The first ORA programme at Yale came to its conclusion over the weekend, but not before an exciting final few days of public speaking and teamwork.
Pupils were divided into small teams to research a persuasive argument during the group debate. With the motion announced as ‘This House believes the voting age should be reduced to 16’, it was up to the teams to produce convincing and well-reasoned arguments to conduct a successful debate.
The Common Room was chosen as the battleground and it didn’t take long for the arguments to begin flying across the room, with quick retorts being thrown back even faster. The debate revealed the significant improvements in public speaking throughout the group, with the lessons and activities during the week proving to be a success.
Public Speaking Competition
Continuing with improving their abilities to speak confidently to an audience, the students participated in a public speaking competition.
Everyone took it in turns to stand in front of the class and present, focusing on their calm and relaxed posture and tone. It was wonderful to see the support of the pupils, who were quiet and respectful during everyone’s speeches.
APD Alex got everybody warmed up with a Mind Gym session in their last few days staying at Yale. Aimed to alter core beliefs through instilling positivity and proactivity, the session incorporates movements with brain activity and encourages students to change their ways of thinking.
Though everyone chuckled during the activity, enjoying the different exercises, it importantly provided the group with a new way of thinking and approaching problems.
Returning to the Escape Rooms was one of the final activities of the week for ORA students at Yale. Once again testing their detective and teamwork skills, the experience in a different room was just as much fun as the first time, if not more.
At the start of the week, the group successfully completed an Escape Room, but by the end, they finished with the quickest time yet on the leaderboard! What a fantastic testament to the success of the team building workshops and activities that the pupils have participated in during the week.
Final Group Dinner
To finish the fantastic week on a high, students came together and feasted with a Brazilian group meal. For some, the evening presented the perfect opportunity to say goodbye to their good friends and exchange contact details. Others took the chance to take lots of photos together as they laughed merrily around the table about the amazing week they had in New Haven.
After dinner came dessert and what better place to bid Yale farewell than a rooftop restaurant in New Haven? Ice cream and sweet treats caused great excitement and everyone had a jovial last evening together.
How fast the week at Yale has gone! New York, New Haven and action-packed days have kept students busy and experiencing as much of the local area as possible. It’s incredible how much the improvements in team building and leadership skills are evident and we are certain that the lessons learnt during the week will prove useful in the future.