Our latest Catz cohort has departed Oxford, with all of the staff from St Catherine’s bidding them a very fond farewell. Their time on campus has come to an end, but thanks to their fantastic achievements during the past two weeks, they were able to leave in a blaze of glory! From trips to talks and games to graduation, it has certainly been a session to remember.
The students have tackled their academic programmes keenly. They have covered their subjects from a range of angles, looking at specific topics in lots of detail and gathering lots of information. They have also had the chance to test out their knowledge in controlled practical environments, such as the mock trial which the Law School Preparation students took part in. There were also team building exercises, trust exercises and essay planning lessons. Their work has been building towards their projects and presentations, the basis for their final marks, all of which were excellent.
A strong enrichment programme has reinforced the useful work which has taken place in the lessons. The students have had plenty of chances to look into areas other than those which they were studying. These have taken the form of lectures and masterclasses, with everyone who attended gleaning some very useful information from the sessions. Debate and public speaking workshops have enabled them to improve useful skills, whilst other events gave them expert tutoring in Architecture, Stock Markets, Comedy, Design and much more.
Off campus, the students have taken trips to see some of Oxford’s sights – including the stunning architecture. Tours of the city have proved popular, as has the chance to play games at the University parks, with football matches against some of their fellow campuses. The students also saw a West End show and had a lovely meal out on a trip to London.
All of these elements have been key to a wonderful atmosphere on campus, as the students have gelled well and embraced the chance to learn about not only Oxford culture, but also the cultures of their peers. Plenty of new friendships have been made during the session and the staff have noted how sociable everyone has been. This experience will stick with the students, and many may well call upon it if they find themselves in similar circumstances at university.
On the second Friday, after the final few lessons, the students celebrated having passed their courses and excelled in their assessments with a tremendous graduation ceremony! They took the acclaim of the assembled campus staff and students, and took great pride in their success. Again, this feeling will stick with them and spur them on in their journeys through higher education.
The past two weeks have seen the students make incredible strides in both their academic work and their personal development. They have gained experience and information which will aid them many times during their futures, and they’ve also managed to have a wonderful time in the process! They will be missed by the ORA team, but they will surely be able to stay in touch with the new friends that they have made, and they will look back very fondly on their time at St Catherine’s.