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Reflections on The Village Project 2016

6th June 16

 

The Village Project, which has run each year since 2013, was a great success yet again this term.

YR8 students have been preparing for their stay in the village, May 23-27, since before Easter break. The pre-village curriculum included sessions to help build the skills villagers would need to live in their own student-led community. Topics included leadership, forms of government, conflict resolution, negotiation strategies, team building, wellbeing, menu planning, cooking, and fire building. Class curriculum was synchronised with village learning in subjects such as art where students made totems and English study on islands.

YR8s built their own huts, decorated the interiors, and landscaped their plots in the lead up to the project. Week by week, the leafy treed section of the schoolyard surrounding the amphitheatre was transformed into a village.

During village week, students put their new skills into play. Elected student leaders Archie and Sophia led village meetings and helped the community make key decisions. Hut groups cooked their own meals on campfires and determined how they would spend each day. The activities on offer included drumming with Pat from CS on Monday, foraging with Chris Holland on Tuesday, tales from world renowned storyteller Ben Haggarty on Wednesday, and a Bumblebee Conservation Trust Safari with bee expert Allan Watson on Thursday. Eloise Wilkinson of Ringsfield Hall was with us Mon-Wed for bushcraft sessions. Blacksmiths Nic and Tony set up the forge for metal work all week.

Other activities during the week included tie dye T-shirts, wood craft, tia chi, knitting, ukulele, drama, orienteering, star gazing, slack lining, early morning jungle runs on the heath, and the sustainability challenge. For the first time, villagers led their own activities, such as pallet furniture making with Archie and Sam and paint making with Amelie and Calum. Another popular pastime was village Clue-do, a muder mystery game which students devised and played all week. For others, relaxing, getting to know new friends, or writing and drawing on their own was a priority over organised activities.

Prof Bill Lucas, an educational theorist from the University of Winchester, conducted research on learning in the village. His report will be shared with the school and published for others to read. Students reflected on the week in their village journals and documented it on air for KAS Village Radio. YR8s are also assembling a newsletter to remember their experiences by.

What was the best part of the week from the YR8s’ perspective? We suspect many will say it was British bulldog on the top courts on the final night of village week.

Special thanks to YR13 Photographer Max for capturing and sharing images of the village.You can see more of his work at www.maxkindersley.com

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