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As part of the Humanities specialism Year 9 took part in the World in Dorset Day. This year the Year 9s benefited from having both Humanities and PE for the entire day. All of Year 9 had a day off timetable and spent the day doing a variety of different activities based around the Olympic Values. With the Olympics just over a fortnight away we felt it was a great opportunity for students to focus and relate to the games and the values that they resonate.
At the start of the day we were very fortunate to have Serita Shone come in to talk to our Year 9s. Serita is an old student of Hardye’s and demonstrated her determination and inspiration to the students. Serita was a great speaker and very honest and candid in telling her story. Having been committed to sports from an early age, Serita went into bobsleighing and was training in Germany when a bad crash left her with a broken back. Lucky to survive but being told she would be paralysed, Serita is now back in training and focusing on the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics, and this was one of the big factors in keeping her positive and determined.
It was a very inspirational start to the day and the students had some great questions for her regarding her training, diet, focus and the crash itself. The Olympic value of inspiration was well met, and this was quickly followed by mass aerobics. All of the 490 students over the 2 sports halls had a warm up for the day inspired by our link school, the Doon School in India, which has a warm up every single day! Mrs Chittenden and Mrs Dean got everyone, teachers included, into the swing of the day really successfully.
Then the students between periods 2 and 4 were split up for the remaining 6 values. Respect involved playing ultimate Frisbee where the students had to self-referee; Friendship students were discovering the history of immigration and deciding which athletes should be able to compete for Team GB; Excellence involved training for a world record event; Courage was learning about key courageous moments in Olympic history and how students could be courageous themselves; Determination involved students completing lots of small scale challenges in timed conditions and in Equality students played out a game to see which factors influence success at the Olympics.
Throughout the day the students behaviour and attitude was excellent. At points they were out of their comfort zone, but got on with the activities and challenges that presented themselves in a great manner.
Then the whole year group congregated outside, in the hope that it wouldn’t rain, to take part and witness history in the making. Firstly the fastest 4 tutor groups had to transport a single mattress a distance of 54m without using their hands. The first attempt did not go to plan, but with slight adjustments and a bit more encouragement from the rest of the audience the students were able to break the record by a good ten seconds. We now wait to hear from the World Record governing body to confirm this has been validated.
Finally as it is the World in Dorset, all the Year 9 students then created a human collage of the world. 500 people got into a 15.5m by 9m rectangle each holding a piece of coloured card, demonstrated the students’ great attitude and behaviour.
This is what the day is all about. It’s about students doing different activities, meeting different people and learning different skills and values and learning about different people from around the world. The student feedback of the day was really positive and we look forward to running similar days in the future.
In July, Thomas Hardye were lucky enough to have a visit from ex-student and Olympic Bobsleigh athlete Serita Shone to inspire our Olympic Dreams Project.
Serita was very badly injured in a crash in October 2011, but was determined to come back and compete again. That she has done it so quickly is little short of miraculous. Her determination has inspired our students and no doubt many more young people.
See the full story at the BBC website at: