Lessons for ORA’s students in Jowett Walk began today. Courses in Enterprise, Fashion, Leadership and English –an eclectic mix— started to be taught, with students eager to shake off the remnants of jetlag and throw themselves as quickly as possible into their new classes, and friendships with their classmates. Indeed, counsellors were impressed to find the girls of Tower Three already chatting cheerfully over breakfast even before they walked in!
After lessons, students took part in the first in a series of workshops occurring throughout the week. Fashion students walked to the nearby Pitt Rivers museum, a famously jumbled collection of bizarre artefacts in a tangled maze of low-lit cabinets, for inspiration.
In the later afternoon, students in Jowett were given the chance to become more acquainted with Oxford on an organised tour of the city, taking in its quads, spires, libraries and arches.
As many were quick to observe to each other, Oxford is a truly beautiful town. Less beautiful, however, were considered the punishment practices of 17th-century Britain. Drawing attention to a statue of James I and VI set in the Tower of the Four Orders in the Chancellor’s Court of the Bodleian Library, the guide took the opportunity to relate to the students around her the way in which that king dealt with the would-be assassin Guy Fawkes –hung, drawn, and quartered— and the yearly tradition of Bonfire Night that it has given rise to since then, as well as the famous rhyme that accompanies it: ‘Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, gunpowder, treason, and plot. I see no reason, why gunpowder treason, should ever be forgot’. There were a lot of wrinkled noses and appalled faces as the students stared up again at the seated stone monarch.
In the evening students returned to their own base in Jowett Walk. After dinner, there were activities: a choice between a quiz, and a game of football. Counsellors were impressed by the girls’ knowledge of mythology, and students had a lot of fun trying to match babies’ faces with the counsellors accompanying them. When lights went out, laughter and a low murmur of talking could be heard throughout Jowett: the atmosphere is a very happy one.