The Duchess of Cambridge looked absolutely polished on a visit to a high school in North London today.
Kate, 39, wore a matching £299 pink trench coat and £75 crew neck sweater, both from Hobbs, tailored pants and suede pumps for her outing to Nower Hill High School in Harrow.
The Duchess joined a science class where eighth graders learned about neuroscience and the importance of early childhood development on the brain.
The royal mother of three, who shared the office with some of the pupils, said she found the children’s enthusiasm and participation inspiring.
She tried her hand on a worksheet and asked the children if they found the lesson “interesting” and if they had covered the topic before.
Out and about: The Duchess of Cambridge is back in the classroom today to sit down in her science class to discuss the impact of early childhood experiences on children’s brains
The Duchess of Cambridge looked absolutely polished when she visited a secondary school in north London today. Kate (pictured right), 39, wears a berry coat, designer pants, and suede pumps for a walk to Nower Hill High School in Harrow
The Duchess joined in a science lesson, pictured, as eighth graders learned about neuroscience and the importance of early childhood development on the brain. The family said they found the children’s enthusiasm and participation inspiring
The science lesson focused on the neuroscience underlying how caregiver behavior is pivotal to childhood development and future outcomes for children.
The theme is closely related to one of the main pillars of the Duchess’s royal work.
Through her work with the Royal Foundation’s Early Childhood Centre, launched this summer, Kate aims to highlight how what we experience in early childhood shapes the developing brain, which is why positive relationships, environments and experiences are important during this time.
Kate told the students that she felt “passionate” about the topic, telling them, “I was so intrigued when I first learned about it. How children’s brains are formed and how they develop and what this means for us as we grow up.”
The Duchess joined 27 students, aged about 13, in a class of W8 at a mixed-ability comprehensive school of 2,000 pupils.
Pupils were summarizing learning as part of the SEEN – Secondary Education in Early Neurological Development – program run by the University of Oxford that aspires to embed core principles of early childhood development and neuroscience in students.
Greeted by school president Louise Foden and head of science Zoe Watson, Kate walks across the playground to the classroom. While most of the students were in class, a few discovered their mysterious important visitors and screamed through the window with excitement, causing Kate to smile and wave.
Mary Kassir was teaching the class, and after saying hello, Kate sat quietly at one of the tables.
“It’s a great program, isn’t it?” She said to the four students she was sitting with. The depth and detail are amazing. Does it really resonate?
All smiles: The royal mother of three couldn’t help but smile while visiting a high school in London
The Duchess of Cambridge sat at a desk alongside the eighth graders to learn more about their work, pictured. The visit focused on the importance of early childhood development, which is of particular interest to the Duchess
Mower Hill Principal Miss Voden said afterwards that it was an ‘honour’ to visit the Duchess (pictured above)
On the projector, there were pictures showing the neural development of the brain of a young child.
They were also shown a video of a young child playing by looking through a magnifying glass, and they were tasked with answering a series of questions including: what happens in the brain in the first five years of life and what advice would you give a new parent.
“I hope you can teach me the things you’re learning,” Kate said, noting the three lessons the kids had already taken.
She smiled when an excited student told her that encouraging children to learn through play is like “bodybuilding, but for your brain” and she nodded encouragingly as another told her that a child’s brain grows faster between the ages of 0-2.
“You really take it on the plane,” she smiled encouragingly. ‘What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done so far?’ she asked.
She showed them a picture of a girl playing, and added: What is the child thinking? It has a lot of different things, right? From your knowledge do you know which parts of the brain you might use?
It is important to understand how important play is for children as they grow. It is not only fun but helps them develop. Is your school good and do they encourage you to play a lot and be creative? Did anyone inspire you? And why do you think learning about the brain is so important.
The kids couldn’t be more excited, as you filled it in with the answers.
After being greeted by school president Louise Foden and head science Zoe Watson, Kate (pictured) walked across the playground to the classroom.
Mariam Kassir was studying the class and after greeting Kate sat quietly at one of the tables (pictured).
When Kate left, she declared herself “very pop with all the knowledge in this room” and told the class, “You did really well and I hope you found it interesting. It’s my true passion, learning about baby brains, how our adult brains develop and how our early childhood affects the adult brain. Keep thinking about it, and keep chatting with your friends. Well done, I liked it very much and thank you for having me.
The SEEN research project was commissioned and funded by Kindred2, an early years charity, and developed by the University of Oxford that tested a new scientific approach with third-year students.
More than 3,700 children between the ages of 11 and 14 took part in three lessons that covered neuroscience about how brains are built and how experiences – including the role of caregivers – affect brain development.
Teachers were unanimous in their opinion that brain development during early childhood should be covered in school, and 91 percent of pupils agreed that other pupils of their age should take these science lessons.
Later the Duchess is expected to join the meeting of chief executives of the Academy’s funds at Buckingham Palace who will be briefed on the results of the Oxford University research project.
The excursion comes next Prince William and Kate are reported to have halted the BBC for their Christmas party after the two-part series The Princes and the Press aired on Monday night.
Instead, the Christmas charity fundraiser, which the Duchess is hosting with William watching at Westminster Abbey, will be broadcast on ITV.
An industry insider said: “It was all arranged to be on BBC1 but it has been changed in the past few days due to the terrible controversy over the documentary. And things are likely to get worse between the royal family and the BBC before they get better as the second part of the documentary threatens to move forward.
MailOnline was not immediately able to confirm that the Christmas special was supposed to appear on the BBC or when ITV was offered the rights to broadcast the concert.
The first episode of BBC2’s two-part series The Princes and The Press aired on Monday night and detailed media coverage of the young royals from 2012 to 2018, when Harry and Meghan got engaged.
Speaking about the decision to leave the BBC for the Christmas party, a TV industry source told The Sun: ‘This is a real coup for ITV. It’s a whole new format – royals have never hosted a televised party before. And having the Duchess in the lead is a big deal.
It is normal for most of the royal programs to automatically go to the BBC as the national broadcaster. Now it looks like they will be working more with ITV in the future.
The source said ITV was “surprised but delighted” by the sudden change in plan, adding that it “would be a wonderful Christmas carol party that would be TV gold for viewers at home.” They added that Princes George, Louis and Princess Charlotte may join their parents for a shoot at Westminster Abbey.
Last night, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House issued an extraordinary joint statement on the documentary.
She said it was “disappointing” that the BBC had chosen to broadcast allegations about Harry and Meghan’s departure from Britain and accused the broadcaster of giving credence to “exaggerated and unfounded allegations” about the royal family.
It was previously reported that Buckingham Palace threatened to boycott future projects with the BBC after courtiers were not allowed to watch the controversial documentary before the first episode aired last night.