Downe House Unplugged…

In a world dominated by screen-time, we took our girls off timetable and asked them to ‘unplug’ from technology for a day of self-led study – and the result was phenomenal!

22 February 2021

Project Day presented an opportunity for girls to unplug from technology, to be completely off timetable and spend the day pursuing a project or studies of their own choosing. With the support of their tutors and Housestaff, every girl was invited to submit a plan for how they would spend the day and what they aimed to achieve, with the added challenge of making a productive and creative difference to herself by exploring one or more of the seven Downe House DNA characteristics – Compassion, Collaboration, Creativity, Communication, Aspiration, Resilience and Outward looking.

As Headmistress, Mrs McKendrick said,

At School, everyone has the chance to develop our seven Downe House DNA characteristics daily in the classroom, on the playing field, in the boarding house and everywhere in between. These core values are the hope, aim and challenge for every girl. That applies just as much now, whether we are offline or online, whether we are in school or at home. So Project Day is an opportunity to challenge yourself to make this a day of ‘unplugged learning’ filled with meaningful endeavour. Let your imagination take you on your own journey of discovery – make this day your own.

There was an impressive scope of plans submitted by the girls for Project Day which included volunteering at a local foodbank or helping a neighbour, creating an artwork, immersing oneself in a book, studying cells through a microscope, embroidery, crochet, breadmaking, exploring a new culture through food or music, cooking supper for the family, taking photographs or baking a show stopper cake and of course, making the most of getting outside to exercise and engage with nature as far as was possible given local restrictions.

After the day, the girls were asked to reflect on what they had achieved and what they had learned about themselves, and then to share their experiences with their Tutor or members of their Housestaff. Each House has nominated some of the stand-out projects to be rewarded for their exceptional depth, breadth, ambition and for their contribution through an act of service. AGS girl, Izzie was praised for service by spending the day helping to pack food boxes for a campaign that a friend of her mother’s had set up called ‘Feeding the Frontlines’; Scarlett in Remove was commended for the the depth of effort and imagination she brought to writing a short story and Housestaff commented on the breadth of the work and the ambition that Catherine in Holcombe put into the interactive farm tour that she created for a group of local children. ‘Observing nature’ was the project that Darwin girl, Lizzie chose and she spent the day looking through a microscope at cells from mushrooms, carrots and dust particles and taking photographs. Another Lower School girl, Eloise set up ‘Eloise’s Workshop’ and spent the day making pasta, sewing, taking photographs and cooking supper for her family.

A big thankyou to all the staff and families who supported the girls in so many ways to make their Project Day a success.

Click here to see more photos from the Downe House Unplugged Day

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