We are crazily almost halfway through Session 5. On Saturday, we say a fond farewell to some ORA students at St Mary’s Ascot and those at Yale as they come to the end of their courses. But have no fear, we still have a whole week ahead for our Oxford, Cambridge and some of our St Mary’s contingents so you’re not getting rid of me that easily!
This week has been jam-packed full of lessons, Masterclasses, museum trips, punting, sightseeing, excursions and loads more. I’m sure you’ve been glued to your screen reading about what everyone has been up to but, in case you’ve been busy, here’s a snippet overview of what each campus has been doing.
Pupils adapted to staying in England with punting and croquet at the start of the week. The traditional pastimes were enjoyed by all, as they relaxed on the beautiful River Cherwell and lazily pushed balls through hoops.
Aside from leisurely activities, ORA students at Balliol took part in an exciting Stock Market Challenge and Theatre Workout session. With actors and traders running around, the campus was a hub of activities as performances and deals were made.
An excursion to Oxford’s Natural History Museum kept everyone in the learning mindset as they explored animal specimens, stones and even the Oxford Dodo! Workshops and activity classes – including tie dye and clay modelling – also kept students busy as their used their imagination to produce great products.
ORA pupils at Balliol have been busy this week, find out more here.
Imperial College London
A ride on the Underground got ORA students at Imperial straight into the London spirit, before they embarked on a walking tour to see the most famous sites. Buckingham Palace, Marble Arch and Hyde Park were all thoroughly enjoyed, with many marvelling at the beauty of the London architecture.
A trip to the important Crystal this week also provided students at Imperial with important knowledge about building sustainable structures. The chance to digitally build their own sustainable buildings was enjoyed by those who were fascinated with the ideas of renewable energy and recycling. Alongside an evening of bowling, the end of the first week at Imperial was a jolly and fascinating one.
Read more about ORA at Imperial here.
Jowett Walk College
Walking around Oxford at the beginning of the week felt daunting to some ORA pupils at Jowett Walk, but now they know the city like the back of their hand. They’ve seen the major sites, including the Radcliffe Camera and Bodleian Library, and even gone head-to-head in the renowned welcome quiz.
Our engineering students visited Thorpe Park this week to gain an understanding of how rollercoasters are designed and structured. As well as having a go on the rides, pupils were surprised by the complex mechanisms in place to power the coasters and the processes followed to engineer the exciting structures.
Elsewhere, guest speakers wowed with talks on Mars colonisation and music in film, whilst salsa lessons encouraged everyone to boogie to the fiery music. As pamper parties and movie nights filled the evenings, an excursion to Magdalen College gave students something to talk about, as they compared the college with their own accommodation.
For more detail on the activities of ORA at Jowett Walk, click here.
Lady Margaret Hall
Masterclasses got things started straight away at LMH in Week 1, as we saw ORA students transformed into scientists, historians and screenwriters.
The historians marvelled at the Happening History Masterclass that taught them all about Medieval life and how objects were used in the past. Our scientists, on the other hand, knuckled down to use their analyst skills to solve a crime and the Hollywood screenwriters pitched their best stories to a blockbuster-producing audience.
There is much more detail of all ORA events at LMH and more here.
Our older students quickly immersed themselves in Oxford life with an induction into the Bodleian Library. With exclusive access, they were taught how to access texts, handle books and use the library, an exciting event for the historians and bookworms in the group.
A welcome drink at the Varsity Club was thoroughly enjoyed by students. Lounging at the rooftop bar offered fabulous views over the city of Oxford and made for some great pictures.
Lessons were quick to start at Merton as students got stuck in with the international medical research and practice field trip.
ORA pupils at Merton have been kept busy all week, find out more here.
The Queen’s College
An Art and Architecture field trip around Oxford revealed some of the most beautiful parts of the city to ORA students at Queen’s. Oxford Castle and the Bridge of Sighs were particular favourites amongst pupils with an eye for photography. To get to know Oxford even better, students headed on a spooky Ghost Tour to hear all the gruesome and freaky tales of spectres and phantoms that have been sighted in the dark cobbled streets.
