Pirates, predators and poisons may not have been much of a worry until now. But getting stranded on an island brings an array of new challenges to fire up independent thinking and inevitable disagreement. Be prepared for some controversial ideas and noisy debates about how things should be done!

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  • Should people who do nothing, get nothing?
  • Should people with a low IQ be allowed to vote?
  • If the police went on strike for a day, what would happen?
  • Is caring for the terminally ill a waste of precious resources?
  • Is the worth of a person determined by their usefulness?
  • When would you rebel against a corrupt leader?
  • Who should be allowed access to weapons?

The questions above have actually all come from students themselves, sparked by their experience of attending this course. They are just few of the many brilliant questions we’ve heard. A subtle introduction to political ideology and an objective analysis of leadership, Island Survivors is designed to develop skills in decision making and question identification. It is particularly suitable for students who enjoy more in-depth discussion and who find themselves dissatisfied with quick, simplistic answers.

Pirates, predators and poisons may not have been much of a worry until now. But getting stranded on an island brings an array of new challenges to fire up independent thinking and inevitable disagreement. Be prepared for some controversial ideas and noisy debates about how things should be done!

Loading...
  • Should people who do nothing, get nothing?
  • Should people with a low IQ be allowed to vote?
  • If the police went on strike for a day, what would happen?
  • Is caring for the terminally ill a waste of precious resources?
  • Is the worth of a person determined by their usefulness?
  • When would you rebel against a corrupt leader?
  • Who should be allowed access to weapons?

The questions above have actually all come from students themselves, sparked by their experience of attending this course. They are just few of the many brilliant questions we’ve heard. A subtle introduction to political ideology and an objective analysis of leadership, Island Survivors is designed to develop skills in decision making and question identification. It is particularly suitable for students who enjoy more in-depth discussion and who find themselves dissatisfied with quick, simplistic answers.

In this imaginary isolated setting, students consider how they will build and structure their society with its own systems of government, legislation, reward and deterrent. Will there be a welfare state or free healthcare? Will they share their food equally or will they set up a trading market? Will they create a democracy or will a dictator come to power? Should people with more ‘relevant’ skills be valued more highly than others? As the story unfolds, students tackle a series of tricky dilemmas that they must discuss and resolve as a group. Before you know it, young people are leading themselves and asking big questions that confront the history of ideas.

Typically, this course would include:

  • A few informal ice breakers to identify tips for a successful day. By steadily building the level of complexity and difficulty of these, we use them to demonstrate the quality of application and contribution we expect from students.
  • Discussion-based tasks triggered by situational dilemmas and provocative questions. These are interspersed with…
  • A few hands-on practical activities with some use of props
  • A Wiser Words map-making challenge, collating information and transposing it to a visual form
  • Just a little bit of note taking to build confidence before students stand up to lead, chair or present
  • A Wiser Words question-making activity at the end to celebrate intrigue and promote continued reflection post course
  • Certificates and prizes.

Wherever possible we encourage students to chair the debates themselves and we allow them to make their own decisions about how they will organise everything. This means that every time we run the course, the outcome is different and the suggestions they come up with are often inspirational and enlightening!

The day ends with a twist that leaves students reflecting on the ultimate question about what a society needs to be happy, healthy, sustainable and progressive.

Independent Thinking

With an emphasis on taking initiative, students are encouraged to resist just jumping on the bandwagon by agreeing with common clichés or the opinions of the majority without first thinking for themselves. Those who speak up and stand out against the crowd are commended for their courage and independent thinking. We throw in lots of controversial questions to challenge assumptions and encourage more in-depth analysis. We stop to give acknowledgement to someone who has made a point that has got everyone else thinking along a different path.

Leadership

Whilst there are opportunities for several students to have a go at leading, not all will have a chance to play that role. However, the content throughout the day serves to encourage plenty of reflection on the role of a leader and the wise words he or she might deliver to inspire, direct or gain the support of the tribe.

Questioning Skills

During debates, students are encouraged to see the questions within the question, opening up the complexity for what might first appear as a simple dilemma. Students are commended for asking an intriguing question for others to consider, even if they themselves don’t have an immediate answer. The concluding activity is all about celebrating exciting, provocative, daring, intriguing questions in their own right that could lead on to even more fascinating or complex debate.

Problem Solving

There is plenty of problem solving in this course but it’s more of an academic, theoretical nature than hand-on fixing with a definite answer. (Go to Crime Squad  or Mission X , if you’re looking for more of that kind of problem solving). The dilemmas that arise as the island story develops demand solutions that could be applied in theory and for which there will always be room for debate. “How do you deal with rebels?” might be the problem for which numerous solutions could be proposed for evaluation.

