Culture at its Finest

Being in a cultural society such as African Society is truly a blessing. My home is about a 10 hours and 45 minute flight away (South Africa), which is very far away. It’s hard being away from home; some find it easy and others find it quite difficult, and it’s important to have some sort of connection with your “roots” when you feel disconnected (physically and perhaps emotionally) from your home.

African Society has shown me that home isn’t so far away. Although my home is far from all the other Africans in our society, we share so many interests and traditions which enables me to learn so much about the different cultures in the one culture we all share of being an African. We have celebrated Nigerian Independence Day (1st October; 1960) together which is where I tried Nigerian food for the first time in my life, which is truly incredible. I have also been able to see and learn different traditional dances in all the African cultures we have within our society.

Benefits of being in African Society are knowledge, understanding, freedom and fun! Knowledge due to being able to learn so much about other people, which I believe is important in life – because that’s how people are able to live harmoniously. Understanding as we get to know one another in our society, which means that we are able to influence each other in a positive way and grow to be great people in the future, making great decisions. Freedom is a benefit too because we are able to be who we are without being judged in a negative way in our society, which is something I find special about the school in general… as no one will judge you.

Lastly, the most important benefit is having fun, which is truly what happens in African Society! We take care of each other, we laugh with each other and maybe at each other (as a joke) and we simply have fun in all we do, which is the most important part.

Natalie Rutagamirwa – 6.1

Changing the Face of Dance at Concord

Dance… a word that holds a lot of meaning for me. A word that I believe brings joy in most events. A word I have been in love with for 7 years. A word I wanted to make well-known in Concord College. Weeks after joining Concord in January 2017, the desire to dance and train magnified to the point where training once a week in town was not enough. My friend, Alua and I decided to finally form and lead a new dance club – one that could quench even my own thirst for dancing. I wanted to expose the people of Concord to the world of dancing, where anything is possible through discipline and resilience.

Every week, depending on popular demands and requests, we would teach students a variety of dances which included Street Dance, Latin American and Contemporary. A different but original choreography would be taught each week. Training together is not just for the enjoyment but also to emphasise the point of stepping outside of our comfort zone, and by giving performing opportunities to those who show dedication, ambition and improvement in the short amount of time we have been training. An upcoming opportunity, for example, would be the chance to perform at the Mayor’s Concert in Shrewsbury this November.

To me, dance is more than a sport or a hobby. It is a passion. Dance is something to work hard at, something worth sacrificing time for no matter how exhausted I get and something to show people who I am as a person. A dance studio is where I shed sweat and tears that have moulded me into who I am today. It is where people can build on their teamwork, flexibility, confidence and where I have learnt to never give up for what I desire most. Hence, the name of our club – “The Dance Studio.” I resolve to share my views and spread the love of dance, in hope that people see, especially in a place like Concord – where yes, exams are the top priority which can lead to careers and ambitions that keep us alive… but we need to take the time to appreciate and enjoy the things that we are alive for!

Narissa Hanim – 6.2

The Concord Talent Show 2017

MY TALENT SHOW EXPERIENCE

It was with a nervous explosion of butterflies that I stepped out of the wings onto the stage on Thursday night. With each step across the stage I felt my heart beating louder and louder and LOUDER. It was only when I opened my eyes and looked at the sea of familiar and unfamiliar faces that I felt myself breathe again. There was not one unfriendly or unsupportive smile beaming back at me. With a smile at Alisar, we began our spoken word, ‘Gratitude’ by Natalie Patterson.

The talent show was an incredible experience from start to finish. From the auditions and crazy nights spent rehearsing over and OVER, to the backstage laughter and nervous jokes. From running around trying to find the next person due on stage, to performing and being congratulated – it was a night I will never forget. I will especially never forget the winner, Rui Chong’s performance of ‘Vanilla Ice’ – words really do fail me.

I am so grateful to have been given the chance to perform with such a great friend to such a great audience. If the talent show is anything to go by, my first year of Sixth Form is going to be incredible.

Chloe Young – 6.1

A Day in the Life: ‘A Typical Wednesday’

A Day in the Life: ‘A Typical Wednesday’

8:35

So far in the term, I have either an assembly or a PSHE session on Wednesday mornings. Class then commences as usual.

