Year 11 enjoy a pensive Day of Reflection
The Year 11 Day of Reflection took place just 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. We mapped the different components of our lives and following on from that we considered which parts of our lives, or which relationships, are particularly enriching. We thought about which aspects of our lives we want to develop.
In groups we 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. We noted that for some individuals, a chance encounter had led them towards what became their fulfillment. For several people, difficulties had helped them develop skills which had led them into fulfilling careers. A clip about the life story of the ballerina Michaela de Prince, who began life as a refugee orphan but who now is a leading dancer with the Netherlands Dance Theatre, taught us that people can pursue their deepest desires despite enormous difficulties, provided they receive a helping hand from others.
Listening to what is going on in ourselves is important if we want to find our vocation and we considered the importance of silence. We also thought about how important it is to listen to the views of other people as we make up our minds about important issues. To this end we spent time in small groups listening to other people's views on a variety of issues. The staff then acted as a 'Question Time' panel to answer any question. The questions sparked lively discussion on a range of topics, including the role of women in the twenty-first century and the content of GCSE specifications.
In the latter part of the day we looked at the life of Nicholas Winton and the impact he had by organising the Kindertransport and the influence his actions continue to have worldwide through the Nicholas Winton Foundation. We looked at some examples of people whose small gestures, such as giving a free haircut to people who live on the streets, is transformative and enhances human dignity. Year 11 then made their own small gesture by writing Christmas cards for refugees, the homeless and children with terminal illnesses. We ended the day with a reflection in the chapel.