manufacturing industry. No longer does a career in manufacturing revolve around oily rags and bacon butties, but now offers exciting and brilliant opportunities suited to people with a broad range of talents and skills. Alan outlined some of the many career paths available in a high-tech manufacturing business like McLaren, from software engineering to marketing and design technology positions.

 Simon Weston OBE
Falkland's War veteran
Wednesday 18th November 2015
It was a great pleasure to welcome Falkland's War veteran, Simon Weston, to Gordon's School on Wednesday 18th November 2015. Simon shared his incredible story of sheer resilience and self-belief in a journey of triumph over adversity. Following his injuries, Simon's road to physical and mental recovery saw him active in a number of highly successful charitable ventures. This charitable work earned him an OBE in 1992, 10 years after the Sir Galahad was destroyed in Bluff Cove in the Falkland Islands. 

 Peter Gordon 
Eagle Radio's Breakfast Show Presenter
Thursday 30th April 2015
We were delighted to  welcome Eagle Radio's breakfast show presenter for the last 20 years, Peter Gordon, to Gordon's School for an Insight Talk in April 2015.  Peter spoke about the world of radio, giving an insight into 'A Life in a Day' working at Eagle 96.4.

Bonita Norris
Young explorer and mountaineer
Thursday 12th February 2015
On Thursday 12th February, we welcomed young explorer and mountaineer Bonita Norris to Gordon’s School. Bonita holds the record for being the youngest British woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest when she climbed the Mountain back in 2010. 

Her passion for mountaineering has seen Bonita take on three more Himalayan expeditions (totalling five overall), a short ski to the North Pole and two trips leading teams up Kilimanjaro. She was even invited to meet HRH The Queen at Buckingham Palace for her efforts in mountaineering.

Bonita spoke with great enthusiasm to students, parents and staff about her journey from taking up basic climbing courses, going on small climbing expeditions around the UK and Europe and finally her training and preparation for Mount Everest. 

She spoke of overcoming great hardships and challenges along the way, dealing with crippling fear at great heights, withstanding freezing cold temperatures, the importance of teamwork and hard work, but overall, her story is about perseverance, taking opportunities and trusting that one small step at a time is enough to take on even the biggest of goals.

Heather Stanning
Wednesday 12th November 2014
Heather inspired Gordon's pupils and parents with her enthusiasm, dedication and her drive for the pursuit of excellence.

The Scarrow Brothers
Wednesday 21st May 2014
This Insight Talk helped students, parents and staff to understand what life is like for published authors. Alex and Simon Scarrow spoke with great passion and enthusiasm about genres such as gladiators and time travel using their love of history as a source of writing inspiration. 

Justin King
 British businessman and CEO of Sainsbury's 2004-2014
Thursday 13th February 2014

On Thursday 13th February 2014, British businessman and CEO of Sainsbury’s, Justin King, visited Gordon’s as part of the school’s popular Insight Talk programme.

Approximately 130 parents and students attended the evening talk in the Gym to hear about Mr King’s journey through higher education, his ups and downs working for retail giants including Mars, Pepsi, Asda, Haagen-Dazs and how he transformed Sainsbury’s into the hugely successful business that we see today.

Mr King emphasised to students that in order to achieve success in business, you should not take it too seriously; have fun and overall, have passion for what you do. His message to students was, "Do the things that motivate you and that you enjoy, because you'll do them better.”

Please click the following link to read an exclusive article by the International Business Times featuring Gordon’s School:

Top Gear’s former Stig, racing car driver and stuntman for films including James Bond
Thursday 7th November 2013

A round the world yachtswoman and adventurer with a philosophy to ‘live life to the full’
Wednesday 26th June 2013

Lecturer, freelance author and adventurer who has travelled to over fifty countries around the world
Thursday 9th May 2013

Adventure enthusiast including endurance challenges such as rowing the Atlantic Ocean
Thursday 8 November 2012

Head of Projects, Broadcast Services at BskyB
Thursday 26th January 2012

Former stock-market millionaire, public speaker, author and activist
Tuesday 15th November 2011

A British Royal Air Force fighter pilot and World Land Speed record holder
Friday 18th March 2011

Friday 18th March 2011

Friday 18th March 2011

Wednesday 9th February 2011