Biennial Day of Discovery at Downe House

Biennial Day of Discovery at Downe House

8 July 2021

Every two years, girls in the Upper School and Sixth Form have a day off timetable to participate in an exciting array of workshops and activities designed to allow them to gain incredible insights into new and hot topics, learn new skills and have a lot of fun in the process! Organised by the DH LINKS team, the girls are given a huge choice of sessions which are run by staff, DH Alumnae and guest presenters who share their specialist knowledge and expertise with the girls to help them to discover and develop their interests. At the end of the three sessions, all the girls came together in their year groups, in the Auditorium and outside in the Cloisters, to hear Keynote Speaker, Trinny Woodall.

From making Postcards of Kindness to send to the residents of a care home in France and learning to apply stage make-up to creating paper sculptures, the enormous range of sessions really did offer something for everyone. One of the most popular sessions was the International Trade Game run by Head of Economics and Business Studies, Mr Chapman in which teams act as separate countries and are challenged to compete against each other to ‘manufacture’ paper shapes and sell them to an international commodity market trader at posted prices, which vary with supply and demand. The objective for each country is to make as much money as possible. It was a fast-moving and exciting session designed to develop students’ critical thinking.

Exploring future career paths is a major driver of Day of Discovery and DH Alumnae volunteered to share their experiences in a number of sectors including Fashion, PR, interior Design, Art, Theatre, setting up a charity and an insight into university life. Guest presenters included Charlie Kerr, Chaplaincy Adviser to the ODBE who shared his Meditation Toolkit, Professor Amy Smith from Reading University who spoke about their new exhibition: Troy: Beauty and Heroism, and Dr Simon Goodwill, Head of the Sports Engineering Research Group (SERG), in the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity at Sheffield Hallum University, who ran a session on the Physics of Tennis.

In the final session of the Day of Discovery, Trinny Woodall, entrepreneur, TV presenter and founder of Trinny London gave the keynote speech to all the girls. Trinny shared her own journey of how she initially found success as a TV presenter and then when that came to an end, she followed her dream of creating a premium make-up brand and became one of Britain’s top tech entrepreneurs. Trinny’s message to the girls focused on the importance of doing what you believe in and what will make you happy and hopefully successful at the same time. Lower Sixth girls led the Q&A session in which Trinny was asked a host of different questions from ‘What is the best advice you have been given?’ and ‘What do you want to achieve next?’ to how to handle social media, parental expectations and making the most of your network.

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