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Parent, Senior Boys' School

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Extra-Curricular Adventures For Year 8

Monday, 28 September 2015

The Year 8 girls have enjoyed a week off timetable to take part in a range of extra-curricular activities. The year group spent half of the week at Patterdale Hall, the School’s outdoor pursuits centre in the Lake District. In addition to challenging themselves with gorge walking, canoeing and sailing, the girls also had the opportunity to run the ropes course and try their hand at some circus skills during the evenings.

The other half of the week was spent enjoying music and ICT workshops, and an exciting trip to Jodrell Bank in Cheshire.

At Jodrell Bank, the girls were able to see the enormous telescopes for themselves, including the world-famous Lovell telescope. They also explored the Big Bang, the life cycles of stars, and black holes through interactive exhibits. This gave pupils a fascinating insight into astronomy and allowed them to find out more about the work done by Jodrell Bank’s engineers and scientists.

The Music Workshop was based on percussion instruments. Over the course of the day, the girls learned to play two of three different styles, with opportunity to perform in front of their friends and share what they were able to achieve. Some girls learned an African song, which they sang while also performing on traditional African percussion instruments. Two other groups played a Samba, including complex polyrhythms and a break. The final piece of music girls played was ‘Under the Sea’ from Disney’s The Little Mermaid on steel pans.

The ICT Workshop was themed around games, but nonetheless created a series of challenges for the girls to complete. The girls were encouraged to learn about binary, 8-bit binary, hexadecimal, and various other ways of encoding information by completing puzzles, each of which created a QR code. These were then scanned using the girls’ iPads, and if they were correct they received the next important piece of information. The second task asked girls to create their own, working controllers using Makey Makey Kits and Play-Doh. The girls really enjoyed putting together their own controllers and then watching them in action, and were delighted when their creations eventually worked. They also enjoyed testing the controllers with simple online games and documenting their success with iPad videos and photographs.

The girls were really enthusiastic in each of the different tasks and enjoyed taking part in this exciting week of extra-curricular activities.

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Some of the Year 8 girls with a telescope at Jodrell Bank

Some of the Year 8 girls with a telescope at Jodrell Bank

Testing a Play-Doh controller in the ICT Workshop

Testing a Play-Doh controller in the ICT Workshop

Playing percussion instruments in the Music Workshop

Playing percussion instruments in the Music Workshop