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College Trips

students standing in front of the remains of the Berlin Wall

Stasi, Spionage und Showbusiness in Berlin 2019

By | College Trips, Film Studies, German, History, News | No Comments

In the very wee hours of the morning, the Berlin trip departed from Wyke Sixth Form College for 4 very full days of history, culture, participation in the Berlinale film festival and German language!  17 students, largely from the German and Film departments and 2 staff enjoyed a veritable smorgasbord of activities throughout the week and fell into bed exhausted every night, after averaging 22,000 steps each day!

On the first day we ascended the Berliner Fernsehturm, the tallest building in Europe. In the 1960s, the GDR government arranged to have the TV Tower built at its current location, with the aim of demonstrating the strength and efficiency of the socialist system in mind.  Today the Tower defines the silhouette of Germany’s capital city – a symbol of the reunified Germany, just like the Brandenburg Gate. We also saw a very moving Japanese film called ’37 seconds,’ which followed the struggles of a 23 year-old woman with cerebral palsy as she navigates the world of work and sexual relations. A real eye-opener, providing food for thought for all.

The next day we all visited the highly informative DDR museum, a vast treasure trove of East German artefacts and memorabilia with real insights into life behind the iron curtain. A well-balanced experience, the museum described the underbelly of socialism – how the elite, whilst preaching equality for all, creamed off the luxury goods, had private healthcare and escaped to secret holiday destinations.  The students experienced life in a Stasi prison cell and the lack of creature comforts in the Plattenbauten (GDR concrete apartment blocks). On the other hand the interactive displays described a happy life under socialism – where nature was appreciated, sport was encouraged and a feeling of community was engendered.  Because of the shortage of basic goods and the lack of choice, materialistic consumption was not an issue and people enjoyed sharing with one another, camaraderie and building a life for the greater good.  After time for shopping and eating, which all thoroughly embraced, we headed over to the Zoo Palast for our second film screening, namely ‘Bulbul can sing,’ an Indian European premiere about 3 teenagers on the verge of adulthood.  The experience of first love puts them under the pressure of high expectations and strict moral codes of the villagers, resulting in tragic consequences.  Students gained a real insight into the cultural differences across the globe, especially when the director appeared live on stage to do Q&A.  We also found time to pay our respects to the victims of the terrorist attacks of 2016 when a truck drove through the Berlin Christmas market outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedaechtnis-Kirche, a bombed church, deliberately left in its post-war ruined state to act as a daily reminder of the horrors of war.  In the evening, after a delicious curry, we had an audio tour of the Reichstag, the German houses of parliament which had previously been burnt down during Hitler’s reign and had been re-built with a glass dome by architect Norman Foster, enabling one to look down on the government when they are in session, the idea being that the people are ‘above’ the government. Germany’s aim was to create an open building where politics are ‘transparent’ and not hidden, unlike those of the Nazi era. On the return to the hotel, we happened upon a very lively German busker who was keen to indulge their requests – I shall never hear John Denver’s ‘Take me home, country roads’ again without reflecting on how our jolly bunch sang and danced along!

The third day saw us split into 2 groups, in which film students went to see an American teen film about the disappearance and subsequent death of a schoolgirl. The film bordered on experimental and was reported as being somewhat absurd, with the events driving the inhabitants into a nightmare of angst and suddenly revealing strange personal details about themselves. Students found it quite quirky yet sinister, however they appreciated the creativity of the director in her use of bizarre visuals.

