In Week 9 the Teaching and Learning Council held the first ever Academic Week at Avonside. This was a celebratory week with activities each lunchtime to embrace learning of all kinds with fun events and activities. We decided to hold this event in order to appreciate the academic achievements of our students and the extra-curricular educational interests that can often be overlooked.
On Monday, fifteen puzzles were put up around the school; these ranged anywhere from cunning riddles to difficult dingbats. Students were tasked to first find the puzzles and then to figure them out. It was great to see groups of friends working together to crack the conundrums.
On Tuesday, teams competed against each other in CantaTopics, run in a similar vein to the well-known CantaMath. We had groups of students who turned up, rearing and ready to win. The teams started off with a bang, many showing their competitive sides early on. They answered questions ranging from the construction date of the Berlin Wall to the most common letter of the English language – there was even a math question! This event demonstrated the vast knowledge of our students and their ability to think under pressure.
The Fandom Quiz was on Wednesday. This was a Kahoot with questions from a plethora of fan bases, including Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments and Percy Jackson. This quiz was a great way to celebrate a side of learning that is not always recognised. There was a good turnout to this event and a contagious excitement in the room.
The Debate Showcase was a hit. A team of three student debaters were pit against a team of three teachers. Ms Failing, Ms Xing and Mr Fife argued that ‘The Arts are the most important subject’ and they did this rather successfully – as they won. The audience enjoyed the debate, and many cheers of encouragement could be heard from their seats. We also got to hear their thoughts on the motion at the end, when students came up to share their views. This was a lively debate with a vibrant mix of academics and comedy. The teams were a pleasure to watch and offered many not-so-subtle jabs at each other throughout.
Finally, Friday was the book character dress up day. Thirteen of our student executives dressed up as well-known and beloved book characters. Students had to take photos with them to send in for house points. The execs went all out and featured characters from Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh and Roald Dahl novels. There were also stand-alone characters from Curious George, the Great Gatsby and Where the Wild Things Are. Cooper took out the prize for the best photo, going to the effort of making signs and wearing yellow.
Overall, Academic Week was a success and it was a great opportunity to celebrate some of the many areas of teaching and learning our students take part in. There were many highlights of the week, but it was amazing to see the excitement from students when competing in the events and to see the broadening of their minds to different types of learning.
By: Jade Lawson, Year 13 Leader of the Teaching & Learning Council.