Session 5 is well and truly underway and ORA students at Balliol College have been engrossed in their studies and extracurricular activities, including walking tours and punting.
Walking Tour and Quiz
The week began with a walking tour around Oxford in order to show pupils the most famous sites. Some recognised the famous Radcliffe Camera and Bodleian Library from pictures they had seen online, whilst others were keen to hear about the history of the iconic buildings.
Having ventured below the Bridge of Sighs and photographed the Sheldonian theatre, it was time for everyone to return to Balliol for dinner before the exciting welcome quiz.
Teams formed quickly and pens were held eagerly as the quiz began and students joined the battle of intelligence. With different rounds giving everyone the chance to participate with their specialist knowledge, it was great to watch the teams listening intently to one another and making group decisions. The evening was competitive, intellectually stimulating and full of laughter as teams revealed their scores and loudly supported each other.
Punting and Croquet
Staying in England inspired many of the ORA pupils at Balliol to join the punting trip on the River Cherwell. Taking to the traditional boats in small groups, it was clear that the afternoon was going to be amusing and laughter-filled.
Counsellors demonstrated how to punt using a long pole, before handing the reins over to the students themselves. Some opted out of having a try, preferring instead to relax and observe the wildlife, but others were raring to have a go at powering the world-famous punts.
With everyone merrily laughing on the river and remarking at the scenery, the afternoon sped by and soon it was time to head back to the College.
To complete their day in the life of a traditional Englishman, pupils joined in with a game of croquet on the College Lawn. Mallets were armed and hoops were ready as students took to the lawn in an effort to learn this English game. The slow and relaxed pace was welcomed by those who were worn out from punting, but others found the game frustrating and decided to watch instead!
Regardless, an afternoon of English activities was a lot of fun for staff and students alike, with the sun even deciding to smile down on the ORA group.
The chance to run around in the good weather was seized by ORA students at Balliol in the free time this week. Grabbing footballs and basketballs, pupils sprinted to the court and field to release some energy after days of interesting lessons.
Though they have only known each other for a short time, it is clear to see that strong friendships have already formed between students. The added element of friendly rivalry during the games was enjoyed by those playing, who laughed with their friends throughout.
The week ahead brings Masterclasses, an excursion to the famous Pitt Rivers Museum and artistic workshops, so stay tuned to keep up to date with ORA students at Balliol.