Aardvark, Clayesmore’s virtual university experience returned in the week after half term, replacing the normal Lower Sixth curriculum with subject days and activities. In the words of Head of Sixth, Mrs SarahJane Newland, the program seeks to “extend the students’ academic experience in different ways, whilst also providing opportunities for independent work and enrichment, particularly geared towards leadership and employability skills”.
Dedicated subject days have enabled students to venture out and about, including a Psychology trip to Bournemouth Crown Court where they met with a judge before watching the sentencing process for four cases, a Design & Technology visit to contrast between batch produced metalwork at Hospital Metalcraft in Blandford and bespoke furniture making at Litton Furniture, Business Studies visits to look behind the scenes at Thorpe Park and a Hospitality visit to Studland Beach which involved planning and transporting items for a BBQ picnic while carefully monitoring food temperatures.
Back at Clayesmore the physicists have been undertaking practical experiments looking at the behaviour of gases, including at low temperature and trying to graphically predict absolute zero, while the English students have taken part in workshops on King Lear run by actors from the Globe Theatre.
There have also been a number of whole year activities including ‘Back to the Future Day’, a fast-paced and informal opportunity for current students to meet up with recent Clayesmore alumni, to hear the advice they would give their ‘seventeen-year-old self’, a UCAS Options Day, Leadership Day and an Employability Day, run by Flying Start XP.
Aardvark runs until Saturday 1 July, when all students will attend a ‘graduation ceremony’, featuring speeches, awards and mortar boards.