The German and history contingent spent the morning meandering down the Bernauer Strasse, a famous ‘memorial street’ which was cleaved in half overnight as the Berlin Wall was constructed. Locals jumped out of their windows to avoid being trapped in the GDR, some being caught in blankets held outstretched by the West German fire brigade. Many of these horrifying escape attempts ended in death and the street tells the poignant stories of many individuals who did not escape unscathed, serving simultaneously as a museum and memorial. The tall visitor centre enabled us all to look at a preserved section of the Todesstreife (death strip) with its bleak watchtowers and barbed wire fencing.  In the afternoon we ventured to the East Side Gallery, the last remaining section of the Wall, 1.3km in length, upon which political / controversial art is exhibited.  Students really enjoyed interpreting the meaning of said art and graffiti, for instance where Honecker is kissing Brezhnev, in a supposedly fraternal gesture of friendship, although many view it as satirical.  Later we all reconvened to visit the Holocaust memorial and to reflect on the horrors and magnitude of the suffering of the Jews under the Nazi regime. The memorial consists of 2711 concrete pillars of varying heights erected on a slope, with the ground underneath undulating.  As you walk deeper into the memorial, the blocks become taller, shutting out the light and you easily become disoriented. Many students experienced uncertainty, a feeling of oppression, a sense of giddiness and felt that the smoothness of the concrete left no way of vertical escape. A moving plenary followed this.  We watched our penultimate film screening at the rather glamorous Haus der Kulturen der Welt which was ‘Guo Chun Tian’, a Chinese film about a teen smuggling iphones across the Hong Kong border, in a bid for independence and to raise money for a long-desired trip abroad. We experienced the ups and downs of the girl’s emotions and experiences and most enjoyed the insight into the people who commute daily between Mainland China and Hong Kong. The subsequent Q&A with the director and main stars was riveting and provided some great tips for budding filmmakers, such as our students!  We then sauntered to the fabulous Lindenbräu restaurant in the impressive Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz where we all gorged on some very tasty and satisfying Bavarian fare.

Our final day saw us heading to Checkpoint Charlie, a famous crossing point on the Berlin Wall and was accompanied by a trip to the Mauermuseum there: Haus am Checkpoint Charlie where gruesome stories and documents describe attempts to escape over, under or through the Berlin wall; many of which were near misses.  In the afternoon we split off again with the German students delving into the very strange world of global secret service organisations at the interactive Spionage Museum.  Upon discovering an early German enigma machine and other gadgets utilised by secret agents, I fear our students were a little too keen to join MI6! They rather overlooked the whole ‘risking your life’ element and assassinations by Bulgarian umbrella.  The film students were meanwhile watching a screening of ‘We are little zombies’, a tale of 4 orphaned Japanese children and their lives after the deaths of their parents, involving a good dose of tragedy, comedy and social criticism, as they start a rock band together.   Finally, after a hearty lunch and final chance to spend our remaining Euros in the Arkaden at Potsdamer Platz, we hefted our luggage back to Schoenefeld airport in readiness for our return flight to Manchester. We were back at Wyke at 0100 on Friday morning, exhausted but uplifted.

The trip participants were absolute an absolute pleasure to lead around Berlin. Punctual, organised, enthusiastic and at all times respectful – even waiters commented on their politeness and overall comportment.  They soaked up all the experiences offered to them, asked pertinent questions and were cautiously adventurous. Harvi and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with them – they were a delight, keenly trying out new foods and Berlin specialities.  Have any of you tried Currywurst, a Spezi, Kaiserschmarren, Gulasch mit Knödel und Rotkraut, a proper Turkish Döner or a KiBa? Go on. I dare you.

 

Heather Lorch

Teacher of German

A Level Film Studies

Extra Work For Film Students

By | College Trips, Course News, Film Studies, Media, News, On Campus | No Comments

Both first and second year A level Film Studies students had the opportunity to step in front of the camera when they became “extras” at a feature film shoot.

The title of the film is a closely guarded secret and students had to commit to a non-disclosure agreement with the film producers. This meant no mobiles on set and an agreement not to distribute material through social media.

The film, a psychological thriller based around an enigmatic relationship, will be released in UK cinemas in 2019. Students spent the day at the KCOM stadium, the location of a flashback sequence, shooting the days rushes.

Harvi Kaur, A Level Film Studies teacher, coordinated the opportunity and said, “Taking part in a real film shoot enabled students to experience the technical process and the scale of production required to create a feature film.”

Film Studies at Wyke is one of a family of courses that supports creative students. These include Media Studies, Creative Digital Media, Photography, Graphic Design and Performing Arts. Applications are now open for 2019 and interviews are currently beginning scheduled. To avoid disappointed, we recommend that students apply by February 2019.

Students on a visit to Thailand

World Wide Wyke

By | College Trips, News | 4 Comments

Alongside offering an excellent array of Level Three courses, our College offers a multitude of trip and enrichment opportunities to our students.

