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LO2S 2018 - Jud's Take on Her First Week at LO2S!

14/08/2018

LIFT OFF's social media has been effervescent with posts relating to our annual LO2S residential in recent weeks. This reflects the team's hard work in getting everything in order for all the young people who attended. Now that the dust has settled, Jud has had some time to write about her first LO2S experience as a Development Worker, summing up a typical week at LO2S:

Sun, sand, sea and many, many bus trips combined to make an awesome Week 1 in almost tropical St Andrews. We travelled near and far to visit colleges and universities, learning about a huge range of subjects that are on offer as well as getting taster sessions taught by lecturers and students. Subjects like Professional Golf, Creative Industries and Biomedical Sciences piqued the interest of all our young people. Other sessions opened minds to Psychology and its uses, making the perfect slime at Heriot Watt, Rural Studies and Countryside Management at SRUC as well as organising a unique Festival at one of the Edinburgh Napier sessions.

As if that wasn't enough variety, we had to get the biohazard suits at the ready for a viral contamination that unfortunately left some pupils at risk of zombie-like behaviour. With so much on offer and such a diverse range of subjects and tasks the pupils showed a really mature approach, joining in even if this not their favourite subject. Their concentration in lab sessions and problem solving together, whilst working with totally different people showed a confidence in their own ability and these skills are of huge significance in higher education.

We took part in learning settings both indoor and outdoor, practical and theory sessions, and listened in lectures and experimented in labs, everyday feeling completely different than the next - highlighting the subtle but meaningful choices our young people will have to make.

Accommodation is another one of these choices which can shape their experience and the young people were shown a great example in John Burnet Hall, who again hosted our happy and eclectic bunch with many suitcases being bumped along twisting corridors and winding staircases. Our bed times and 'lights out' rules were to stuck to - for the most part - which showed a certain maturity many undergraduate students lack!

It wasn't all work and we got close to R 'n R, with a trip to the beach and a massive game of rounders whilst some hardy souls went paddling. We heard a full history of Edinburgh's ghoulish past with puns flying, as well as water, thanks to The Witchery Ghost Tours, and our brains were tested with the LO2S quiz. Also, Love Island and the World cup split the group's evening viewing so lucky we had 2 TVs and no one squabbled over the remote control! Late evenings were a pretty chilled out affair with large groups together watching TV and discussing either football skills or couples' strategies, lots of conflicting opinions and laughs but again as a casual observer they were bonding as a group, creating friendships and testing out ideas.

Party night at The Scores allowed for some serious dance moves and getting rid of energy as well as chatting at the tables. Not everyone opted to dance as listening to the tunes was more of their thing. I am glad to see that this generation of 16 year olds have the same enthusiasm for music and rhythm even if, well especially if, it was a hit in the 80's. As it was a late night we headed straight back to the halls and I was expecting some madness to continue but I couldn't believe how quiet it was as I patrolled the silent corridors, I gave up after 15 minutes as nothing was happening.

Despite the energy expended and the late night everyone was down for their final breakfast on time and they set about preparing for the LO2S graduation. A really important event for pupils, parents and partners. Parents could see everything that we had done, as the young people had spent the morning designing posters as a visual record of what we had done. Two pupils presented their take on the week in front of a huge audience, and received amazing applause, this applause continued throughout as each graduation certificate was handed out with a smiles and a handshake and a photo just to capture the end of another great learning experience.



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