Session 3 at Yarnton Manor, Oxford, was full of time in the historic city centre, guest speakers, a trip to Windsor Castle and even a Wizard-themed party. Students finished the two weeks with many new friends, lessons learned and incredible experiences of living in a famous British city.
Tours around Oxford always form an important part of introducing ORA students to their home for the coming weeks. Students are shown the famous landmarks of the city, such as the Radcliffe Camera and Bodleian Library, whilst also getting a look at the local shops and restaurants. Many pupils love to purchase Oxford souvenirs and clothing to remember their wonderful time with ORA in this magical city.
One of the highlights for Session 3 students at Yarnton Manor was the excursion to Windsor Castle. The Castle, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently got married in front of the world, is a fundamental cornerstone of British history and tradition. 39 monarchs have lived at Windsor and it has foundations as early as the 11th century when William the Conqueror founded the castle. Our students loved getting to see such a traditional and complete example of an English castle and made the most of taking pictures in front of the building.
At the centre of ORA programmes are the Masterclasses, a series of important and practical lessons whereby students learn a great deal from professional teachers.
For Session 3 students at Yarnton, this included a Forensic Outreach and Animation Nation masterclass. Both lessons are important in teaching core skills on the course and students wasted no time getting stuck in. The animation class, where pupils are taught how to use stop-start animation to create short videos, was challenging and stimulating, showing students a range of techniques that they may not have pondered before. Provided with high-tech equipment and harnessing their imaginations, students got busy creating their own short animations with roaring succes.
The Forensic Outreach programme, on the other hand, transformed some students into Poirot as they were tasked with having to solve a murder. Rooms were transformed into endearing crime scenes with dangerous yellow tape sectioning off murder sites. Using their best detective skills, students had to analyse footprints, check the evidence and take samples to try and work out whodunnit? The successful group at Yarnton solved the crime through teamwork and diligence and rejoiced in their success.
The Graduation ceremony for Session 3 students at Yarnton was an impressive affair, complete with bright smiles and loud applause from the graduates. The dinner and party that followed served to remind the pupils of their successful two weeks and the hard work they put in.
We wish all of our students the best for the future and hope to see them back next summer for a fun-filled summer course.