Transition and Integration
If you’ve come to this page, you probably already agree that if we want students to take risks, just have a go, voice an opinion, share ideas and dare to challenge, all of which are the starting points for more in-depth thinking, we first need to create an environment where it’s ok to do this. That’s why helping students to get to know and trust each other, we believe, has a direct impact on their academic success. They learn more if they feel happy, confident and accepted amongst their peers.
For this reason, our courses are designed to help them integrate and we place a strong emphasis on peer affirmation, group decision making and working together with different people. It’s not uncommon for them to say they’ve made new friends and discovered they like people they didn’t think they would! Breaking down social and cultural barriers isn’t just good for building a healthy community and developing social skills, it dramatically enhances any learning environment.
The same principles can also be applied in a broader sense – mixing students from different year groups is surely so good for the school community and draws out even more skills in understanding and working with others. Teaming up with students from another school, as well as bringing in a fresh mix of ideas, usually acts as an eye-opener that there are actually lots of friendly, capable, unpretentious, interesting, fun-spirited people out there in other schools regardless of whether they are state, independent, girls, boys, square or round!
In the feedback we read after every course, aside from all the references to cognitive skills, we frequently see comments demonstrating that students have benefited socially, made new friends, affirmed and inspired each other and grown in self-confidence.
“An experience that helps you to easily find friends in a new school.
I loved every second of it ”
Student from Battle Abbey School
“I really enjoyed working with people I didn’t know. It gave me a different perspective on things as I know what my friends think already!”
Student from St Edwards School, Oxford
“I loved the way we had a fun and challenging experience in a relaxed atmosphere with other year groups; something that doesn’t normally work.”
Student from Warminster School
“People who are shy opened up more. It brought people together”
Student from Wychwood School, Oxford
“It taught me that it’s good to put your hand up. Even if you’re wrong it’s good to have a try. It made me more confident.”
Student from Gordon’s School
“I liked being around intelligent people who clearly think a lot about the world around them because I don’t normally get the chance to participate in such discussions.”
Student from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School