Harrow Way students who have demonstrated their commitment to the school’s reading programme were recently treated to a reward trip. Recognising the extra mile some students have gone, the Year 7s, 8s and 9s headed off to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the Warner Brothers Studio and Oxford University for a day of exploring and fun.
Commenting on the trips, Kallista Kilby, Literacy Programme Lead said: “Through our reading programme, all Year 7 to 10 students get to read three times a week during tutor time. This is hugely beneficial from improving their vocabulary to helping them de-stress and we’ve also seen that having a wider reading list has really boosted the number of books being borrowed from the library by Year 7 and 8 students. We want to encourage and reward students to read as much as they can, so it was great to see our committed and engaged readers enjoying a fun and informative day which they had all earned because of their hard work and dedication to reading.”
Year 7s spent their reward day exploring HMS Victory and HMS Warrior at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Although officially a day of fun, with students fascinated by how short 19th century military sailors must have been, they also learned some valuable historical facts which supports their curriculum theme of ‘Islands and Adventures.’
The magical Warner Brothers Studio beckoned for 46 Year 8 students, which started with a brilliant screenplay writing workshop. Armed with protective gloves, students were allowed to handle props from the films to help inspire their stories. A studio tour gave the students behind the scenes access to familiar film sets which proved particularly inspiring and complementary to their creative English portfolios and overarching theme of ‘Lights in the Darkness.’
Budding Year 9 readers headed to Oxford for their reward trip. In the Divinity Room and the Western Library at Oxford University they enjoyed a Harry Potter filming location and explored the ‘Tutankhamun: Excavating the Archive’ exhibition before heading off to the University of Natural History. Here they impressed museum staff with their maturity and the depth of questions asked.
Ms Kilby concludes: “Although each of the trips are very much about rewarding students, there is of course an inevitable element of learning. For our Year 9 students being immersed in Oxford University, one of the oldest educational environments in the UK, complements the more critical and analytical approach they have been taking towards their English work this year. It’s also motivating and inspiring for them to see what university life looks like, which any one of them could aspire to attend.”