Excursion to Whitby with York Seniors
- Katy, Course Leader
The Whitby trip was truly fabulous and this was a standout excursion for me this summer. At York this year, we really wanted to make the academic programme and the leisure programme more cohesive, so that they flowed into one another and we were not just sending students on excursions without any prior knowledge of the places they were visiting. We want the excursions to be an extension of the classroom and Whitby completely embodied this idea.
We prepared a lesson plan about Whitby and its links to Dracula. On the Sunday we visited, Whitby Abbey hosted a performance of Dracula which took place in the grounds of the Abbey. The performance lasted around an hour and it was really quite funny. All the parts were played by just three actors. The performance was very accessible and visitors of all ages were enjoying it. This was brilliant as it meant our students were not excluded and they could understand what was happening.
We did not have the greatest weather (I'd expect nothing more from a British seaside town in the middle of summer,) but the dark and moody weather perfectly complemented the horror story that is Dracula, along with the gothic backdrop of the Abbey. This excursion to Whitby and the Abbey was all-encompassing and it fulfilled our vision of what an OISE excursion should be; the right balance of culture and fun combined with a lesson and tasks to make the experience more meaningful.
Movie Mash at the Badminton School
- Bianca, Course Tutor
Fridays at the Badminton School build up to the students' performances, achieved by working throughout the week on one of the many lesson plan packs. Over the summer we have seen a wide range of performances including Dragon’s Den, advertisements and even a talent show. One of the biggest highlights in my opinion was ‘The Movie Mash Show’. Badminton School took to the stage for an evening of Oscar worthy performances.
Each class chose a well-known film, and by working together interpreted the film in various ways: from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s Willy Wonka interviewing the Golden Ticket winners to become employees at his factory, to the trilogy of the Hunger Games being summed up in five minutes.
With the students working hard throughout the week on their performances, focusing on their acting skills and ways of representing their characters, anticipation was running high, and the final product did not disappoint. Fight scenes, treasure hunts, magic and spells - students and teachers alike were kept on the edge of their seats throughout the show.
With acting in any Hollywood film come the Oscars; some of the students were presented with awards for their remarkable performance and use of English. A tear jerking scene between Katnis and Peeta (from the Hunger Games) saw two students receiving Oscar awards for their outstanding interpretations, another prize was given to a student for his unique and hilarious take on Willy Wonka.
Students’ participation in the production allowed them not only to expand their English knowledge but to also build on their confidence, communication and team working skills in an exciting way.
Young Entrepreneurs at York Juniors
- Henry, Course Leader
In the second week of the course, the teachers followed the ‘Young Entrepreneur’ lesson plan pack and encouraged the students to create products they would pitch to three terrifying Dragons (Rachel, Frances and I). On the Friday afternoon, the students congregated in Queen Ethelburga’s business boardroom with their assortment of prototypes, TV commercials, radio adverts, posters, and even free samples (!)
The teachers did a fantastic job of motivating the students; from the lowest pre-intermediate students to the more confident upper-intermediate students, everybody participated and worked extremely hard to deliver the best possible presentation. Some of the business ideas were genuinely impressive, and we definitely came across some twelve-year-old versions of Steve Jobs.
We awarded gold, silver and bronze enterprise awards for the most creative products and the most viable business plans. It was a fantastic afternoon and both students and teachers alike got the opportunity to showcase the hard work and dedication they put into the week’s lessons. The students – with their ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude – naturally celebrated their business success in the evening disco.
Happy Chandara students visit OISE's headquarters in Oxford
- Solveig, English Community Manager
This summer OISE have hosted 25 talented young girls from the Happy Chandara school in Cambodia. Their school is run by Toutes à l’école, a charity founded in 2005 that provide high-level education to underprivileged girls. OISE have been working closely with this foundation for some time, and have been able to host groups of girls in the UK for the two past summers. At the time of writing one of the above contributors to this blog, Henry, is on a flight to Pnomh Penh to work as an English teacher at Happy Chandara for a year. He will be joined by two further envoy OISE teachers: Izzy, this summer's course leader at Taunton and a new arrival in Cambodia, and James, who has just finished his first year and decided to stay at the school.
Towards the end of their two weeks’ stay in the UK, the girls from Happy Chandara came to meet us all at OISE headquarters in Oxford. Schooled and boarded in Folkestone and Newbury, the girls arrived after a day out seeing the sights of Oxford (albeit from under umbrellas) culminating in a visit to OISE’s headquarters, where a lavish reception was prepared with tea and cakes.
The girls dre w our names out of a hat and came rushing in to the office to find those they belonged to. I had a lovely conversation with Panha; she told me excitedly about going abroad, her hard work at school, her family, her course in the UK, seeing London and Paris and her dream of becoming a diplomat - all in very impressive English.
She wrote her own and then my name in Khmer, translating sound by sound, and mine is not an easy one… She also interviewed me for a presentation to her class, to find out about my role in the company - and in her eagerness even forgot to try the cake. The girls had a great time meeting everyone and sharing their experiences, and we all felt proud to be supporting a foundation which is making such a difference to these brilliant girls.
A great thank you to all our students and staff for your hard work this summer; you have all contributed to making it a success. See you again next year, when we will strive to make it even better.