Only five weeks have passed in the new academic year and we have already confirmed that 29 different trips will be on offer to our students over the upcoming year.

From climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to the Duke of Edinburgh expedition to Keswick, all of our visits add a richness and depth to learning a subject by actually giving our students the opportunity to visit the key locations they are studying.

Our visits also provide our students with once in a lifetime experiences, building memories that they will treasure long after leaving the College.

BSF

British Science Festival

By | Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, College Trips, Community, Course News, News, On Campus, Physics | No Comments

A large contingent of Applied Science students will be visiting the British Science Festival next week as this prestigious event comes to Hull for the first time.

The students will be attending two lectures held at the Hull University campus. “Space Medicine” looks how space exploration affects the health of astronauts. The second talk, “The Weight of Expectation”, explores the health debates surrounding the obesity crisis.

Both lectures are not only informative; they also directly link into the student’s assessment and qualification. One of the units on Applied Science, “How Scientists Communicate their Work”, is supported by the information available at the festival.

The British Science Festival is the longest-standing science Festival in the UK. Organised by the British Science Association, it grew out of the tradition of the annual meetings of the Association – first held in York in 1831, and annually at cities across the UK. The four-day event is one of Europe’s longest-established science festivals, which each year travels to a new part of the UK, bringing a vast array of events, performances and exhibitions with a scientific twist.

Working in partnership with the University of Hull and other organisations in the Humber region, the British Science Festival is a flagship event as part of Hull’s City of Culture legacy focusing on three key areas – energy and the environment; health and the medical sciences; and exploration, movement and discovery.

Victoria series 3

Back to the 1850s

By | College Trips, Community, Course News, Drama & Theatre, Film Studies, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Media, News, Performing Arts, Photography | No Comments

BTEC Creative Digital Media students will be stepping back over 150 years as they visit the set of an internationally acclaimed television period drama.

Over three days the cast and crew of Mammoth Screen have been shooting scenes for series 3 of “Victoria” on High Street in the Old Town of Hull. Against a backdrop on cobbled lanes and fine Victorian architecture, the High Street has been dressed to disguise any indication of modern life. Street lighting has been covered with stacks of wooden barrels, period posters have been placed over modern billboards and the yellow double lines have been painted over in a dull grey paint. These simple changes have made one of Hull’s most famous streets the ideal film set.

Rebecca Ives, Head of Media and Film at Wyke, is using the occasion to inform her students about the employment opportunities in the wider media industry. She said, “On Friday I will be talking two groups of BTEC Media students to observe the media industry in action. It’s great for students to experience the scale and professionalism of such a well-respected television drama. Not only will they see the use of camera, sound and lighting, they will also see the supporting assistant directors, the set dressers and continuity assistants.”

Mammoth Screen selected Hull over many other rival locations. The scenes shot on the High Street will form 15 minutes of action on screen when the new series is aired later this year.

Atom Visit

Business Tour

By | Accounting, Business, College Trips, Community, Course News, Economics, News | No Comments

BTEC Business students teamed up with a highly successful local business to investigate the use of physical, technological and digital technologies.

The Atom Brewery, based at Malmo Food Innovation & Technology Park on Sutton Fields, was the revenue for Wyke students as they developed their coursework submission for Unit 2 “Business Resources”. The main activity involved a guided tour of the brewery conducted by co-founder Allan Rice. Aside from gaining an insight to the brewing process, the students were able to discuss the digital marketing strategy adopted by Atom.

Through the use of Twitter, the brewery has amassed nearly 6,000 followers that have help spread the brand across the globe. This combined with an interest in building a face to face relationship with their clients through public tours of their premises, plus a commitment to using the brewing process as a vehicle for education, have laid firm public relation foundations for the business.

Elizabeth Blakely, teacher of Business at Wyke, said, “The visit was a fantastic success. Atom were incredibly helpful, holding two tours to accommodate all of our students. Next year we hope to revisit with even more students.”

The links between Wyke and Atom go even further. Sarah Thackray, co-founder of Atom, also teaches Physics at the College. Next month the “Corn Exchange” in the city centre will open as Atom’s first bar. Besides offering their beers to a new audience, the company are also keen to use the pub as an educational revenue.

