Monday 14 June marked the beginning of Activities Week at King Edward VI School, Southampton. Exclusively for our Fifth and Upper Sixth students, the week was planned to celebrate students reaching educational mile stones (end of GCSEs and A Levels) and to give them some much needed fun and social time with their peers following assessments.
“This week was unique. We had the genuine pleasure of welcoming back our Fifth Year and Upper Sixth students after their exam assessments for a one-off ‘Activities Week’. As with everyone else, these students have had a disrupted year, but for them the pressures have been exacerbated by the uncertainty surrounding how and when they might undertake their GCSEs and A Levels. Of course, in the end they (and we) were given the appropriate instructions, but it is worth remembering that many of the details were only published a matter of weeks ago… in the case of the summer appeal process, we only received the final guidance after the students had already completed their assessments. The fog of indecision created by those in charge of the national examinations process has generated much stress and insecurity. And so, at the end of it all, we wanted to give these young people a treat. Thus – Activities Week!” — Head, Mr Parker
Kicking off the week, students got creative with art! After an extraordinary year of Zoom and unknowns galore, students were able to use their creativity to make sense of where we are now. Pupils created a piece of art using the cyanotype process, meaning they could source a wide range of imagery from Instagram grabs to hand written text and freehand art, all via the UV rays of the sun. Staff were on hand to guide, support and help students create amazing art, that will be displayed around the school.
A ’Bake Off’ challenge
The KES Bake Off took place on Tuesday, complete with our very own bake-off tents (we’ve put those marquees to good use!). Students went spoon-to-spoon in the Showstopper Challenge, to make a two-layered cake, representing a ‘KES memory’. The rules were simple, produce a two-layered sponge cake (no larger than 8” diameter) and incorporate a minimum of 3 decorated biscuits. Everyone, including the judges, were amazed at the presented cakes.
Head judge, Mr Parker, said the following: “Judging the KES Bake Off was an absolute pleasure. What could be better than an afternoon of eating gooey, fluffy layer cakes ranging from a frankly delicious carrot cake through to the richest of chocolate sponges, all accompanied by crunchy home-baked biscuits? The winning cake by Mia looked fantastic, tasted marvellous and took us all back to the brilliant ‘West Side Story’ performance from last year which inspired it.”
Students enjoyed a wonderful morning of futsal coaching. Students were able to work on their stepovers and rabonas, before putting it all together in game play situations. Great fun had by everyone in the sunshine!
Music Theatre Workshop
Music Theatre Workshop was another activity available to students as part of our Activities Week. Students were challenged to choreograph and perform a musical theatre number… in just one day! Students created a dance routine, costuming, make-up, singing and lighting from ‘Grease’. It was fantastic to see their hard work come together through a spell-binding performance.
Feminism & Activism Workshops
The Library offered topical workshops on feminism and activism, giving insight into the historical roots of these movements, encouraging open discussion, challenging stereotypes and exploring the role of such movements in today’s society.
Equipped with how to call out their peers, these students have the knowledge and skills to push for equality!
The thrill seekers among us travelled to Swanage for a day of outdoor climbing!
Students got creative with resin casting to create some amazing pieces of jewellery. Mr Blow was blown away with the quality of the work produced, considering they only had a few hours.
Game Jam was based over two days and gave students the chance to get some experience in game development. The first day was spent learning the basics of the game development engine Unity before the Jam theme was announced, giving our KES gamers just a few days to work in a team to build a game from scratch before coming together again on the second day to share designs and win prizes.
Armed with suncream, a water bottle, swimming kit and towel, students headed over to SWAC (Southampton Water Activities Centre) for some fun on the water! Students were able to paddleboard or sail.
Paulton’s Park & Thorpe Park
And to conclude the week, Fifth Years went to Paulton’s Park for the day, and Upper Sixth students went to Thorpe Park. It was a little wet, but great fun was had by all!