Yesterday it was our pleasure to welcome our new Session 5 students, along with their parents and family members, to Yarnton Manor. Excitement was strong on both sides: students arrived at the Manor with gleeful smiles and palpable quantities of energy and verve for the weeks ahead; on our side, campus staff were ready and waiting, eager to deliver welcome packs into students hands and bags to rooms, and help students feel at home in their new, quite grand, surroundings.
This group, it must be said, did not require a great deal of help on that front―students were quick to introduce themselves to classmates and staff, and seemed relaxed and confident taking tea in the drawing room and strolling around the grounds. When parents had bestowed their last goodbye kiss and Polonius-style advisements for newfound independence, they departed from the Manor in the knowledge that their children were in safe hands.
Students were then warmly and formally welcomed by Programme Director Christine and her team in the marquee. Christine had sage advice and galvanising exhortations for students: “take every opportunity, make an effort to know each other, assume everyone here is your friend and you won’t go far wrong.”
Following that, students made the most of the English weather by conducting ice-breaker games inside. The stately rooms offered a storied setting for games such as Mafia, Ninja and Wink Murder, and students worked up a good appetite for the delicious dinner that was then served in the Long Gallery; English Kings, Queens and Cardinals looked down fondly on the jollity of the evening meal from their pitches on the walls, and wished all the best for the two weeks to come. Then, as jetlag took over some, and others the wish to wake up fresh for the first day of lessons, all proceeded bedwards for their first night’s sleep in the cosy comfort of the Manor cottages.