Students Enjoy Exciting Activities Week

Students Enjoy Exciting Activities Week

With the School’s internal summer exams all finished, Benenden students who weren’t occupied by their GCSEs or A Levels enjoyed a range of exciting off-timetable activities and trips.

The Fourths (Year 7s) kicked off the week with two days at Cuffley Active Learning Centre in Hertfordshire, where they took part in activities from crate stacking to creating barrel buggies. The whole year group excelled and their enthusiasm, politeness and positivity were remarked upon by the instructors.

Back at School, the fun continued with pond dipping at the Eco Classroom, foraging and creating exciting insect gastronomy in the bug kitchen. The week ended with some inspirational empowerment and leadership training, and testing Fourths’ problem solving with an escape room.

The Upper Fourths (Year 8s) visited Belgium, where they learned all about space on an incredible experience to the Euro Space Centre. They tried out lots of activities including a space show, free fall slide, a space rotor, a moonwalk and a walk on Mars. They also ascended the Atomium, the structure representing an iron crystalline molecule, with exhibitions inside the nine spheres.

The year group also had time to explore beautiful Brussels on a walking tour of their own design.

At the start of the week, the Fifths (Year 10s) were introduced to several subjects that they have not yet studied but which are on offer at A Level, such as Business Studies, History of Art, Politics and Psychology. 

The students were introduced to the role of an entrepreneur and were tasked with researching and deciding on a product or service they would like to sell which would make a positive contribution to the future of food, either on a local or international scale.

An Art task centred around Benenden’s Big Building Challenge where gigantic carboard sculptures were created. During the Music session, students were introduced to the Soundtrap programme, which allowed them to record and edit their own musical compositions. In IT students participated in an engaging session where they had the opportunity to delve into the world of generative AI tools, discovering how these rapidly advancing tools can enhance their learning experiences while also understanding the challenges and ethical considerations associated with their use in education and learning. 

The week ended with the Fifths being given the chance to test out their code breaking skills in a day led by the outreach team from Bletchley Park. They worked through some of the problems associated with Enigma and Lorenz machine codes that were used during the Second World War. They also had a talk on female intelligence officers by the author Melody Foreman, with a mental challenge created by the English department. A selected group of students got to take on the Bletchley Park Briefcase Challenge at the end of the day, while others took on a code breaking challenge designed by the Maths department. All students involved had the amazing chance to look at a real Enigma machine, which happened to be the one loaned to the filmmakers of The Imitation Game.

The Six Ones (Year 12s) were involved in talks and activities to help them develop necessary skills to help with future applications, to think through their applications for next year, to develop their leadership and public speaking skills, and also to compete in the semi-finals and finals of the Enterprise Challenge – where they go head to head in teams to develop the most profitable business.

They all set up their UCAS accounts and were able to start developing their personal statements, researching the range of courses next year. They considered options presented by the Careers Department, including apprenticeships, overseas institutions and gap years.

The week has also included Oxbridge sessions with Tonbridge School and some Bletchley Park codebreaking – so a very varied and busy week for them all!