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Year 11 News - 18th November 2016

18 November 2016

Find out what's been happening in Year 11

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Year 11 Newsletter – 18th November 2016

Special Edition: Project Week 2016

It is amazing to think that we have now been back from Project Week for nearly two weeks! And what an amazing Project Week it was. From working with the majestic pandas, to hiking up the beautiful Mount Qingcheng; from viewing the awe-inspiring Leshan Buddha to consuming delicious, mouth-numbingly spicy Sichuan hotpot, year 11 had a wonderful time. I would like to share with you some of the students’ impressions of the trip.

‘Travelling to Chengdu and being able to experience the Chinese culture helped me understand better the country that I live in.’- Naser

‘I really enjoyed it as pandas are not usual animals you would take care of as students. I really like those opportunities we get while living here in China.’- Gaia

‘In this year's project week I enjoyed working with pandas as it was a different experience than working with children. It was also the first time I had worked with animals to help them with their daily life.’- Pranav

‘Overall I enjoyed feeding the pandas the most compared to the other activities. To me it stood out from the other activities due to it allowing us to get very close to the pandas. It allowed us to view the pandas up close and observe how they acted similarly to humans in a range of ways.’- Harry Lonsdale

‘I think I did the plucking out dead plants or weeds out of the ground the best.’- Kelvin

‘That was my first time feeding a panda. And it was so different to when I was going to watch a panda which lives in Shanghai zoo. When I went to Shanghai zoo to watch a giant panda, the panda seems boring. But in Sichuan, just watching the panda sitting on a bench, scratching their leg or looking around the enclosure gave me an interest.’- Youjin

‘Through cleaning the cages, collecting their droppings and observing the pandas I realized saving animals requires a lot of effort. I learnt that animals and humans have to live together because they are facing extinction because of us and there are some really significant animals worth saving.’- Tina

 ‘In Sichuan we all learnt that not only human beings should develop well in this world, we also need to notice how significant endangered animals are.’- Reika

‘In the trip I enjoyed being with my good friends and getting to get really close to some friendly pandas! The trip all in all was probably my favourite one so far.’- Lukas

‘I learnt things about pandas, such as how they breed and what they need to survive. I also learnt to work with different people that I wouldn't normally work with. I also learnt more about Chinese culture, by trying Chinese food and visiting ancient attractions such as the Leshan Buddha.’- Yu

‘During this project week, I enjoyed being able to have the privilege of working with the giant pandas in the DuJiangYan Panda Base. This is because, knowing that the conservation for giant pandas is the biggest conservation efforts made by man to try and save a critically endangered species, and to be a part of this conservation effort, allowed me to understand why the giant panda requires protection and conservation. The giant panda's habitat is constantly being threatened and its migration range has depleted in vast amounts therefore as this continues, they are in dire need of our efforts to help them from the brink of extinction. This is therefore, why I enjoyed working with the pandas so much as I felt as though I was able to contribute to the conservation efforts and be part of something so colossal.’- Joseph

‘Through this trip I've learnt that pandas have a very unique digestive system, and how pandas are trained to be released back into the wild. I've also learnt about Chengdu's history and Taoist religious background. I have also learnt how to adapt my Mandarin listening skills to understand the local dialects.’- Angela

‘This Project Week was one of the most educational ones I have been on yet. Throughout the week and the activities, I learnt a lot about the culture in Si Chuan and the Taoist culture. For example, when we hiked up Mt. Qing Cheng, we visited quite a few Taoist temples on the way up, which allowed one of the guides to tell us about them, and any important background knowledge of where the religion originated. Even activities like Kung Fu lessons gave us a deeper insight on the traditions of Chinese Culture and the thought behind it. Additionally, our volunteer work involved a mixture on knowledge as well, and this was gained through watching documentaries and the specialists there.’- Lovisa

‘I enjoyed that my friends and I had so much time to spend together. This trip brought us together and I made many new friends along the way. This is the third project week I’ve been on, and I would rate it as my favourite. Interacting with the pandas was amazing, and it was a magical experience for me, because not many people can get the chance to feed a panda.’- Lily

‘The hiking on top of the QingCheng mountain was also one of the most memorable experiences. The view from the top was incredible and we all felt amazed.’- Josi

‘The food we had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner tasted great and had a lot of flavour  to it, although it was Sichuan-style food it tasted very familiar and throughout the whole five days in Chengdu and Leshan I did not once feel hungry. I also enjoyed participating in the Kungfu lesson that had been arranged for us - a Kungfu teacher came to the town square to teach the whole year group an hour-long Kungfu lesson. It was extremely enjoyable and there was a lot of laughing.’- Georgie

‘Whilst I enjoyed the other activities which we were involved in, such as the kung fu which allowed us to really gain an understanding of the very basics of Chinese martial arts, as well as watching my friends’ funny reactions as they ate spicy hotpot - I particularly enjoyed the freedom we were given to explore the city. The feeling I felt as I wandered around in  the company of my friends was simply amazing, and the bonding formed through shopping, laughing and accompanying together in a large group made our friendship even stronger and I think there could not have been anything better than that.’- Kajsa

‘Most importantly I liked the food; even though most of it was spicy, there was still some food for everyone to eat. On the last day we had the chance to eat hotpot, especially known for its spiciness.’- Mira

‘The part that I enjoyed the most during project week is the experience of different cultures and traditions such as food. I liked experiencing the large variety of Chinese food and enjoyed the social activities during the meal time.’- Hagar

‘I enjoyed every aspect of Chengdu! From the panda volunteer work to the boat ride to see the Buddha caved into a valley wall. Throughout the trip, we had the opportunity to bond with all of our peers over a wide variety of uncommon tasks. I also particularly enjoyed the increased level of responsibility we were given this year. We were presented with more liberty of choice compared to previous years. For example, on the first day, we ventured into a market street to obtain a sense of culture in Chengdu. During this time, we were provided with minimal supervision and the responsibility of managing ourselves (to a limited extent) at a greater risk than previous years. This responsibility we were given strongly contributed to the outcome of the trip because our choices felt less restricted and more variable.’- Ethan

The students were a credit to the school throughout Project Week and I really enjoyed spending time with them and getting to know them better. I would also personally like to thank my amazing team, Mr Mills, Mr Raye, Ms Kilpatrick and Mr Tsui, for helping make this a fantastic Project Week. Our commiserations go to Mrs Platt, who was unable to join us due to health issues, but who worked very hard while we were away to help Year 13 students with their extended essays.

Overall, a great week was had by all!

Dates for your Diary

Wednesday 30th November 5-8pm: Year 9 and 11 Options Evening

Sunday 27th November 11am-3pm: Christmas Bazaar

Thursday 8th December: Christmas Carol Concert

Friday 9th December: CCAs finish for the term

Friday 16th December: Last day of term 1

Monday 9th January: First day of term 2

Thank you for reading and for your continuing support of year 11.

With best wishes,

Anna Whiteson, Year 11 Leader