On 16th December Regent Independent College held its first activity day of the 2016/17 academic year. The day began with a quick introduction from Principal, Mrs Pankaj and an invitation to donate to the Christmas Jumper Day Appeal with some of our staff and students coming in to College wearing some very festive jumpers.

The first guest of the day was Cassandra, a representative of The Wish Foundation (http://thewishcentre.org.uk/) which is a charity operating in parts of London, including Harrow, supporting young people in recovery from self-harm, violence, abuse and neglect. Cassandra gave our students a presentation on sexual exploitation, helping the students understand how to stay safe and outlining where dangers can lie, particularly when be-friending strangers on the internet or social media. She also talked to the students about consent and the laws that surround it. After the session 95% of students confirmed they had got more information about sexual exploitation and 91% of the students stated they were more aware of the laws surrounding consent.

The second event of the day was a set of mini-presentations by the Head Girl and Head Boy and Student Council members on ice fishing, the Northern Lights and gingerbread. Students learnt about the traditions and history of ice-fishing, the science behind the stunning Northern Lights and about the creative ways in which gingerbread is used around the world.

After a short break the College welcomed its second guest speaker of the day, Shaun Attwood. Shaun, a former stockbroker turned drug dealer, is a speaker, author and activist based in London, who is banned from America for life. Shaun told the students about his life, talking them through his journey, going from successful UK university graduate, to a highly successful stockbroker in America and then his move into drug dealing followed by his arrest in 2002 by a heavily armed team of police smashing through his front door which led to six years in prison. He talked the students through some of the horrific conditions he experienced imprisoned in Arizona, including time spent at a maximum security institution and his attempts to expose the conditions to the public. Hard-hitting and graphic in its descriptions of the terrible realities that a life involved with drugs can bring, the students were mesmerized and wasted no time in asking countless questions at the end of the presentation and our Head Boy and Girl even joined in with dressing up in some jail costumes.

The students then enjoyed a Christmas quiz with the College Houses pitched against each other. After some tricky questions, such as, ‘Name all the reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh’ and ‘How many maids were a-milking in the song The Twelve Days of Christmas,’ Nightingale House was proclaimed the victor and enjoyed boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts as a reward.

The day culminated in the Student Christmas Party organised by the Head Boy and Girl. The students enjoyed an array of party food and festive tunes and participated in a fantastic gingerbread house decoration competition with Amazon vouchers for the best constructions.

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