This year has brought with it much uncertainty. But in all the commotion, uncertainty and upheaval the preservation of a buzzing co-curricular offer at Wilson's was always important to us. We have been incredibly pleased to be able to run an almost full timetable of clubs, activities and societies. A few weeks ago, two pupils who had not yet attended any lunchtime clubs but who were both keen to see what was available to them, set off on an adventure to try a different club almost every day of the week.
At Wilson's, there are many clubs which can be attended by the students throughout all years, which help people make new friends, learn new skills or gain new knowledge. On Mondays, there is Year 7/8 Maths Problem Solving Club, where you can tackle Maths challenges whilst helping and discussing with others how to solve it. The club is quite enjoyable, and it is easy to talk to each other and make friends. When I went to Problem Solving Club, the problems were mainly composed of word problems about averages and ranges or pie charts, as well as a few slightly different questions in between. On Tuesdays, there is Year 7 Chess Club, a club about, obviously, playing Chess, as well as seeing who is better and who can rise up the ranks! The club gets you to think and evaluate each other's moves carefully and slowly, or, if you are playing with a timer, try and outsmart people swiftly. I competed against a few of the people who had previously been to the club before I had, and one of the older children who helped run the club, however, since they were more skilled and experienced than me, they bested me. On Wednesdays, there is Politics Club, where you can discuss and debate things which have happened in Politics and the Media. The club is enjoyable, and it is easy to share your opinions with other people about current topics. This club is available for all years. When I went we discussed how Brexit would split Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and possible theories on why Trump wanted to become president and what he might do after he is out of the White House. I enjoyed some of the clubs so much I have been going back again (politics and chess). I learnt that there is more to school than the regular subjects.
Clubs give you the opportunity to meet a diverse range of people that allow you to expand your thinking, interests and other people's thoughts. A specific club may satisfy several aspects of interest for a student such as networking, to learn more about an academic subject or make friends. I attended several clubs this week. On Monday I went to Pride Club where we talked about LGBT bullying and how it affects people. Regular attendees told me that they enjoy the non-competitive nature of the club, wanting to learn about the world from all directions and said it was an 'accepting place'. On Tuesday I went to Geography Society, where pupils give speeches or watch geographical documentaries. We watched one by David Attenborough about animal adaptations. Members of the club said they enjoyed learning about the world, our society, the natural environment and the people around them. On Thursday I went to Year 8 Origami Club where pupils make objects out of colourful paper. Origami has many benefits as it helps to develop hand-eye coordination, sequencing and attention skills and patience. It can also help to reduce stress. We made baubles, which amazingly you could inflate by blowing into them (you could then deflate them to get them home safely to hang on your Christmas tree!) There were lots of people here so it was a very social space. I finished my week in Classics Club where Ms Banner gave a talk about Roman fashion. It was interesting to find out about the many different types of toga that were worn for specific reasons and that there were social and political meanings tied up in them. I enjoyed Origami club the most as I made new friends and I am going to continue to attend.
Jamal, the Wellbeing Prefect, and I also attended some clubs and what we found was a wide range of activities going on in every corner of the school. I enjoyed listening to the Year 7 and 8 debaters planning an argument about American politics. I was in awe of the concentration of the Year 7 chess players who played fast paced games to the accompaniment of relaxing Classical music. I popped into both History and Geography Societies and was happy to see a room almost full of students, socially distanced within bubbles, watching documentaries and listening to talks. And in between the running about between clubs I was able to hear various ensembles practicing in the JJ Hall - a treat usually reserved for the more secluded music rooms, and also bump into pupils, here on their day off, to rehearse for the upcoming school production.
I am truly amazed at the varied activities on offer, especially in this current climate. Thanks to Joseph, Dilakshan and Jamal for giving up their lunchtimes to help show you all the fun there is to be had. The full and dynamic list of activities can be found on the website and a new Wellbeing Noticeboard in the Foundation Board will contain more information and updates about the different clubs on offer. So what's stopping you trying something new in January?