Activities

PEA Summer Programme Experiences 2016 - Isabella

Between July 2nd and 3rd of 2016, students from about 47 nationalities and 42 states of the United States embarked on journeys from their various homes and communities to our common hub for the summer, Phillips Exeter Academy. I say July 2nd because some students started some 5000 miles from Exeter, New Hampshire, where Phillips Exeter Academy is situated. Similarly, Mimi, Cecelia, Nadia and I left Ghana on the 2nd of July, at 22:00 local time and arrived in Boston at 12:29 local time on July 3rd, a shaking 18 hour embarkment.

The first week I must admit was most trying for me. I had not yet figured out that the main courses for the meals were to the left side of the Dining Hall thus for the whole week, I ate pasta with salsa which was provided as an alternative or a side. Hot sauce didn't help emulate an incorporation of pepper from the beginning of preparation of the salsa and it was not exactly what I desired. However this soon eased as I came to realize that they served continentally themed dishes to the other side of the dining hall, that were almost never the same during the five week period. Fantastic, is it not ?

Generally over the five week period of school, we were involved in a plethora of things. There was Field Day the first Saturday, in which we played inter dormitory games, and my dormitory, Dunbar emerged as the female champions. There were subsequent dormitory competitions for example dodgeball during a Thursday night, the time being weird considering prep was during the same timeframe. Dances, or more relatable to the school, formal jams, were hosted almost every other week. We donned formal dress but the dancing still went down just as much as it does here sans the more intricate dance moves my 8 counts schoolmates can put up. These were very enjoyable even if you were watching other people dancing or were involved in the action and thus were the spectacle yourself. The other students  were amazed by our hip and waist movements to the upbeat songs to the point that one Brazilian student imitated us once. That's an A for her effort.

We were also allowed to explore the town of Exeter in our free times, and interact with the town people who looked rather affluent but conservative. They were very pleasant to us, however if I had a dollar for everytime someone asked how I was so proficient in English, which was always replied with a polite, it's my first language, I would be about $250 richer.  In addition to these, there were Wednesday and weekend trips to Boston and some malls, others to hike and quite interestingly, there was a trip for blueberry picking. Furthermore, I was involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, where other students of similar creed to us shared their fears of a future for themselves due to rising police brutality, jingoism and racism.

Now, to address the school in summer school, I took courses in Advanced Problem Solving in Maths, Advanced Chemistry and Global Justice but, initially, I took a course in Debate and Argumentation. Quite surprisingly to myself and probably some of my friends here at school, I did not like this manner of Debate. People in this class were armed with great aptitude in argumentation; however, I could not concisely identify speech techniques in a speech by Charlie Chaplin to start off. I felt short handed from the beginning, and that might have also been due to the fact that English Language has never conventionally been my forte back here at school. Luckily, the summer school office was open to course changes in the earlier part of the first week and I used the opportunity to do something I had a passion for, which was and remains Chemistry.  I excelled in both Chemistry and Maths, achieving Honors in both fields. However, the course I found most impactful and somewhat life orientation changing was that in Global Justice, taught by a Ghanaian teacher, Dr Boadi. Through the method of the Harkness, I was introduced to the take of my classmates and quite subtlely their countries' as well, on issues of first globalization and later the plight of women, documented by Nicolas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn, in a book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Through the study and discussions of women and child brothel keeping and prostitution, fistulas resulting from sexual assault, it was revealed that feminism needs to take on a global voice because in Eastern societies, including our very nation, it is rather ruthless and brutal. Harkness here also brought to heed my weaknesses in assertiveness, which I wish to work on.

Impact on academics
Similar to HGIC's propagation of individual and self dependent thinking, Harkness promotes informed independent but collaborative thinking instead of the conventional lecture style where the student is fed information. This is advantageous because in the outside world, there is no one to lay paths for you and you have to make your own decisions. To contribute informed ideas at the Harkness Table, one also has to do some research, therefore using some of the Approaches to Teaching and Learning  Skills taught through the IB. One would have to reference, just as is done here, the only difference being that Exeter mainly uses the Chicago Manual Style.

In conclusion, all these experiences would not have been possible without Mr. Titi-Ofei, our principal and Ms. Dzide Tei, the school's Exeter Summer School Coordinator, who took us through each and every step in preparation for Summer school with patience and a nurturing attitude.

Isabella Adu

PEA Summer Programme Experiences 2016 - Cecilia

I have always been excited about traveling to different places, meeting new people and doing new things, and this year I got that wonderful opportunity. It all started early January when I received an email from the secretary to principal stating that I have been awarded the scholarship to go and attend the famous Phillips Exeter Academy. I never for once thought that I would ever be chosen to attend these prestigious school, but as they say opportunity comes once; so I did not think two twice about grabbing it, who knows I perhaps would never seen this school.