9:20

I have all my classes on Wednesday, except for Physics. I start off with Applied Maths in Evergreen Oaks, followed by two Art periods, which requires me to take a nice, relatively long walk out to the art block (but I get to see dogs on the way so it’s not that bad).

11:20

Come break-time, I only have one more class for the day. From the art block, I head towards Horse Chestnut for Pure Maths.

12:20

I am free for the day! I usually do not eat lunch in school on Wednesdays, as I like to go to town and get food there. I’m sure a lot of you would do the same!

14:00

(Probably in town by now)… Off to get lunch at either one of my go-to places. I would get some groceries with my friend, wander around shops. I find this to be a nice time to release mid-week stress amid university applications and admission tests preparation.

18:30

For first prep, I attend band coaching. Again, another time to relax and destress.

19:20

Second prep – time to do work again! And when that ends, I would spend time with friends and just relax for the rest of the night.

I would consider Wednesday as my most laid-back day. In addition to Wednesday being a half-day, I also have some extracurricular activities. When the day comes to an end, the last two days before Saturday tests arrive – and hence more studying commences.

– Tiffany Lim 6.2

 

Concord Life 2

Hope the last entry has helped you know more about the life in an international boarding school. This entry is about boarding students.

Q: When is the next Open Day?

A: Every day is our Open Day. You can pay the campus a visit any time during term time, we are always more than welcome to have you as a guest.

Q: What is the food like?

A: In the dining room we have usually five entrees, four deserts, two soups. We have a cold deli bar and three salad bars aside from the usual selections. Grab-and-go is also available. For those have special dietary requirements, you can tell the dining room staff.

Q: Where does a boarding student need to go to get his/her laundry done?

Each student will get his/her own laundry bag from the school in the beginning of the school year. You can then put your dirty clothes in it and pop in the common room/foyer of his/her boarding house on the laundry day. Cleaning staff will collect and wash them. Just before lessons end, they will return the bag with clothes folded (A really nice touch indeed).

Q: As the campus is quite big, how does the school do to ensure that a student is in or not?

A: Student ID cards. We have student card readers equipped in every classroom, Main Hall, the dining room, Old Chapel Common Room, West End, Acton Pigot and Burnell House.

Q: Do you have societies representing my own country?

A: Yes. We take pride ourselves as an international boarding school, but none us forget our own roots. As the school is more diversified than ever, there are more societies than ever participating the forthcoming Spring Concert, bringing their home cultures to Acton Burnell. (See above for the photo of some of them in their costumes for the concert.)

Hope you find the above information useful. See you for the next installment.

Yanshing Cheung 6.1

Concord Life 1

As quite a lot of the web traffic of this blog is not from Concord, we have decided to write a series of blog entries regarding on different aspects of the life in Concord, in order to allow everyone to taste a slice of Concord school life. This series will be conducted in form of a Q&A format.

Q: Where is Concord College?

A: Concord is situated in Acton Burnell, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Shropshire is a part of the West Midlands and close to the England-Wales border. Shrewsbury is the largest town in Shropshire. Acton Burnell is a small village with a population less than 300. Acton Burnell had been strategically important to England as it was both next to the main road to London and on the border with Wales.

Q: How big is Concord College?

A: In terms of the actual area, it is larger than 80 acres. In terms of the students, we have more than 500 students.

Q: How can I visit Concord College?

A: Depends on where you are from. There is a bus running between Church Stretton and Shrewsbury which stops via Acton Burnell Post Office, which is 2 minutes’ walk from the main campus.  If you are from other places, a taxi is recommended.

Q: Is the life in Concord College boring?

A: NO! Although we are an academic school, we are fun people. The campus has plenty to offer, we have two state-of-art sports halls, many different varieties of activities, from horse-riding to chess, or archery to bee-keeping, there is more than one for you for sure.

Q: I’m a city dweller, can I survive?

A: We are city dwellers too. Living in a village isn’t necessarily a bad thing, given that there are fewer distractions. However, there are coaches to town every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon, every Sunday morning and an evening coach to cinema every Saturday evening. Day trips to the UK are held during the weekends and half term.

We hope this would help you to know Concord College more. See you next week.

Yanshing Cheung 6.1