Thursday 23rd November. It’s seven-thirty A.M. and already a huddle of college students crowd together in the center of the coach park. The sun has only just risen. Steyning Grammar School invited their A-Level English Literature students (as well as students from years ten and eleven) to participate in an all day conference. I was lucky enough to be able to attend. From ten-fifteen to three-thirty, there were six sessions, each no more than an hour. At the front of the hall, a professor who spoke to us. They had a point to convey, a challenge to set, urging us to expand our minds. The speakers spoke with an exquisite vocabulary and such wisdom I found myself hanging onto every word. The room was filled with an air of anticipation, whether we 
were debating Shakespeare attitude to morality or listening to book reviews, it was utterly fascinating.

After the conference, I went to find MIss Hartley, an English Language teacher who organised the trip for us. We sat down together in a small classroom, away from the bustling and jostling of the students swarming the corridors. Finally, I asked her a few questions.
“Why do you think it’s important for all English Literature students to have the opportunity to visit the London conference.”
She paused for a moment, thinking of an adequate response. I suppose when you’re an English Language teacher, every word has to make the highest impact. 
“I think the Literature Conference is a great 
opportunity for our students to experience university-style teaching from an array of leading academics and writers.” She told me, as I hurried to scribble down everything she told me.

Looking up from my notes I asked; “Do you think every pupil should attend?” I was curious about this. Should the trip have been compulsory? Or would this drive away teenagers, who love to walk the line of rebellion and success. 
“I think it's great that we had so many students attending the conference,” She told me. “Particularly those from year 10 and 11 who came along. I hope that the really positive feedback we've had about the course will allow us the opportunity to open it up to even more students in future years.”
It’s best to allow students to make these decisions by themselves. It is up to them to explore and develop their own minds by themselves. It is how they become an individual.

The conference definitely opened my mind and made me appreciate aspects of Literature more. I came away from the day with the urge to read Steinbeck, learn about poetry and start the next day with a clear head and a new view.