14th February 2014
Writing: Rishi Shah (Year 7), Mark Dangerfield (Year 8) and Finlay Carroll (Year 9)
Photography: Alex Bear (Year 10)
Editing: Robert Hough (Year 12)
The Year 9 'Wize Up' Enrichment Day taught us about sex and relationships, stress management, internet safety and drug awareness before a (some may disagree!) respite that came in the form of a dance class.
The hip hop dance class taught the boys an array of moves, with a professional teacher from the Urban Strides street dance group. This proved to be very tiring and a break was well earned afterwards! The sex and relationships session discussed how to build a relationship, sex and the law. The stress management session had us thinking about the causes, symptoms and treatments for stress, specifically for teenage boys. Several different things came up as triggers including annoying video games to GCSE choices and exam pressure.
The ‘Dangers of drugs’ talk was given by a humorous and informative addict carer: his job involves helping drug addicts through the rehabilitation process. He cleverly switched from light-hearted to serious, delivering both an entertaining session and very real stories of people that unfortunately died as a result of their habits, provoking all the boys to feel the shock and horror of such events. Finally, Mr Keen gave a solemn talk about internet safety, providing real-life examples and a countless and unacceptable list of people our age driven to the breaking point as a result of bullying. He showed us that this happens closer to home than we realise and made sure we remembered one fact: always tell a responsible adult, never hide your pain away.
The day cumulated in the hall where we all performed our dance to the other groups. The challenge was not just to complete it but to remember it from earlier on in the day! From what was witnessed, it’s doubtful that Challoner’s will have many famous dancers to its name, although the day was of course thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Enrichment Day was fun and exciting for the Year 8s - for both teachers and pupils. The colour of each house represented a relevant country, such as the yellow of Foxell standing in for Jamaica, and the blue of Pearson for the UK, and so a Challoner's edition of the Commonwealth Games had begun!
A wide variety of different activities occurred: in the morning, a challenge involving using bamboo sticks to make a house, then learning about the history of our country, giving a real insight into how each country developed and grew, which is a change from learning just about the UK in normal history lessons. At lunch, a delicious banquet of foods from around the globe had been prepared: sweet, sour, spicy and strong were enjoyed by all.
The day ended with a variety of international sports and activities, from football to darts and mini golf to general knowledge quizzes and even boules in the library. There was something for everyone, which meant that everyone took part and put all their effort into it.
Enrichment day was a fabulous experience for all Year 7 students, and gave us a great opportunity to learn about Challoner’s – as the theme was Challoner’s: past, present and future. The day had a wide range of activities including a talk from Mrs Atkinson about the fascinating history of the school, a talk from Mrs Black about how the school is now, and some great activities to look back on in reflection when we are older.
The activity that went down the best was probably the scavenger hunt, which led you around every nook and cranny in DCGS, with questions like, ‘How many steps are there in the Tower Block?’ and, ‘If reading maketh the full man, what does writing make?’ In addition, we looked at some old documents from DCGS, which had been preserved incredibly well. We wrote a letter to ourselves which we would open in Year 11, and drew an A2 sheet with a square for each person about our thoughts of the Amersham martyrs, which Mrs Pearmain had taught us about. Enrichment day was the best way to end the half term and undoubtedly the next one will be just as good.