The journey to get to Exeter was not as easy as someone may think. I had to go through being denied a visa but thanks to our non giving up and supportive teachers like Mrs Dzide and Mr Domey and our caring and concerned principle it was possible for me to gain the visa. However, that is a different experience for a different day. Today I am here to let you know about my experience at the Phillips Exeter academy summer school.

Upon arrival at the Boston Logan international airport I had already accumulated a two day anxiety to see Exeter. We were cordially welcomed by the summer school facilitators who had been patiently waiting for us.  I was very excited when I saw students from different parts of the world in Exeter and just to be precise 47 countries were represented.

We were allocated to different dormitories  upon arrival to the school, mine was Langdell. Each student in the dorm had an advisor amongst the four advisors available in a dorm. We had fun weekly interactions with the dormitory advisors where we could go out together for ice cream or pizza. Every weekend, a different dormitory had different activities to bring the students together. The activities ranged from pizza nights, spa nights, movie nights, to dance night where students got to bond with each other.

At Exeter, I took debate and argumentation,a course I was very enthusiastic about, considering I love arguing. This, was enhanced further by my teacher Mr Heal when he told me that debate is not just arguing to win but also to be able to convince your opponent to believe in what you are saying and backing it up with facts. This I found very interesting as I debated in a very opinion based topic; there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. I know you are wondering how you will be able to convince someone that there is no good or bad, so was I then. The numerous number of topics my class and I had to research on and debate polished my public speaking and research skills which recently,  we were taught form the ATLs( approaches to teaching and learning)

In addition to debate, I took a math course which I found really interactive as we had pop quizzes and lots of practice to polish the geometry part of math which I took. Now I know you are wondering how the classes were like, I will tell you in one word ' Harkness'. This is a method of teaching and learning that is mainly student oriented where students and teachers sit around a table and discuss, with each person contributing actively to the discussions. The discussions range from solving math problems together to reading and analyzing different pieces of news. This method was really beneficial in helping students understand the importance of contributing to class discussion.

Phillips Exeter academy just like SOS HGIC is not just a study place for students. It has a lot of extra curricular activities and trips that enable students to improve their social skills and apply some of the knowledge in class out of class. There I had a lot of fun experiences visiting places both in Exeter town such as the Exeter museum, going to out of town trips like to Boston and tour the famous Dartmouth college that recently paid a visit to our school, doing other activities such as sport and speaking of sports we were required to do sports an hour four days a week, and honestly this was not as bad as one can imagine. Furthermore, joining the black lives matter club to address police brutality against people of color in the states opened up my mind to the challenges people face. My favorite trip was the visit to Boston town where we took a little tour of the town, got a little  lost because it's all part of the experience, visited malls attended the Fourth of July celebrations, ate tasty yet different food and finally I got to perform what I love most ; dance  to the school on the second last day.

While in Exeter I developed a love for foreign food such as tortillas, garlic bread, mozzarella sticks and tacos which became so dear to my stomach. Every Tuesday in Exeter we had tacos, a meal I had always heard about but never tasted. Now that I have tasted I know why every one loves it. As if that was not enough I went frequently to Stillwells,a shop where lots of ice ream was sold. It turned out out be my favorite hang out spot with friends where we would watch the sunset as we took ice cream, my favorite flavor of ice cream being the purple cow. Strange isn't it?

All might seem so fun and bubbly but I also had some challenges. Adjusting to the food being one of them. Unlike HGIC most of the food there was not salty and had no pepper. I know someone may say that I come from Kenya and we do not take pepper but to be honest I have been in Ghana for two years and pepper has become an important part of the diet, so food without pepper was hard to eat. Time zone change was also hard because I could not keep myself awake by 6pm in the evening and that would be 10pm GMT so ended up sleeping through dorm check in which was expected to be by 9pm. It took me a whole week to get used to that.

Phillips Exeter academy, to me was a great way of spending my summer vacation even though at first I was contemplating because I thought I would not have as much fun as I would have in Kenya but as I got integrated into the system I found even more fun than I would have probably had in Kenya. This made me realize that aside from partying and sleeping in the summer, education and change of environment can actually be fun in the summer. 

 Finally I would like to thank the Principal  and Mrs Dzide for their support and leadership throughout the summer program not forgetting all those who contributed to making our summer experience fun and educative.
Cecilia Atienoo

PEA Summer Programme Experiences 2016 - Nadia

It was the 22nd of January,2016, 7:20pm I sat on table D4 in the dining hall avidly reading my geography notes when I had this strong urge to check my mail and so I did. Honestly, I had no idea what was coming at me so I thought it was a regular check. At exactly 7:32, I saw a mail with the subject student Exchange with Phillips Exeter Academy, I literally could not believe my eyes and so I rubbed them vigorously and opened them wide as I started to read the content of the mail. In my bid not to scream, and consequently be starred at like I was insane, I cupped my mouth and took deep breaths in and out. I was so baffled, I kept scrolling over one line in my notebook, I was so ecstatic and overjoyed I couldn't contain it. This day, was evidently very pivotal in my life and I don't think I'm ever going to forget it.

