Have you ever been to a castle-like campus with horses and a golf course? Have you tried to handmake a bamboo raft and then go rafting? Have you dissected a Guinea pig and drawn a map of its organs? Have you climbed on ropes in a forest adventure? Have you had an ICT class where you can move your body? Or, have you tried pottery-painting or played cricket? Here in our summer school at Wellington College in England, the 31 Junior High pupils from Huili School Hangzhou have experienced and enjoyed all these activities.
Let us hear from them and how they felt during their first week at the summer school.
I adore the vintage typical European architecture in the UK and the vibrant and varied woods. Sometimes, even listening to music in solitude here can provide a deep sense of pleasure. Here in this peaceful town, in this exotic country, people lead their own lives free from any hustle and bustle. I feel as if this land has taken me in, and I am completely happy.
When I arrived at Wellington College after landing in London and making the trip into the country last Sunday, I was amazed at the enormous size of the campus. With 160 years of history, the College is more like a history museum that has witnessed the glorious past of Great Britain. Bearing the charms of time, the beautiful campus is unique in its English style. Trees are tall like sun-proof umbrellas, shadowing us from wind and rain as well. They, together with the college, must have experienced a lot all these years.
The Wellington College campus is large and well-equipped. We have experienced various interesting activities. What I enjoyed the most was bamboo-raft making beside the Horsehoe Lake, which was not as hard as we had imagined before, as long as everybody worked together. That is when we learned to value teamwork, and I found it very meaningful.
Among many activities during the summer school, what impressed me most was how to make a bamboo-raft. It involved many steps and the materials were quite heavy. The raft was supposed to carry our 11 team members once completed, but we did not do well and fell over into the water. After careful reflection, we made some adjustments like tightening the ropes and precisely measuring the distance between barrels. This really is a thought-provoking activity, and I realised how important teamwork is.
The day after settling down at Wellington College we went to Horsehoe Lake to experience the fun of making rafts and learned the meaning of teamwork. Unfortunately, our raft was not perfect at first and soon we were left behind by the other two teams. Seeing them rafting further away, we quickly repaired our raft and caught up with them soon. It was not only interesting but also quite a learning moment for me.
Among all the courses, what impressed me most was the science course, where I have conquered my fear and managed to dissect a Guinea pig. I hope we could have more such unique and interesting courses in the future.
Science class has surely left a deep impression on me. It was my first time to dissect any specimen, and I was terrified by the Guinea pig’s scents at first, worrying too much that I might have damaged its organs when I started. But, in the end, I made it and gained a great sense of achievement. It made me realise that with great effort comes great prize, that the process matters more while solving a problem, and that learning from past experiences could be a shortcut to success. This learning process has brought me enormous joy.
Courses in Wellington College are both interesting and challenging. For instance, to dissect a Guinea pig and make a drawing of its organs is a test to our courage and hands-on skills. Meanwhile, there are all kinds of sports every day to build our body and teamwork skills. After class, we went on tours to the Natural History Museum in London, Buckingham Palace and Oxford University, which were so enchanting that I wish we could linger a little bit longer.
Our summer school life could not be arranged better. My biggest surprise was Windsor Castle, as I have never known an architecture style like this with such a profound history and rich anecdotes. As the Queen’s private garden, the castle itself carries the name of the British royal house. How magnificent this ancient building is! It makes my heart beat. Standing here, I can almost see myself in the midst of its prosperous and glorious past. I am delighted, shocked and more than thrilled to continue this worthwhile tour to England.
Life in summer school is fantastic. Apart from wonderful courses, we took tours to many scenic attractions in the country, and I think London Eye is without doubt the most impressive. When hitting its highest point, we couldn’t help cheering at the same time. Being at that height is dazzling yet exciting and pleasant, as if we have found the secret of the city. What an intoxicating and unforgettable experience!
I attended various classes in the Wellington College UK, not just learning knowledge but also learning how to become a qualified Wellington student. For example, in each single activity, I worked with others, helped peers and showed my kindness.
Courage, respect, integrity, kindness and responsibility, these are the values that Huili School Hangzhou shares with its sister school Wellington College UK. During the summer school, Huili pupils are experiencing as well as learning from a wide range of activities from boarding to classroom lessons, from the tour to Apsley House (i.e. the London townhouse of the Duke of Wellington) to fascinating courses. It is a second to none opportunity offered by the 160-year-old world-class College for our pupils to grow and flourish.