Yesterday saw our first cohort of the summer arrive and settle into summer school life within the shining, sun-kissed glass walls of St Catherine’s College. Sometimes derided for being a more ‘modern’ build amongst Oxford’s more traditional cloisters and quadrangles, St Catz held its own yesterday as students delighted in its sprawling lawns, high-ceilinged dining hall and striking outdoor sculptures.
Once rooms had been found and bags dropped on beds, our campus counsellors led students in a tour around the college, culminating in afternoon tea for students and their families (to celebrate not only the students’ arrival but the return of the summer weather!). Students got to know their classmates over door-stopping slabs of cake, swapping stories and first impressions of Oxford.
With friendships struck up and parents fare-welled, students met Programme Director Dennis, who gave them a warm welcome talk and set ground rules and expectations for the next two weeks; Dennis particularly emphasised how much students stand to learn from each other as well as from our teachers, both inside and outside the classroom.
Dinner with the counsellors at the long tables of the Catz dining hall was a friendly affair, and flowed seamlessly into a series of icebreakers in the grounds. Students bolstered their knowledge of their new friends and classmates in a round of Two Truths and a Lie, and impressive shapes and strikes were made in a game of Ninja. Students then took advantage of the late summer sunset to explore the campus together before bedtime.