Describing my experience at Exeter as amazing is nothing short of an understatement and I'm so not going to use that word.It just doesn't do justice. Exeter was the bomb! Getting the chance to meet like-minded people from 46 other countries ,with different cultures and perspectives broadened my outlook on life and many issues.I made so many friends, majority with whom I'm still in touch. My experiences there were priceless and I am so thankful.

While there, I got involved in some very interesting projects. For me, the most eye-opening was our black lives matter movement. We, the people of color had a couple of get -togethers which were marked with very intense discussions about the racism and police brutality against blacks.These really made me see things from a whole new perspective. Just the thought of having people my age fear for their lives because of their skin color saddened me. This occurrence might seems pretty distant to us but for them, it was and still is so real. We organized a die -in, which was us basically re-enacting the deaths of various black people who had been unfairly killed. We wore all black and stuck the names of victims like Eric Garner, Philando Castile and Tamiir Rice on ourselves. Then, we lay in the grass, under the burning sun. I indeed got an unwanted tan but it was worth it. After assembly, the Caucasians came trooping out to their various classes and saw us dead. They looked so confused, but in the end, there were discussions, some asked questions, others simply didn't seem to care. This is an indelible experience.

Singing is something I am truly passionate about and thankfully, there was a talent show I got involved in. I sang " I will always love you" by Whitney Houston and got a standing ovation after that. I was so ecstatic, I could kill a cockroach...( I have a huge phobia for them) Some of my friends couldn't control their tears and told me, it was a beautiful performance.

Our international assembly was phenomenal! My SOS mates and I who happened to be the only Ghanaians got to present on our nation and it felt so good. We took the opportunity to let them know Africa is not a country but a continent and correct many other misconceptions. As you all know, my dance moves are pretty terrible and so Cecilia, Isabella and Mimi did the dancing as I made the presentation.

 Pertaining to my subjects, I studied Leadership and Society ,Confidence through creativity and Intermediate Conversational French. All in which I got honors as my grades by God's grace and hard work. My confidence through creativity class was packed with so much excitement and genuine passion for acting and it was so much fun working with so many people from all over the world. My teacher , Dr Richards was so handsome and amiable and being his student was such a blessing. My Intermediate Conversational French class was amazing! We couldn't speak English or any other language but French in class and it helped me become more confident in French. My Leadership and Society class was my most favorite! It taught me so much about leadership I didn't know before. Participating in numerous and intense discussions about past leaders and their modes of leadership opened my eyes to many things.

Being part of the Exeter experience was such a great honor. I was able to incorporate skills like critical thinking which I'd learned in my Literature and Thinking Skills classes. Additionally, due to many activities in the school that help to boost confidence, I could partake in a talent show and make a presentation in front of over 700 students from all over the world. These were highly vital skills I'd learned from SOS HGIC. I would like to thank my teachers sincerely for their input,

In conclusion, I would like to thank the Principal, Mr Titi-Ofei , Vice Principal, Mr Akita as well as Miss Dzide, the exchange coordinator for gracing me with such an amazing opportunity. I am immensely grateful.

Nadia Baye

PEA Summer Programme Experiences 2016 - Mimi

On arrival into Boston, I hadn't really given much thought about what I might experience at Exeter. I was focused on making a good first impression. The only thing that probably crossed my mind, was the fact that I had assumed Exeter would be a boring and almost deserted tiny town.

On the bus, that picked us up my view, which was once of a bustling city with gleaming skyscrapers, turned into a long stretch of green forestry that continued on for what seemed like forever. It made me think, "Ah hah! Seh I knew." Nevertheless, I was shocked when we entered a town with neat roads and many calm little houses. I was surprised to find many more people lived in Exeter than I thought. When we finally arrived, all I could see was bricks. Literally every building in the academy is made of brick, adding to the air of archaicness. Well, with exception of the science building, a cool modern, glass structure. Surprisingly, the dining hall was smaller than I imagined. Although still quite large, I had, probably unrealistically, assumed there would be about three floors, each with a massive buffet. In real life, the buffet only had a few items, but there were salad, pasta and sandwich bars at every meal, as well as a drink dispenser with plentiful juices. *hint hint*

The food was definetely difficult to get used to. Coming back to Ghana, I realized our food is actually quite salty and peppery, two things Exeter food was not. I did enjoy the experience of sampling multicultural food, but I was grateful for Dr. And Mrs. Boadi who helped us out with some Ghanaian food every now and then. I was very thankful to them for all the help they gave us. And strangely, I was so fascinated that all we had to do was put our dirty dishes on a conveyor belt that led them to be cleaned mechanically.

