The moment I stepped into school on Thursday 19th of November, I felt something different, something new, something rarely felt this early on a Thursday morning...
...excitement – palpable excitement saturating our secondary campus because for the first time in the history of the school we were going to have B.I.S.S.P.A.C.E. day!
Exactly a week prior to this innovative day, the whole teaching staff had planned a surprise assembly, where Mr Mincher, our headmaster, jokingly announced (in a very serious way), that the world would end due to mass alien invasion. For a few seconds, a hush fell across the assembly hall before some students unexpectedly started cheering. I was confused, at first. Why were they laughing and clapping at such devastating news? Then I looked up at the stage, and there stood the mastermind behind the day: Mr Chandler, our Design and Technology teacher dressed up as an army officer. He reintroduced himself as Colonel Chandler, official representative of NASA, the Nord Anglia Space Agency. After watching a few comical videos of photo-shopped pictures of him in various costumes and locations around the globe, he reported on the serious calamity that had befallen our earth, and we were left only to wonder what was awaiting us…
Finally, BISSPACE day the day had arrived. As I entered my form room, my tutor, Ms Bird, quickly left the room, telling us she had to prepare her mission on ‘another planet’, leaving us with another teacher. Booming from the ceiling, a voice announced: “This is your captain speaking. Please proceed to your first mission.” The wait was finally over. Almost at once, the whole school started buzzing like a beehive as friends split up to head towards their first activity, where, for the first time, everyone would meet their groups. The groups were made up of 13 students, ranging from Years 7 to 13 and we had to stay together the whole day, working collaboratively to complete all the fun activities assigned to us. There were more or less 40 activities offered in total, which were clearly linked to our different BIS Learning Skills, with each one assigned to two or more teachers.
Here is a flavour of the range of activities offered to us on this special day: ‘Domesday’, where each team had to build a dome using only straws and joints provided, which helped to develop our communication and collaboration skills. We had to listen to each other as we gave our opinions on the structure, helping us work together to ensure our dome did not collapse. ‘Astronaut Recruitment’ helped us to develop our critical thinking skills through problem solving, putting us to the test with 6 different activities and riddles that we had to complete in a short period of 40 minutes.
After break, we engaged in an activity called ‘Reflection on Life in Space’. This enabled us to really think about the one special thing we would like to take with us into space, the one thing we could not live without and the one thing we would greatly miss if left behind. We also had two exciting creative activities, the first, creating our own planet and language in a Drama improvisation game and the second, creating a brand new political party which challenged us to come up with five laws that were the most important to us; we were able to engage in critical thinking as we had to consider these laws from a range of different perspectives.
At the end of this fantastic day, I asked some of my classmates what they enjoyed most about it: Anna announces, “Space day was educational, fun and entertaining. I’ve learnt that there’s no limit to what we can do. It has really boosted my confidence and motivated me.”
Ryan continues, “Space day was one of my favourite days at BIS because it was varied from the accepted norm and standard school life. Also because of the interaction I was able to have with many people from different year groups; it was an amazing experience for me.”
Ngoc finishes by telling me she is looking forward to it next year.
To conclude, I am in agreement with all of my friends as we are all greatly looking forward to it next year, especially trying out new activities that challenge us to always do our best. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Chandler, Mr O’Neill and all the BIS staff who worked hard for the realisation of this very special day of active learning that enhanced our engagement with our BIS Learning Skills.
Basile Guichard / YR10 Student (With the help and cooperation of 10V.)
What happens when you attach a go pro to the back of a bottle rocket....