We Have Arrived in Oxford!
Here at our end, Global High School in Oxford has begun and the program is now well underway!
On Tuesday, we arrived in the town of Oxford and proceeded to St. Hilda’s, where students were assigned roommates and dorm rooms. After settling into our new residence, we were taken on a guided walking tour of this historic academic town. Oxford is the oldest English speaking university in the world, established in 1093. The town is incredibly charming and very walkable. After our first dinner in town, staff and students returned to their residence and by 9:30 p.m., everyone had collapsed into bed. It was a long and tiring first day of travel. We tried to keep students awake throughout the day in order to give everyone an opportunity to transition to UK time.
The grounds here are magnificent, fragrant with lavender and jasmine. The dorm rooms have wide-open windows overlooking the athletic fields and some include a river view. On Sunday, we plan to take boats and go punting down the Cherwell River, an Oxford tradition.
Breakfasts at St. Hilda’s are hearty, lunches are bought by students locally and dinners were booked for us this week in various restaurants in town. The employees here at Oxford are all very polite, cheerful and helpful making this a lovely and welcoming academic environment for all.
Students seem to have bonded quickly as many friendships are developing from this small group of 16 students. It is hard to imagine that our students met only a few days ago because they interact as though they’ve known each other for quite some time. They are a cheerful group of teenagers with a keen sense of humour.
All classes are well underway and teachers are experimenting with a variety of settings to stimulate student learning and engagement. Our program is fast-paced and the students will be busy with excursions in the coming days and weeks. The first week can seem overwhelming at first but students are getting into the rhythm and demonstrating their commitment to learning. Sometimes students require additional time to complete homework and assignments. Please know that with small classes there is plenty of support and help available during class time and Study Hall. Going out most evenings to explore the local culture is part of the Blyth Academy Global High School experience and encouraged. I am happy to report that many students are choosing wisely, trying to find a balance between getting their homework completed and enjoying leisure time.
This week, a few students decided to join Mr. Cronkite on his lunchtime run while others have been trying to keep up their fitness by exploring other activities. A number of students have expressed interest in joining me in mindfulness meditation.
Tomorrow, students will have a chance to sleep in, catch up on homework, throw in some laundry into the app-enabled laundromat or simply relax on the grounds. We have our first local museum visit in the afternoon followed by punting on the Cherwell River. I have reserved five punts by the St. Hilda’s grounds and challenged the students to a race against the teachers. Of course, none of us have ever punted before but there is nothing like a little healthy competition between staff and students. I will post the results in my next note. In the meantime, feel free to contact teachers and let me know if I can be of any help, in any matter. Kindly contact me on my Blyth Academy email account. In case of an emergency, you may try calling me at my new European number: 44-7470-707-963
Head of School