The architect of our Week Without Walls is Deputy Head- Enrichment, Lauren Binnington -who shares an insight into this important element of BIS life in this week’s update.
Week Without Walls
It has been so fantastic to be able to bring back our Week Without Walls, where students have been challenged to develop their learning skills outside of the classroom and normal curriculum settings. The campus has been abuzz with excited chatter as students have undertaken a week of bespoke and extra-ordinary activities that have seen them working in teams and independently, persevering through physically, mentally, and socially new situations.
Over the week, Year 7, 8 and 9 students have participated in 37 different activities, all coordinated by our enthusiastic and creative teaching team; our teachers, teaching assistants and support staff have had an interesting and varied week!
Students have undertaken some core activities that relate to our collaborations with MIT, Juilliard, and UNICEF, by engaging in STEAM learning, creativity through Performing Arts, and supporting the community through Social Impact. All students took part in the STEAM challenge, where teams created a video game on the theme of their choice. They needed to both create and code the game for functionality, and consider storyline, music and sound effects, and the aesthetics of the marketing campaigns. Our students have been incredibly creative with these, and collaborated to produce some exciting games! Other STEAM activities have included building and racing boats from household items, trying to ‘escape’ our virtual escape room, and creating key chains, either from resin or out of melted single-use plastic in collaboration with PLASTIC People. Year 7 showed their skills in performing arts through the Juilliard activity, either dramatically representing the theme or engaging in the performance through music. In Social Impact, students have been suggesting solutions to tackle aspects of climate change, debating global issues, and some were able to share a fantastic experience with our Community Partner children through a visit to TiNi World. Not just focusing on human interactions, some of our students visited Laws for Paws to learn about the dog rescue activities and how to care for the dogs at the centre. The smiles on their faces were electric! Our students also demonstrated care for environmental issues by turning old uniforms into new items and cleaning-up rubbish from the local area outside school, seeing first-hand how waste can impact our immediate environment. We also had a team deliver a Climate Fresk workshop, thinking about the interconnected nature of the climate causes and consequences.
Other activities also went off-campus, with students reaching new heights on the climbing wall, testing their golfing skills, or perfecting their pirouettes on the ice. An addition this year was a visit to DANCENTER to learn some new dance moves! Year 7 also learnt more about Vietnamese farming cultural practices in their expedition to Happy Farm, finding out how the farm operates and taking on the role of farmers themselves.
The Primary visits are always a highlight of the week as our students get to visit our other campuses and become teachers for the morning, engaging in activities with our youngest students and having lots of fun together! The Junior Campus kitchen was also in action all week with ice-cream making and cultural cuisine cooking taking place; the results of which were innovative and delicious!
It wasn’t all full on; we also took time out to get into fitness and yoga, do some mindful colouring and complete jigsaw puzzles, and tested our strategising through board games.
With so much on offer it is a challenge to capture the vibrancy of the week on paper. The range of activities, the enthusiasm of our staff, and the way that students have thrown themselves into every activity, fully making the most of the week, has been an absolute pleasure to see. I have seen empathy, perseverance, respect for each other and the wider world, and no end of collaborative learning together; our students really do embody our mission at BIS. A huge thank you to the entire BIS community who have made this week possible.
Deputy Headteacher Enrichment