Fairies, Reptiles, Science and Swordplay…The Best of ORA.

Session 4 students have been at Oxford Royale Summer Schools for a whole week, experiencing the joys of academic life.

Hamming it up for the camera.

The Insight Masterclasses have been making their rounds of the Oxford colleges this week. These sessions offer students a range of educational subjects they wouldn’t normally study in a school environment, opening them up for wider learning at University and the workplace.
Classes in Film Production, Zoology, Stock Trading, Chaos Coding, Forensic Investigation and Theatrical Improvisation were on offer. St Catherine’s College, Jowett Walk and Balliol College were all privileged to be a part of the Masterclasses this week. There was much cooing over Milkshake the milk snake and Blue the blue tongued skink in Zoolab, whilst other students got to grips with their inner thespian in Theatre Improv, or played the numbers game with Stock Trading and Chaos Coding. Glass bottles were brushed for fingerprints and blood splatters in Forensics, while film scripts involving frogs were devised in Film Production. All in all, Session 4 students have been a bevy of creative and inquisitive learners this week.

And the next clue is….

Theatrical display further broadened student’s horizons, when Balliol College took a walk through Oxford to seek out a cleverly concealed production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Students had to search for clues throughout the city, to find the next piece of the play secreted within leafy gardens and hidden cloisters. We are not sure whether Puck was eventually discovered up a tree or in college lodge, but we would rather not bump into him on a dark night in either case.

He didn’t stand a chance.

Ratcheting up the fear factor this week was Lady Margaret Hall’s ghost tour around Oxford, where they heard gruesome tales of riot and martyrdom in Oxford’s history. St Hugh’s got in on the action with a visit to Oxford Castle, to hear the gory stories of Mary Blandy and other hanging victims…later returning to their campus to “murder” their own Counsellor with (fake) swords in a Stage Combat workshop.
Clare College over in Cambridge had it’s own fair share of derring-do this week. A visit to the Fitzwilliam museum to view a variety of medieval weaponry was followed by punting on the River Cam. This is a more difficult experience than it sounds; but despite the dangers of the quant sticking the mud, or the punt capsizing completely, thankfully there were no embarrassing accidents.

Setting fire to stuff was never so much fun.

Our youngest students of the summer, over at St Mary’s School in Ascot, probably had the widest eyes and the lowest-hanging jaws this week, as they were treated to dazzling visual pyrotechnics in an Explosive Food display, given by the Royal Institute.  
Session 4 students have been a dream to teach, and we look forward to another week of action with them!
Do you feel like joining them? There are still a few spaces left for Sessions 5 and 6.
Images: ORA