Elsewhere, the Zoolab Masterclass introduced students to an amazing array of animals, including snakes, lizards, scorpions and spiders. Though some didn’t want to take hold of the creepy critters, others marvelled at the chance to be so close to animals from across the world.
Punting, cake decorating and a tour of Christ Church College kept students busy during the week as they explored avenues of creativity and academia. It was great to see everyone getting stuck in with the optional activities and you can see some great punting photos over on their blog page.
Read more about what ORA pupils at Queen’s have been doing here.
St Catharine’s College, Cambridge
Walking around the city at the start of the week welcomed ORA students to their new home before a quiz night created strong friendships and lots of laughter. To continue bonding, pupils enjoyed an afternoon and evening of ball and board games, revealing competitive sides in some.
A Soap Science Masterclass got everybody smelling like roses earlier in the week, as the learnt how to create their own bars of soap. Colour and sweet smells filled the room and the students were pleased with their creations.
Another major excitement during the week was the karaoke evening, where pupils dazzled with native songs, group performances and amusing displays.
See what else ORA students at St Catharine’s have done here.
St Catherine’s College, Oxford
Journalism, Theatre Workout and the Stock Market Challenge encouraged those at St Catherine’s to jump headfirst into their studies. The practical Masterclasses taught the power and weapons used in the media, tips and tricks for performing and the nature of the fluctuating trading market. Though all very different, the Masterclasses were greatly enjoyed by all and appealed to a diverse range of traits in the pupils.
A city tour around Oxford was a welcome excursion midweek, giving students the chance to explore more areas in the city. From looking around colleges to visiting one of the oldest buildings in Oxford (the Saxon Tower), the trip gave everyone a much better knowledge of their local area.
Discover what ORA pupils at St Catherine’s have been up to in more detail here.
St Mary’s Ascot
A quiz early in the week ensured everyone had acquired a good set of teamwork skills, whilst science and programming workshops got everybody fascinated with chemical reactions and coding. A trip to London Zoo was a highlight of the week and students loved the chance to see exotic animals from all over the world up close.
In free time, sports and art activities were enjoyed. Sporty students made use of the sports hall and lawn outside, as artists tried to paint, sketch and colour famous portraits.
Find out more about the ORA week at SMA here.
St Peter’s College
ORA students at SPC started the week with an amazing trip to the Oxford Union Old Library to sketch. The debating Union, founded in 1823, is housed in a stunning building, with the Library featuring wall murals by famous pre-Raphaelite artists.
With lessons filling most of the day and various workshops taking place, an optional photography excursion to the Church of St Mary the Virgin was appreciated by a few pupils. Climbing the incredible towers provided an amazing view over the city of Oxford and was a mesmerising experience with the chance to take some great photos.
Zoolab and Chaos Coding Masterclasses let students get hands-on this week, as they learnt all about rainforest animals and programming computer games. Both Masterclasses were met with enthusiasm by students, who were fascinated by the areas of exploration.
A first aid lesson enabled students to test their practical knowledge as they administered CPR, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and bandage application. The class was challenging but interesting and we hope that the invaluable skills will prove useful in the future.
Find out what else ORA students at SPC got up to here.
ORA’s first course at Yale has had a cracking start this week, with classes on leadership and teamwork taking the centre stage. A trip to the Escape Rooms in New Haven encouraged everyone to listen and work together as they investigated their way out.
As they explored the themes and definitions of leadership, students gave a number of speeches on the kind of leader they believe themselves to be and their aspirations for the future. It was amazing to see the range of answers and desires from students, with some wishing to improve public speaking skills and others preferring to work on their political stances.
Tours around the Yale campus and State Houses of Hartford were highlights this week, as students became more acquainted with their surroundings. Understanding how State laws are created was fascinating to pupils, as was seeing rare examples of a George Washington painting in the State Houses and the Gutenberg Bible in the University Library.
An amazing excursion to New York City saw students racing around the major tourist sites in just one day! With the Empire State Building, One World Trade Centre, Staten Island, Grand Central Station, the Public Library and Central Park all on the itineraries, it is no wonder that everyone was exhausted when they returned to New Haven.
To read all about ORA students at Yale click here.
Make sure to regularly check the blog website in order to see the regular updates throughout the week. Week 2 is looming and there are lots for our students to be getting on with so stay tuned.