Year 11 Day of Reflection
The Year 11 Day of Reflection took place on Tuesday 28 November after the students had completed their mock examinations, so they were able to relax together and reflect in an unpressurised environment.
The theme explored during the day was that of vocation and progress through life. The girls mapped the different components of their lives and considered which parts, or which relationships, are particularly enriching at the moment. This encouraged them to think about which aspects of their lives they may want to develop.
In groups the girls then tried to match the 'before and after' stories of well-known people and discussed the ways in which life is sometimes predictable, but, for some people, far from predictable. It was noted that, for some individuals, a chance comment from a friend or a chance encounter had led them towards what became their fulfilment. This led the girls to realise that everyone has a part to play in each other's ability to find their vocation. A clip about the life story of the ballerina Michaela de Prince, who began life as a refugee orphan and is now a leading dancer with the Netherlands Dance Theatre, taught the group that people can pursue their deepest desires despite enormous difficulties, provided they receive a helping hand and encouragement from others.
The girls went on to reflect on how important it is to listen to the views of other people in order to come to fair conclusions on important matters. To this end, the girls split into small groups, listening to various people’s views on a variety of issues. Staff members then acted as a Question Time panel, answering a range of fascinating questions from the students. Questions included 'What was the most embarrassing thing you did when you were a teenager?' and 'Why do you believe in God?'.
In the latter part of the day the girls looked at the life of Nicholas Winton, a humanitarian and war hero, and the impact he had in organising the Kindertransport. The girls focused on the influence his actions continue to have worldwide through the Nicholas Winton Foundation.
To end their Day of Reflection, the Year 11 students paid attention to how an individual can have a huge impact on their immediate surroundings, and more far reaching environments, simply by doing small tasks with love and integrity, based on the story of The Man Who Planted Trees.