Online co-curricular programme
Akademeia has not only moved all academic classes online, but our co-curricular offer is also now available remotely. Courses ranging from computer coding to SAT preparations, from psychology to biochemistry and from school band to yoga and fitness can be accessed online. Our students are taking the opportunity to develop their skills and learn new things.
Films under Quarantine
During the pandemic, our film studies elective has been transformed into an interdisciplinary discussion group focused on finding an answer to one key question: What does it mean to be human? The starting point for us was a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche from his book called ‘Human, All Too Human’ from 1878. According to the famous philosopher, ‘meditating on things human […] is one of the means by which man can ease life’s burden; that by exercising this art, one can secure presence of mind in difficult situations and entertainment amid boring surroundings.’
Thanks to watching a wide range of ground-breaking and unforgettable films, we can look at our humanity from different angles and see how complex our existence is. Some of the films that we have on our watchlist are, for instance, ‘Human: The Movie’ by Yann Arthus- Bertrand (2015) and ‘Metropolis’ by Fritz Lang (1927).
The elective provides students with a democratic space, in which they decide which geographical issues they want to examine. So far Akademeia’s geographers have debated population policies related to ageing, gender equality, gentrification, urban deprivation, and cultural geography-based understandings of cities as states of mind. The group has ‘travelled’ virtually to places as diverse as Singapore, La Paz, Nairobi, Rio de Janeiro, Detroit, Karachi and Copenhagen. Every topic is introduced through a summary of more theoretical, academic knowledge, followed by an interactive analysis of specific case studies, with particular attention paid to policy-making. In order to understand intricacies of the latter, we often engage with simulations, role play and debates of various kinds. Lately, students had a chance to learn about sustainable urban development and the challenges related to rapidly growing urbanization.
The iGEM Project elective prepares students to take part in the iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) Competition which is dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology. Within the contest, multidisciplinary teams work together to design, build, test, and measure a system of their own design using interchangeable biological parts and standard molecular biology techniques. During the elective, Akademeia students prepare and give presentations related to the iGEM project. They cooperate closely with the University of Warsaw. At the last meeting Robert, a Year 12 student, gave a presentation on generating a synthetic genome.
At the Photography elective students study different conventions and styles, analyse works of documentary photographers and artists using this medium. They develop practical skills in analogue and digital photography, such as film developing, black and white printing, postproduction and data storage. Students learn how to work with different cameras and to use diverse lenses and films. Our Photography Teacher – Maciej Stępiński – usually conducts the elective in our tailor-made school darkroom or in the studio equipped with the digital camera, flashlights and Adobe pack. Students learn how to make a series on a given theme, select photos and produce them. During the coronavirus epidemic, Mr. Stępiński encourages students to arrange dark rooms at home and conducts online teaching and consultations.
Yoga and fitness
Physical activity and relaxation are crucial to unwinding during these turbulent times. Our students not only have online sports lessons but also can attend yoga and fitness remotely. The Online Yoga elective conducted by Dr. Mark Kelly, our Chemistry Teacher and yoga instructor, is an excellent way to improve fitness, increase strength, balance and flexibility. In addition to this, yoga uses breathing techniques, exercise and meditation, which can improve health and wellbeing. The class is open to students and to teachers at all levels. If you need to perform more dynamic exercises, you can do some fitness with our Sports Coach, Ms. Edyta Czerwonka. Students work on mats with music and use body weight to increase tone, firmness and strength. The classes are also open to students and teachers at all levels.
Our music teachers have also transferred the School Band elective to Teams. Students play in various musical genres, gain a better understanding of music harmony and most importantly share the experience of playing and singing with their school friends. The repertoire is chosen by the group and arranged to the skill level of each individual student. In the virtual version they will learn how to perform and play online jam sessions!
Our school newspaper is written by students, for students and is an opportunity for them to inform, educate and entertain their peers, as well as provide them with key information about upcoming events, opportunities and deadlines. The newspaper is not only published in an online format but now due to the lockdown, the editing team is also meeting and discussing the content of the upcoming issue virtually.
This is just a sample of the online co-curricular activities that we are now conducting on a remote basis. There are many other activities too that help maintain the sense of school community.