Teamwork, resilience, determination and creativity were just some of the skills that students at Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy learnt during a week of diverse activities.
The whole academy took part in Intensive Learning Week, which saw traditional lessons replaced with sessions designed to raise aspirations and encourage students to try something new.
They included a talk from climber Matt Dickinson, an author and climber who has scaled Everest and produces TV shows for the National Geographic and Discovery channels.
He said: “I hope that by talking to the students I’ve encouraged them to have an interest in nature and really think about their environment. I also hope that I’ve encouraged them to embrace adventure and consider taking responsible risks.”
Students enjoyed a Cambodian tea ceremony and learnt some Vietnamese during activities aimed at boosting cultural awareness.
Careers were at the forefront of sessions for Year 10 with talks and activities run by local colleges and sixth forms as well as the British Army and the YMCA.
Sessions with a sporting theme included rock climbing, archery, wheelchair basketball and urban golf.
Students combined a range of skills when they made fizzing bath bombs as part of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) activity.
John Newcombe, Head of Science at the academy, said: “The students made bath bombs and tried out the different scents before deciding on the one they liked. Then they designed the packaging for their product before costing it. Finally they were asked to present their product to their classmates and the idea was that they used a whole range of useful skills from Maths to Design.”
Year 8 students went on a cultural trip to Derby where they visited Quad and Derby Theatre and enjoyed workshops on animation, costumes and make-up.
Students took part in workshops run by a company called Humanutopia, while Year 9 learnt CPR, listened to a talk by the Fire Service and worked with representatives from the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
Principal Nia Salt said: “Intensive Learning Week is an opportunity for all of our students to push themselves out of their comfort zone, to apply their learning to the real world and to ideas for their future and to learn about new and exciting subjects that we don’t always get opportunities to do.

“Here at OIEA we are always encouraging our students to look beyond the normal and everyday and have high expectations.

“Everything that they have had the opportunity to learn about this week will help them progress as learners and to be the best that they can be.

“We are lucky to have such creative and innovative staff who arrange the majority of the activities and are so grateful to the providers from outside who came to support our drive for excellence.”

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