Our second Activity Day of the academic year commenced with a short assembly taken by our esteemed Head Teacher, Mr Hurl. During his address to the students he included a look back at the journey so far and challenges and achievements of the past term. He then spoke about the year ahead and how fast time would pass until the exams. He also reminded the students about safeguarding and about keeping safe on the streets and internet. He also reminded students not to feel frightened or ashamed to report something they were worried about and that he and Miss Caroline, as safeguarding officers, were always available to talk to students. He concluded by mapping out the events for the day.
The first session was a seminar on Study Skills. The College had commissioned a company called Elevate Education. Over the last 14 years Elevate’s quest has been to unlock the secret to the final years of school: Why do the top students get the top marks? Having carried out an exhaustive process of benchmarking the study skills of thousands of past students, they identified a number of areas where the practices of the top students differ to average or lowering performing students. The college made an investment in this philosophy to help students improve their marks by tapping into, replicating and using these study skills and techniques. Elevate are a group of dynamic young speakers who have recently left university and understand how difficult it can be for students to organise themselves for independent study. The speakers introduced our students to new and varied ways of revision and study techniques and explained how they could be applied to help plan out their work during the school year. This knowledge is not only useful for their schooling, but these are skills that can be used in the years ahead, during their career. The students found this extremely useful, and the speakers highly engaging, and they are looking forward to the return of the Elevate team for a subsequent session. Each student was given a study skills booklet entitled ‘Study Sansei’.
Following a short break there was a highly entertaining and tricky Christmas Quiz, where the students were joined by a team of our tutors. Houses pitted their wits against each other. The series of questions were based around the theme of a traditional British family Christmas. Questions included: ‘Which film was the song ‘Walking in the Air’ from?’ and ‘In the song, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas,’ how many swans were swimming?’ and ‘Pine needles are said to be a source of which vitamin?’ The answer to that questions was Vitamin C. The students seemed to struggle with some of the ‘old fashioned’ Christmas carols. However, they excelled with up-to date pop songs and films. It was a hotly contested competition which was slightly marred by students illegally using their mobile phones for the answers.
The next session of the day was a talk by a young paramedic, Christopher Roberts, from the London Ambulance Service. This was a very interesting talk about how the ambulance service works, the challenges it faces from a sharp increase in the London population, and pressurised A&E departments, and from a sometimes hostile public. He also told us of his own experiences working in a service that changes lives and the advantages and disadvantages that such a career entails. Chris also explained what to do if a member of the public were to get into difficulties and demonstrated some CPR techniques. It brought out some very entertaining and thought provoking questions and comments from the students and to culminate, the students were able to look at the equipment that Chris used on a daily basis.
After lunch Mr Hurl and Robert Stewart held a very fluid and entertaining game of bingo; a British classic. It was very interesting that the students were so enthusiastic about what some people might consider ‘old fashioned’ and rather ‘working class.’ However, it was with great gusto that the purpose built ‘Bingo ball cage’ was spun to randomise the balls between each call. Not many realise that bingo was started in Italy in about 1530! It became popularised in Britain in the 1960’s in the East End of London and became famous for some of the ‘rhyming slang’ used to call the numbers such as, ‘Number 2 – Dr Who,’ Gareth Gates – number 8; ‘A Duck and its mate – 88,’. ‘Time for fun – 41.’ The students found the announcements hilarious. Three full games were played and Shakespeare House was the overall winner with each member of the team winning a £5 iTunes voucher. After the presentation of prizes, the day and the term came to an end and everybody was wished a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and told to stay safe and study hard as they had progress tests the first week back after the holidays!!!!!