Between Friday 7th July and Tuesday 11th July, both Year 9 and Year 10 were off timetable to participate in Festival Week. This exciting end to the academic term, allowed pupils to experience a broad range of enrichment activities that were not confined to the normal restrictions placed by teaching the syllabus. Festival Week provided an opportunity for pupils to engage in team work and thought provoking activities that stretched their learning experiences.
Year 9 were assigned different ‘Faculty Areas’ to explore. For example in Geography, they performed a survey of Cranbrook Town and evaluated how similar the shops and retail were in comparison to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells. Pupils thought about how Cranbrook Town looked like in the past and used large white boards and plasticine to construct 3D models of what Cranbrook Town would look like in the future.
In Food Science, pupils discovered the functional properties of eggs in coagulation; aeration and emulsification. Whilst in Science, pupils were set an engineering challenge to construct a device to discover how eggs can withstand an impact collision with the floor.
The Mathematical department organised logical problem solving activities where pupils were scored on how they solved the challenge and how clearly they presented their findings to the rest of the class. For example, one problem solving activity was calculating how many blades of grass there were on the school field with only the use of a 1m ruler.
The Art department showed provoking images of racism and environmental issues that provided a focal point for discussion. Pupils were provided with a variety of materials to design and make badges based on the emotions that these images portrayed. The History department delivered a drama activity where pupils imagined and enacted the conditions of 19th Century London when Jack the Ripper roamed the streets.
Whilst the Year 9 pupils were engaged with enrichment challenges, Mr Rogers organised a mini enterprise week for the Year 10 pupils. During these sessions, pupils experienced a range of activities that prepared them for trading and dealing in ‘imaginary stocks and shares’. All of the computers in IT room 1, 2 and 3 were all connected to a software network that simulated real trading conditions in the banking society. Pupils learnt about reading a wide range of reports and articles to determine what limited resources to buy and sell. This resulted in fierce competition between groups to see who could generate the most profit.
These academic activities were integrated with the House Athletics and House Swimming events that provided drama and of course points for the House Cup. Mrs Coleman, Mrs Burnett and Mr Pohio organised highly inclusive sporting and classic events like egg and spoon race, tug of war and skipping as well as the traditional Field and Track events.
The students all had a brilliant experience. Their feedback says it all:
Lara Morris (Webster Girls) – “Festival Week was very educational and enjoyable. My favourite part was playing the game on computers because it was exciting. It has given me an idea about stock markets and opened my eyes to the world of economics.”
Billy Gibb (School Lodge) – “I enjoyed the History production the most. The Drama activities were very involving and it was interesting to learn about new things.”
Alessandro Nard (Horsley Boys) – “My favourite part of Festival Week was making the protective cover around an egg and dropping it from many heights to see if it cracked.”
Millie Lang (Scott) – “It has been interesting learning real life skills as we do not normally get this opportunity within school.”
Olly Addis (Webster Boys) – “I have really enjoyed Festival Week because we have learnt skills that you will need in your future life. It has been very enjoyable; especially I have enjoyed the competitive nature of the trading programme.”