Another interesting fact is that every classroom at Exeter has a round table to enable Harkness. I will admit I struggled in the beginning with Harkness. For example, in my Introduction to Electronics class, I was extremely quiet my first day as the other students confidently belted out advanced physics terms and laws I had never heard before. However, as I became more used to the environment and did some research of course, I started to warm up to the idea of contributing thoughts around a round table.  On the other hand, with theatre, I was able to jump into the Harkness style of teaching the first day. Maybe it was my dear love for the art, but I found it extremely interesting and interactive sharing ideas about the different ways of acting and what to do and what not to do when putting on a show. The best part about Introduction to theatre was putting on the One-Act plays. I played Heather, a concerned friend who had accidentally set her friend up with a man periodically possessed by the devil. It wasn't as weird as you think. Unfortunately Harkness was not possible in my dance class. I was a bit uncomfortable at first with the new kinds of dances and movements which were the complete opposite of the azonto and shoki I was used to. But I soon got so into the class that I blindly agreed to choreograph a dance for the entire class. And not just any routine, but I decided to use the theme, "Black lives matter" to choreograph a dance to Beyonce's famous song Freedom. Teachers I applaud you for your good work. Teaching is not a breeze, nevertheless the dance was a success.

In my opinion, the best building at Exeter is the library. I had heard the library was so "pretty" but had never bothered to visit it myself. One day in my spare time I decided to do some exploring. I nearly fainted. The grand building has nine or so floors each with slick wooden banisters and unpainted cement walls. Large circles are carved into the walls so that the considerable number of books on each floor can be seen even from the ground floor. My friends and I often spent afternoons relaxing on the lawn in front of the library. My favorite part of Exeter was meeting new people from all around the world and learning new languages and cultures. Okay let's move away from the academy itself. I must say Exeter is an extremely beautiful town. I remember the first time I went into town. I had tried to look for an AT and T store using google maps and my inexistent knowledge of miles. After 30 minutes, having asked about ten people for directions and getting lost many times, I had to turn my sweaty self around. Luckily, I spotted a Walgreens on my way back, where I bought an At and t chip and some Ben and Jerry's cookie dough ice cream to reward myself for the struggle I had encountered. The greatest upside is that the restaurants  and cafes in Exeter are amazing. If you ever find yourself there please make it a point to visit still wells. Best ice cream ever.

Thank you,
Mimi Boateng,
IB1A

Sports

PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORTS DEPARTMENT CONTESTS

For an account of the recent ISSAG Basketball and Hockey Competitions, please go to the following link ISSAG competitions .

The above photos give a glimpse of the many different sporting contests and competitions SOS-HGIC students successfully engage in over the year:

  • Inter Hostel Swimming Competition
  • ISSAG Track and Field Competition
  • ISSAG Swimming and Volleyball Competitions
  • Inter Hostel Athletics Competition
  • ISSAG Soccer, Table Tennis & Tennis Competition
  • Inter-Hostel Basketball Competition
  • ISSAG Basketball & Hockey Competition

In the following you can find a list of SOS-HGIC achievement in the various competitions students took part in over the last five school years:


2011 – 2012
We were the ISSAG Champions in:
·         Boys Hockey
·         Girls Hockey
·         Boys Volleyball
·         Boys Swimming
·         Girls Soccer
·         Girls Table Tennis


2012 – 2013
We were the ISSAG Champions in:
·         Boys Hockey
·         Girls Hockey
·         Girls Volleyball
·         Boys Swimming
·         Girls Basketball
·         Girls Table Tennis


2013- 2014
We were the ISSAG Champions in:
·         Boys Soccer
·         Girls Soccer
·         Girls Table Tennis
·         Boys Handball
·         Girls Handball
·         Boys Swimming
·         Girls Basketball
·         Boys Volleyball
·         Girls Volleyball
·         Track and Field


2014- 2015
We were the ISSAG Champions in:
·         Boys Soccer
·         Girls Soccer
·         Girls Table Tennis
·         Boys Table Tennis
·         Boys Swimming
·         Girls Swimming
·         Girls Hockey
·         Boys Hockey
·         Girls Tennis
·         Girls Basketball
·         Boys Volleyball
·         Girls Volleyball
·         Track and Field

2015- 2016
We were the ISSAG Champions in:
·         Boys Soccer
·         Girls Soccer
·         Girls Table Tennis
·         Girls Hockey
·         Boys Hockey
·         Boys Tennis
·         Girls Basketball
·         Girls Volleyball


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