Battlefield Tour

History Prepare for Battle

By | College Trips, Course News, English, Geography, History, News, Sociology | No Comments
After last years successful visit to Belgium, the History department are organising another trip to the Flemish countryside to include next years first year students.
 
James Goodchild, Head of History at Wyke, is taking deposits of £75 from current students who want to be on the three day visit. The total cost is estimated to be £295.
 
The tour takes in some of the most famous sites from World War One, including Ypres and Vimy Ridge. The visit also extends to the Napoleonic Wars, visiting the Hougoumont farmhouse, a key location from the Battle of Waterloo.
 
Photographs from last years trip are currently on our Flickr site
 
Contact James Goodchild by email at james.goodchild@wyke.ac.uk for further information. There is also a pdf handout with details of the itinerary, travel and accommodation to download.
Chemistry Hull University

Chemistry Visit University Lab

By | Chemistry, College Trips, Course News, News | No Comments

In preparation for their A level examination, a group of 60 second year Chemistry students visited the Chemistry Department at Hull University.

Besides viewing demonstrations on a mass spectrometer and a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, the students also got supported time in a laboratory to conduct experiments. In small groups they were challenged to assemble apparatus to dehydrate a sample of 2-methylcyclohexanol.

The understanding of this process will help refine the students organic practical skills, an aspect of Chemistry A level Paper 3. It was also an opportunity to explore the fantastic facilities at our local university.

Many of the students are looking to progress onto a science based degree and this experience enhanced their understanding of undergraduate study.

https://www.flickr.com/…/72157667935585348/with/41537457981/

Washington DC

Wyke Make Washington Great Again

By | College Trips, Course News, Economics, Government & Politics, History, Law, News | No Comments

From watching the speeding Trump motorcade to cheering on the Washington Wizards, the annual Wyke trip to DC was certainly action packed.

For six days a group of twenty two students with an interest in politics and history toured the US capital taking in all the key monuments, museums and heritage sites. After the 23 hour journey, day one was dedicated to travel.

Day two took in Union Station as the starting point to pick up the “Washington DC Big Bus Tour”. This hop-on, hop-off service allowed the students to see the majestic monuments to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln. The day finished at the Capital One Area to watch the Washington Wizards take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA league. After over 22 thousand steps it was time to head back to the hotel.

Day two started with a tour of the Capitol Building with an opportunity to witness the Senate and House of Representatives in action. From there the group went to Arlington Cemetery, the burial ground of the Kennedys and the site of the Unknown Soldier. The day concluded with a fun visit to Madame Tussauds and a night tour bus to see the spectacular cityscape illuminated.

Thursday was museum day. Starting off at the National Archive, students saw the closely guarded Declaration of Independence and a special exhibition on the Vietnam War. In the afternoon students elected to visit the National Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Museum of the American Indian and the Holocaust Museum. At the end of the day the group came together for a meal back at the hotel.

The final day divided into a visit to the White House, followed by a frantic shopping spree at the Pentagon City Mall. Wow, what a trip. To see what happened, visit the Wyke Flickr page https://www.flickr.com/photos/44105515@N05/albums/72157692859194381

Here’s to next year!

Wyke Skydiving

Ultimate Exam Stress Relief

By | Awards, College Trips, News

This half-term a small group of Wyke students and staff will take a leap of faith from 15,000 feet. On Monday, seven students and two members of staff are taking part in a tandem skydiving session organised at Hibaldstow airfield.

Tandem parachuting allows newcomers to experience the thrill of freefall skydiving without any extensive training and is our most popular UK skydiving course.

After a short tandem briefing, the students and staff will jump harnessed to the front of a fully qualified parachuting instructor from 15,000 feet. From this height, they will enjoy one whole adrenaline-fuelled minute of freefall reaching terminal velocity at 120mph.

Organiser and Head of Maths at Wyke, Sally White said, “It’s the ultimate form of stress relief from all the pressures of exams. I took part in my first skydive last year and realised that this should have been an experience I did when I was young”.

This unusual activity is an added dimension to the already diverse range of enrichment offered at Wyke. To find out more about this and our range of overseas visits, new students should attend the enrichment evening being held during this year’s Wyke Start induction event.