After a fantastic day of graduations and a truly memorable two weeks, we take a look back at some of the highlights here at Balliol.
It only seemed like yesterday that our students were arriving for the first time to begin their studies. Our Balliol 16-18 Programme prides itself on reaching into a wide variety of Subject areas. This year, the campus was alive with everything from Engineering Preparation to Film Academy. Lessons this year have aimed to give students as holistic an exposure to their subjects as possible, with presentations, group exercises and long-term projects keeping time in the classroom anything but mundane!
The course over the last two weeks has even gone outside the classroom, with a host of esteemed guest speakers and Masterclasses helping to make the course even more exciting. The weekend’s discussion on the role of technology going into the future, hosted by former Gadget Show presenter Jason Bradbury, was a thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking session, and the students seemed to be completely engrossed. Another highlight was the University Discussion Panel from the other day, with some great points being made on University life.
However, the students have been able to go so much further than the curriculum, having had plenty of time to socialise and make friends with one-another. Amidst the idyllic Balliol College backdrop, students bonded over games of table-tennis on the lawn, as well as Tag Rugby and Football at Uni Parks. There was also ample free-time to venture out into the City of Oxford, or simply stroll the campus with friends in tow.
The weather has been exceptional these past weeks, which made the abundance of Excursions all the better. It all kicked off with a trip to the centre of Oxford: a crash course in the history and culture of one of the world’s greatest cities. And then, who could forget the ORA Olympics? It was an incredible day, and with weather to match. Perhaps the greatest excursion however was the students’ recent visit to London’s prestigious West End. With the choice of four musicals, there was something for everybody, and even the chance to go shopping and explore London.
And of course nobody could forget the stunning Graduation Ceremony. The students received formal recognition for all of their hard work during the course, with some special mentions and even a dinner afterwards. Members of staff also received recognition, and it was great to see everybody having such a good time right to the end.
What a fantastic fortnight it’s been here at Balliol. With so much having been learnt and so many new friendships being forged, you’d think it’d have been longer! On behalf of the entire ORA Team, good luck to our new graduates!