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Our Most Able Student's Personal Experiences
Christie’s Auction House – Harris Experience
On Wednesday 18th July, 10 students and Ms Cooke and Ms Jones visited Christie’s Auction House in Central London. These students and teachers had been working on a piece of artwork for around two weeks and they had to incorporate urban and rural into the design. The students involved in making this piece are : Mila, Oliver, Joseph, Amelia, Milly, Cassie, Iola, Matthew, Aaron and Benjamin. They got given the brief of urban and rural that they had to do the piece of art work around. They used a map of London to create a collage of maps and then sprayed darker colours on the bottom to represent the pollution in the urban areas. They then used lighter colours such as yellow to represent the brightness of the rural areas. To make it stand out they decided to add the word “London” in the centre of the piece out of polystyrene to make it three-dimensional. Depending on the angle you look at it from, you will be able to see the word sticking out from the map. However from certain angles it camouflages into the surroundings. Flowing through the centre of the canvas is the blue river Thames, one of the most significant parts of London.
I went on the trip as a late addition and I was astonished when I had seen the piece my artistic peers had created. In comparison to the 20 other schools that were there, ours had to be one of the best. It was so unique and imaginative. After we had collected the work, we went to the gallery to eye up the competition but we mainly went there to hang the piece of work. We decided to hang it nearest the window so that the light would create shadows under the letters. Joseph and Mila had to keep the canvas steady and in the right position so the nails could be hammered in. Oliver did the first nail and Milly did the second. After everyone had finished admiring it, we went up to the great room where all of the auctions are held at Christie’s so that the auctioneers could have their training (our auctioneer was Aaron). Three auctioneers from Christie’s stood in front of us all, Mr. Edmonds , Ms Hilton and Mr Martineau ( I can’t remember their first names). They taught us tips and tricks about what they do to overcome nerves when they stand in front of everyone and how to exercise the mouth for pronunciation. We learnt about the history of Christie’s and the Christie’s podium as well as how many auctioneers are employed by Christie’s internationally ( 62 – 39 male 23 female). After the 35 minute session was over, we went to St James’ Park to eat lunch and returned at 1:45 for the auction.
There were 21 lots for the auction, 1 for each school. We were lot number 19 so we were one of the last. The bidding for each was around £90-180. However when it got to Harris Rainham, the bidding soared to £220. At this point I was wondering what sort of price we would get. It went to £100. Then £200. Straight past £220. Carried on past £300 and the highest bid was £340 to the lady who runs the international education at Christie’s. Everyone was gobsmacked. The whole room had their jaws dropped. It was even better when we found out the Ms Hickey had bid up to £310 and Lord Harris bid up to £330. It was Christie’s Auction House who finally sealed the bidding war! Our wonderful piece of art will now be hung at Christie’s! Quite an achievement!
In the end we got the highest bid of £340, Harris Bermondsey got £230 and Harris Rainham got £220. There was quite a big gap between 2nd and 1st. It was such a wonderful day and everyone was congratulated on the way out. I would love to do it again someday. This is the 3rd year in a row where Harris Beckenham have attained the highest bid at Christie’s!
Our Y7/Y8 Students Visit the Saatchi Gallery
On Friday 28th April, the Junior HABE Experience had its first trip to the Saatchi Gallery in London. A group of 24 of some of our best students attended the exhibition “From Selfie to Self-Expression”. Here our students had to decide whether the idea of a selfie was in fact art work and worthy of public display. This produced mixed results with strong opinions on both sides of the argument. However, by the end of the day all the students agreed that Selfies could in fact be classified as art!
Our inquisitive students explored the history of the selfie from the old masters to the present day and used this in the workshop session that they took part in. Taking inspiration from one of the photographers that they had seen, the Junior HABE Experience created their own artistic “Selfie Portraits”. Using a technique called layering, where students used several photographs on themselves and weaved coloured card into the picture, our students were able to create interesting effects with their faces. The workshop yielded some fantastic artwork by our pupils that they were able to take away with them.
Inspired to Study at Oxford
Our Y9s had the most inspirational chance to visit Oxford university for the day. During their time at Mansfield College, one of the colleges within the university itself, our students had the chance to find out about what to expect should they wish to apply, receiving first hand accounts from students currently studying there. Exploring just one of the magnificent libraries followed by lunch in the chapel preceded the highlight of the day, an academic taster session.
Kings College Experience - February 2017
On the morning of Monday 25th, a group of aspiring scientists from HABE had the privilege of travelling to King’s College London for a series of enthralling talks regarding bone structure. Twelve Y9 students were selected as ambassadors to represent the school. We arrived enthused and inquisitive of the forthcoming day.
As we entered the Museum of Life Sciences we were enlightened with a plethora of skeletons and preserved bodies of every animal imaginable. We gazed in awe, and became impatient with the desire of studying the magnificent structures.
To begin the day, Dr. Phil Whitfield and Dr. Ann Bartlett provided us with an informative lecture on how different animals move. We gained knowledge of how animal locomotion can be similar with groups learning a variety of things from squids and jet propulsion to worms and peristalsis. Students from the esteemed college showed us videos, helping us evaluate the movements of the animals. We then came together, discussing our findings and the differences that resided within the different animal families.
