It has been a whirlwind 7 weeks and as we are going into the half term we can’t thank the students enough for really giving all they have got to their studies, taking to heart the message I gave in their very first assembly (and my last blog post) of don’t say, just show.
Because we recognise how hard our students work, we wanted to dedicate some time each week to getting the students to step away from purely academic study and really experience the world around them. Taking advantage of our city centre location we realised there was a plethora of cultural engagement opportunities right on our doorstep. And so, taking inspiration Liverpool we developed a five week programme that introduced Year 10 and Year 11 to the wide and the wonderful of the city.
Year 10 began with a team building watersports session down on the docks, where they built rafts and had a chance to play on the water inflatables. In the weeks that followed the year separated into three groups, to give them the best individual experience of each attraction. On rotation the students got to visit Liverpool Medical Institution which having been formed in 1799, is one of the city’s oldest centres of medical study. Today the institution “exists to foster an environment for furthering medical and health education and knowledge.” It was a great opportunity, especially for our Medicine and Denistry pathway students, to see the rich history of healthcare in the city that they are starting out in.
The students in Year 10 also visited the University of Liverpool’s Garstang Museum which has one of the most important collection of antiquities in the UK. Students were fortunate to get a hands on experience with some of their historic artefacts and learnt a bit more about the grim, but astounding mummuification process. Finally they went to the Victoria Gallery and Museum to see the ‘Phantom Limb’ exhibition, and were given a guided tour by artist Tabitha Moses. ’Phantom Limb’ formed part of the Liverpool Biennial and was an interactive exhibition focussing on medicine, memory and the treatment process. In addition, for our budding psychologists, it looked at the psychological impact of the treatment process. A very thought provoking and reflective moment for the students involved in the visit.
Year 11 had a similar series of experiences, engaging with the best of the city.
During their rotating programme the students got to grips with Chinese culture and mandarin language with support from the Confucius Institute at the University of Liverpool. They continued their engagement of global themes with a visit to the World Museum where they particularly took interest In Bug House which included life models, interactive displays and even a two-metre animatronic fly!
The students were also fortunate enough to visit two of Liverpool’s most iconic cultural buildings, the Tate Liverpool on Albert Dock and RIBA Sterling Prize winner the Everyman Theatre. Whilst at the Tate students were introduced to the standing collection, receiving a guided tour from a member of gallery staff. Similarly at the Everyman students learnt more about the iconic theatres history, receiving a tour of the stage and behind the scenes areas as well as doing workshops on Shakespeare and more modern theatre, building their confidence and wider cultural experiences.
It was a really exciting, and innovative programme and we were so pleased to introduce some of the cities brightest cultural assets to the students, for some potentially developing budding part-time mandarin speakers or contemporary art critics.