Year 7 London Visit

10 March 2017

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An account of the day by Kacie O

As we entered London on our coach, we saw some of the distinctive parts of the London skyline, Wembley, The London Eye, and Big Ben to name three. All of the streets were filled with people rushing around.

We stopped in Trafalgar Square and we walked down Whitehall towards Parliament. After a few minutes, we saw some guards on horseback that looked like they were statues! They did not move no matter how tourists tried to speak to them. The guards were from the Household Cavalry and we watched the changing of the guard.

A few moments later, we arrived a tall gate guarded by armed police. The street sign said Downing Street – we were looking at where Theresa May lives and works. There were lots of tourists all taking pictures of the coppers!

We then headed towards the London Eye. As we were in our way, we saw Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey and other amazing places. Arriving at the London Eye, we got our tickets and went on a boat trip first along the River Thames. We sat on the bottom floor of the boat – the seats were very comfortable. Our guide told us about all of the different buildings and bridges we passed, such as one of the three replicas of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a building that looked like Marge’s hair (out of the Simpsons) and a bridge that had no actual bridge on it but it was just massive statues that stood in the river!

Coming off the boat, we went straight into the queue for the London Eye! The London Eye takes about 30 minutes to go all the way around! At the top, you had the most wonderful views of places such as Buckingham Palace, Nelson’s Column and St Paul’s Cathedral. Mr Harvey even saw the London Stadium!

We returned to Westminster by walking back along the Westminster Bridge. Our next stop would be the Houses of Parliaments! Ther security was very tight. We had to take off our bags, money and keys and we had to put them in a box- to be x-rayed- whilst we went through a metal detector and were given passes. The Hall where we waited for our Tour guide, Westminster Hall, was the place where King Henry VIII used to play sports! This Hall is also the place where visiting Heads of State such President Obama or President Mandela have addressed both Houses during state visits.

We first went into the House of Lords. There were a lot of microphones hanging from the ceiling and there were cameras on every wall. But, we were not allowed to sit down on the benches as we were not Lords. We were also told that anyone can just walk in with booking and sit in the seats above. We were then escorted to the Queens private room where she changes before her annual speech where she describes the Goverment’s Policies for the forthcoming year. From there we walked into the House of Commons via one of the division lobbies – the place where MPs have their votes recorded.

The MPs Chamber had green seats, microphones and cameras but once again, we were not allowed to sit down. We were told about the Speaker’s seat that had to be occupied at all times throughout debates. It even had a built-in commode!

Our coach picked us up opposite College Green, the place from journalists broadcast news from Parliament and headed home although we did stop off for a meal at one of the services on the M40.

Speaking Competition

This competition is designed to support and encourage the development of effective communication skills in young people.

The competition aims to:

  • develop self confidence and personality
  • encourage young people to play a more prominent part in public life by having the experience of speaking on a public platform
  • allow young people to formulate ideas on topical subjects
  • experience the discipline of speaking in a limited timescale
  • have the opportunity of learning and practicing high standards of expression and presentation

Each student in year 7, 8, 9 and 10 is taking part in this competition. They have spent the last half term preparing with their Academic Tutor during Tutor Time. These next few weeks will see the students ‘fine tuning’ their speeches with their tutor ready for individual tutor competitions. Every student, in every tutor will prepare a two minute speech to be delivered in tutor time. (Deadline TBC) The tutor group will decide on a winner to be put forward to the Year Group Finals. The 10 students will present their speech during assembly time to the year group and a judging panel of 3 members of staff.

First, second and third place finishers will move on to compete in the whole School Finals.
Every student will receive a certificate presented during tutor time and the 10 students selected will receive a small gift and those who come first, second and third will receive shop vouchers.

Topics for speeches this year are:

  1. Social Media – Master or Servant (Friend or Foe)?
  2. How can we ensure Racial Equality in our world today?
  3. What has Politics got to do with us?
  4. My Hero / Heroine.
  5. Migration – how open should our doors be?
  6. No Great Genius has been without some madness.
  7. European Union – for or against?
  8. This is a fantastic and unique opportunity

Sixth Form Induction 2015

 

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70 students joined us on Monday 7 September 2015 for our in-house induction. The day began with a blessing from Brother Andrew and an introduction to the college by the Principal. Students met their Academic Tutors and fellow tutees before hearing about programmes of study, the importance of extra-curricular activities and work experience, the pastoral programme within Sixth Form and standards and expectations. After break, students attended a series of workshops, including a session on study skills and revision led by a team from The Hive at Worcester University, information on student services led by the Sixth Form Learning Mentor and a question and answer session with the Head Boy and Head Girl who dealt with queries regarding independent study, work experience, enrichment activities and balancing responsibilities. In the afternoon, students completed a student voice activity that required them to reflect on their GCSE performance and consider their subject choices at Sixth Form. Going forward, this will form the basis of a discussion between students and their tutors about how to best adapt to level 3 studies.

Tuesday 8 September 2015 – University of Birmingham

UniversityOfBirminghamThe second day of the Year 12 induction process saw us visit the University of Birmingham, further enhancing the strong ties which the Sixth Form has established with the outreach team at Birmingham. This visit reinforced much of the information that students had received during the in-house induction, including information and guidance on how to write a personal statement, the importance of subject choices, work experience and extra-curricular opportunities in relation to applying for undergraduate courses. Students were also advised on the social mobility schemes offered by the University of Birmingham including Access to Birmingham, Birmingham Link and Summer Schools.

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In the afternoon, students were able to take a tour of the campus with ambassadors representing the schools of medicine, dentistry, sports science and English. The day was rounded off with information on student finance, bursaries and scholarships.

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Following on from this visit, some Year 12 students have made course changes based on the IAG they received whilst at Birmingham.

Wednesday 9 September 2015 – Alton Castle

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Year 12 spent the final day of their induction at Alton Castle, participating in teambuilding activities and spiritual reflection. Students and staff were welcomed by the team at Alton with a liturgy on the theme of ‘running the race’.  This enabled students to not only reflect on the ‘race’ they had completed through their GCSEs but also the new challenge which their Level 3 courses will present.

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Students were then assigned to mixed groups for the outdoor teambuilding activities, enabling external and internal starters to work closely with one another.

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The atmosphere was an excited one as students competed against other teams in order to achieve the best score or time. In the afternoon, students participated in a workshop about choices. In groups, students were presented with scenarios, having to decide whether costs outweighed advantages. This session encouraged students to think about choices they will have to make when prioritising their studies. The day ended with a final prayer and the Alton Castle team sharing the opportunities that a gap year and undertaking mission work presented.