If you choose to book this course (or you are a parent of a student due to attend this course), please refrain from mentioning that it is about political ideology as we leave students blissfully unaware of this parallel until the end when all is revealed and they discover that they are now genuinely interested in politics! If you’re a student who’s coming along, we’re impressed that you’ve read this far and oops, we’ve blown our cover! Perhaps you could help us keep a secret and you can tell us at the end that you knew all along…

“This course has made a massive impact on my life towards how I think about things. I loved the feeling of independence and responsibility and the fact that the skills I learnt could be used later in life.”
“Amazing! Informing, detailed, realistic, imaginative… WOW!”

Students from Henrietta Barnett School
“It made me think and question more about bigger issues which I haven’t really thought about before”
“It makes you think about life and leadership. It makes you think like an adult and become responsive to opinions and question.”

Students from Hodge Hill Sports and Enterprise College
“The course was mind-blowing, terrific and fun.”
“I learned that when I speak, people listen.”

Students from Preston Manor High School
“I feel more confident to stand up and voice my opinion to a large group of people.”
“This course has made a difference to me because I thought that politics was boring but at the end we were told that we’d be doing politics, and I loved it!”

Students from Lyndhurst School
“It’s made me think about asking better questions and thinking about different possible outcomes.”
Student from St Bernards Catholic Grammar School

“I enjoyed getting up to lead a conversation. I really didn’t think I’d be able to do it but I felt really good when I did.”

Pocklington School

“Fun, involving, makes you think about important issues and helps you learn to make decisions.”

Student from Marlwood School
“It was fun and useful from practical things to thinking and good for debating skills.”
“Brilliant! It has helped me develop as a person.”
“The day was great because we had to think for ourselves.”

Students from St Edwards School, Cheltenham
“It’s made me think more about the difficulties in decision making the government has to face.”
“An interesting, thought-provoking day that has made me think about what our society lacks and how we depend on property and material objects.”

Students from Leeds Grammar School

“The course has actually made a difference to me because I have learned to be more confident to say what I think, just like other people were today.”

Student from Skegness Grammar School
“I found the debate about the minorities most interesting because I feel quite strongly about this topic and today I got the chance to voice my opinion with others challenging and this is the only real chance I’ve had to do this.”
“I enjoyed the fact that we were given the power to call and run our own meetings, to debate about our course of action, instead of the group debates being run by adults.”

Students from St Birinus School
“It made me use skills I have never used before.”
“Very fun and energetic and I’ve learnt about everything going on around me which I never used to consider.”

Students from St Gregory’s Science College
“It has helped me to see what you can really do in just 6 hours!”
“Phenomenal! A.K.A. Excellent!”

Students from Carr Hill High School
“Very different and exciting. I would definitely do it again and recommend it.”
Student from Queen Mary’s High School

“The freedom we were given was interesting and very different from what usually happens at school.”

Student from Parmiters School

“It made me see that I am good at things I didn’t know I was good at before.”

Student from Freeman College

They say…

“Now I can definitely win arguments against my brother! It has opened my eyes to a whole new world of possible answers.”

Student from St Swithun’s School

“This was brilliant compared to all the other courses I’ve had in my 17 years. Truly inspirational, I have no higher praise.”

Student from Warlingham College

“It made me excited to challenge myself more. Very well managed and structured leading to a brilliant course.”

Student from Farmors School

“I was constantly motivated and recharged with varying discussions and tasks.”

Student from Gordons School

“Enriching, and I’m now more aware of the complexities of questions and the intellectual debate that could follow.”

Student from Eastbourne College

“I found this day exciting, exhilarating and full of new ideas and things for me to enjoy.”

Student from Merchant Taylors’ School

“The puzzles were thrilling to solve but also very clever and challenging.”

Student from Newbold Community School

“We got to do everything ourselves and think for ourselves without being spoonfed.”

Student from Sibford School

“I enjoyed getting up to lead. I really didn’t think I’d be able to do it but I felt really good when I did.”

Student from Pocklington School

“Amazing and a huge learning curve for me and the whole of my year group. It really developed my communicating skills.”

Students from Blackheath High School

“It was just fantastic. I loved it! The best bit was seeing everyone’s amazing designs.”

Student from Oakham School

“100% the best course I’ve ever been on. A great experience and I would love to do it again. Every activity was amazing.”

Student from John Fisher Community College

What makes
us different

Our tasks are 100% original, our leaders are experienced and our approach is dynamic.
Read more

Breaking
barriers

Students learn and focus best when they feel happy, accepted and comfortable. Breaking down social barriers will have a direct impact on their academic success.
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2017-10-26T16:56:26+00:00