Week One Teamworking and ice breaking session
The first lecture set the tone for the rest of the term – lots of activity, lots of interaction, and plenty of moving around! The room was set up to encourage small group working; with balls of wool to link connections, students found things in common with others in their group – from a shared love of a particular sport, to living in the same part of the country, or being active musicians, there was certainly more in common than first meets the eye!
Then it was time to get up and move – the word TEAMWORK was flashed up on the screen and students were instructed to get into teams and physically spell out the word teamwork with prizes being awarded for the best efforts. There was amazing core strength and trust evident as teams worked out their personal and shared ‘letter’. All teams did a fantastic job making it impossible to choose a single winner and so two teams shared the glory (or toothbrushes).
Week four Lecture on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Cross Cultural Communication
Year 1 students were set the task of bringing in an item or object that reflected their cultural identity to discuss with their peers. Food and clothing were favoured items, we had fabrics reflecting different regions and photos of students dressed in cultural clothes sparked wider discussions about how universal celebrations such as weddings differ culturally in their presentations. Whilst some cultural items were familiar to most students, others, such as the traditional hat from Afghanistan, was not an item that many students had seen before. A t-shirt labelled “made in Bangladesh” offered an interesting take on the importance of culture and place on identity. Discussions about hair and haircare emphasised how different cultures have different approaches to hair styles and management.
Sadly, the promise of African doughnuts didn’t materialise on the day, however there was no shortage of food, with scones, Melton Mowbray pork pies and cheese being shared around. Welsh cakes, leeks, rugby tops and the Welsh flag identified a strong Welsh presence in this year’s cohort.
Some students brought in pictures of revolutionary and cultural heroes who shaped the history of their countries, and whose actions determined the language and cultural customs of their country, and are celebrated today.