Kyle Wilcock gives a personal review of the recent 3 day residential to Manchester Metropolitan University. Five Year 10 students were successful in their applications:
DAY 1 – Tuesday 14th July 2015:
On the first day of the trip we arrived at school at the usual time and then found out we didn’t need to be there until 9:55am, therefore we sat excited and patiently in the inclusion room waiting for our coach. The five students attending the trip were; Kyle Wilcock, Stephen Oldfield, Evie Turner, Lois Shaw and Abbie Radcliffe. As 9:55 approached we all waited at the gates for our coach, 30 minutes past and it wasn’t looking hopeful, would we get there on time? Would we look silly if we were late? And no we didn’t and yes we did look silly! The coach was an hour and a bit late, so we got some refreshments from sixth from and boarded the coach. When getting on the coach no one spoke… We stopped at many different schools and picked up quite a bunch of all different students who we later on became great friends with. Finally we arrived, dropped our bags off in a room and then made our way to a crowded lecture theatre and felt a little daft as we were an hour and half behind schedule!
We were then briefed on the activities of the day and told what we would be doing during the other two days and the rules of the university and campus. Having done this we were split into groups to carry out different tasks and an ambassador (volunteer student from the university) who would look after us for the day time activities. We then filled in a questionnaire and went to lunch, the food was amazing and very filling, and it was as much as you can eat! Having done this, and being full up to the top we then arrived and a huge door where the words lecture theatre were carved in the wall to watch a 2 man performance by Ed and Phil from 2engage theatre.
As we sat to watch this performance we didn’t know what to expect but it was fantastic, they played a range of colourful and bubbly characters who were talking of their time at university and the jobs they would have got if they hadn’t been! It was one of my favourite parts of the residential! When the half hour play came to an end, the two performers took us to a sports hall to play some getting to know you games which consisted of us all standing in height/ name order without saying a word, which was tricky, but did get completed! Then building the tallest tower from paper and art straws which could hold a tin of beans, my team definitely lost!
Then we collected our bags as the day sessions were over and went to check in at the Cambridge Halls of residence. Our apartment consisted of ten rooms, 2 showers and 2 toilets and a large kitchen/communal area. We began to feel right and home and really had a laugh and had long conversations with our new flat mates. Then we had yet again another splendid meal and had some free time before being taken to Z arts where we chose to activities to do. It was nice as we went in the room to be briefed as I met up with my old drama teacher from 2008, Paul. The activities were a large and wild range but me and Stephen chose DJing and Screen Printing. These were unusual and rare classes to take and we had a great time and I think Evie and Lois had fun doing the drumming session as we did as being a DJ for the evening. When the workshops finished we walked back to the halls with a security man who we named Dave and went to sleep… The first day was fantastic and was only going to get better…
DAY 2 – Wednesday 15th July 2015:
At 8:30am we all had to be ready for breakfast and by 8am there wasn’t one person missing we were all so eager to get to breakfast… What a breakfast! All you can eat full English…Yum! Having over indulged we were then put into our daytime groups and set to do different tasks and challenges throughout the day. The first task we did was led by the student ambassadors and that was a sociology task, we had to remember lots of pictures from the board and write them down and try to win… I think me, Evie and Lois got 37 out of 40… All going well so far.
The next task was an art session where we had to make a paper flower as we focused on the theme of bees, we were all buzzing! Haha, we weren’t too keen on this particular task but made them never the less and were stuck with our “creations” all day! The next activity was the best of all, and we all agreed on this… We were taken out side and had to walk on stills and thin pieces of wood in groups of five… This was tricky but once you got into the flow of it, it was easy to move and both the teams I was in won.
Next, it was dinner time, but we were all full from breakfast, never the less, we definitely made plenty of room! The last session of the day was with the group leader we were given on day one. She did PM question time where we all thought of a thing in the world to change and did a speech. Stephen was in his element and of course won, future PM that one. Then Evie and Lois did an improvised one for our team which was very inventive… Well done girls!
Finally, we were told that on the last day we would have to do a group presentation and ours had to be all about the disco. So we set about filming our thoughts and how we thought we would feel about it and briefed some ideas and just had a good dance in practice for the upcoming disco that evening!
Next, we then had some free time and again a beautiful evening meal thanks again to the cook, our compliments to the chef. We socialised and got changed into our evening clothes ready for the disco! Then… we walked to where the disco would be held at the students union and we were given some drink tokens, only juice! And we sang, danced and ate all evening long and according to Evie, the sausage rolls were on point! Some of us enjoyed the disco more than others as me and Lois sat thinking get me out of here, Stephen, Evie and Abbie were up dancing! Some people had a very good time dancing with others at the disco and they know who they are!
Having been to the disco we then went home to the campus, got out of the party mood and had a long, well needed sleep…
DAY 3 – Thursday 16th July 2015 – THE LAST DAY
On the first morning we all packed our bags, left our flats and placed our bags all together in a lecture room. Then trying to beat the rest of the flats to it ran to have our last gorgeous breakfast which was as always the high light of the morning. Then again we prepped for our presentation and filmed our after thoughts of the disco and practised our dance moves to perform to the rest of the students and some parents!
Then as we hoped and prayed that it would go ok we moved our rehearsal into a huge lecture theatre, but luckily my group had the whole room to ourselves! We could make a fool of ourselves in style. As we geared up for the final performance we went for our last meal of fish and chips which was 5 star as usual! Also, some parents joined us for dinner but none of ours did, they were all from other schools, but got a bad reception from their sons and daughters, who made them feel very unwelcome!
Finally, the moment had come to perform our final presentation, everything was ready and we swallowed our pride as we performed to a full lecture theatre and had a ball! As the proceedings finished, the leader of the summer school, Hannah, said a few words and handed out 8 certificates, I won best hair in the summer school! And Stephen won most helpful! Making Crompton House shine out from the rest! As we all said a teary good-bye to all our new friends and exchanged contact details we boarded the buses back to school and returned for 4:00pm.
I’d just like to say on behalf of us all a big thankyou to all for giving us this marvellous once in a life time experience, it was great and we now have a larger social circle and we were even invited to a reunion next year which I’m sure we will all attend! I hope this opportunity arises again!
BY KYLE WILCOCK.
Photographs courtesy of Stephen Oldfield.