In the afternoon, Dr. Jill Sales set us off on an investigation on limbs, levers and movement in vertebrate animals. We explored what bones are made of, handling real cow bones! In addition to this, we were taught how levers can be used to increase force or velocity. We then looked at how to locate the fulcrums of any animal and the relations between levers and forces, with some complex equations.
Students were granted intervals where they could ponder around the museum, attaining further knowledge. There was anything from the gargantuan skeleton of a baby elephant, to the mesmerising sculptures of DNA.
Of course, a massive debt of gratitude is due to all those who made the once in a lifetime trip possible.
Blerton Gerguri - Y9.
The Experiences of our Most Able Cohort so far in 2016
Harris Experience, which is an academic experience that enhances us culturally and prepares young people to become culturally aware of the world around us, has given us access to amazing opportunities. In addition, it provides us with the preparation and all the tools we require to achieve the full potential of our being. On top of this, it also provides the stepping stones to a path to the top universities and careers. This beneficial program has allowed us to realise our abilities and what personal goals we need to set in order to excel when we leave school. Critical thinking master classes have aided us in thinking independently and this is an imperative skill that is required throughout our adult lives. Our most recent excursion was to experience the wonders of opera by gaining first-hand experience. We had thoroughly enjoyed ‘Tosca’ at the Royal Opera House as it had revealed the cultural richness that is available in London as well as the sheer talent needed within Opera and helps us appreciate our heritage. In my opinion, the most enjoyable experience was auctioning our own piece of art at Christie’s Auction House. Not only did we gain the knowledge of auctioneering, we have been able to sell our own art and make our own aspirations for future endeavours. An opportunity that I am excited for in the future is several master classes that will introduce us to adult life and jobs available.
Rachel Knight - Y10
So far, I have found the Harris Experience highly beneficial and it has broadened my views on a variety of different subjects such as classical pieces of theatre and the history of buildings. I have been able to participate in opportunities like auctioning a handcrafted painting at the renowned Christie’s Auction House whilst having access to browse and evaluate artefacts; how they came into the possession of the auction house and the process in which they are sold. I believe the scheme will aid me in the future as it will open doors, create opportunities and provide original qualities and aspects to my CV.
Molly Wise - Y10
The Harris Experience is a programme run by the Harris Federation that allows selected most able students the opportunity to take part in a diverse range of experiences. So far during my involvement with the Harris Experience we have achieved lots of different and exciting things such as lectures, master classes and visits to a range of interesting locations such as the Royal Opera House. Some further examples of the type of trips the Harris Experience have offered me are an entertaining theatre trip, an insightful and helpful careers meeting and an inspiring visit to Christie’s auction house. I think that has benefited me massively – I have picked up skills and talents which I never would have had the opportunity to develop otherwise. There are also lots of upcoming events which sound both academically beneficial but also genuinely interesting and engaging that I am looking forward to.
Jack Kendall - Y10
The Harris Experience programme is a really beneficial programme which allows us to experience the opportunities that we would not usually be able to do. For example, in our most recent trip, we were allowed to enter and watch the play of Tosca in the Royal Opera House. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity as the play was in THE Opera House. Another experience that we were took part in last year which (was a really memorable experience) was to sell a piece of item in Christie’s Auction. This was a really enjoyable experience for all of us as we were all included. The piece that we sold at the auction was a painting by a few artists that was of a tremendous standard. This is a good experience as it can help us in the future with our lives as it can open many doors to our future jobs.
Hiren Visrolia - Y10
Harris Experience so far has opened up many opportunities for me I’d never expected to have taken part in, Harris Experience offers many master classes, trips and interesting projects to help students that are believed to exceed, gain new knowledge and experiences. I’ve been part of this program for two years, and I’ve visited some of London’s most recognizable theatre shows, been a part of a world famous auctioneer art house and even visited the royal opera to watch Tosca. I’m looking forward to later visiting other culturally rich and well known places with Harris Experience. I’m sure the things I’ve done will surely help me later in life, as the experiences are surely impressive.
Georgia Knowles - Y10
For me, the Harris Experience is much more than just a collective of most able students. It is the key to a door that not everyone has the opportunity to open. When we began they told us the whole point of the experience is to make us more applicable for the top universities. And after a year of truly eye opening culturally and academically stimulating activities, I can confidently say I feel like it has given me the skills and knowledge to conquer life after school!
George Battley - Y10
The Harris Experience is a carefully thought out programme that provokes us to excel and aspire. It is comprised of a variety of school trips, workshops and lectures that we wouldn’t have had the pleasure to experience otherwise, hence the name. Fortunately, we are offered an abundance of rare opportunities, for instance last week we travelled to the London opera house to watch the renowned opera “Tosca”; which proved a wonderful insight to the classical delicacies of Italian opera.
Jessica Powell - Y10
Please view the video below which features our students interviewing local war evacuees.
The People's War