Pupils from Sanday, Stronsay and Westray Junior High Schools have recently experienced a day at Orkney College UHI, taking part in activities and familiarising themselves with the building and some of the courses available there.
The pupils are all currently in S3, but when they move into S4 many of them will be taking subjects as part of their school timetable which can be studied at the college. They will also be exploring their post-school options, with many of them considering Modern Apprenticeships, Further or Higher Education courses which can be studied at Orkney College.
The pupils came over to the mainland the night before their visit and stayed at Papdale Halls of Residence. This gave them a chance to experience life in the hostel and meet some of the staff based there. This is an important part of their transition from Junior High School, especially if they intend to continue their education at Kirkwall Grammar School, when they will stay at the hostel throughout the week.
In the morning, they came up to the college, where they were given a tour of the building and had a chance to meet staff and hear about some of the courses available. They then spent the day in the Construction Department taking part in activities.
The first activity was a design task where they were given a brief to re-design a classroom. They were given a set of questions to consider including: the budget; the requirements for the space including storage and, timescales for completion. Armed with this information, they were then able to sketch their ideas at the drawing board.
They also had to develop mood boards to help with the colour scheme of the room and to identify furniture and storage solutions.
The pupils came up with some great design ideas and really let their imaginations go.
After a lunchbreak in the college canteen, they undertook a practical task in the joinery workshop, constructing a bird house. First year apprentices worked with pupils to help them with this activity. This was a good learning opportunity for the apprentices as well, helping them to develop their communication skills.
Feedback from the pupils was really positive, with one pupil saying: “It was great learning how to build a bird house we were showed all the different steps to learn how to do it ourselves, rather than just watching. I enjoyed the day overall; it was a good experience to use the tools in the workshop and have a tour around the college. Staying at the Halls was a great experience too.”
This event was a great chance for isles pupils to experience life at the hostel and at the college, and everyone seemed to enjoy their visit, heading home with their completed bird houses.
We want to say a huge thank you to the staff at Orkney College UHI who supported the visit, especially the staff and apprentices in the construction department who organised and supported the activities.