In the last four weeks I’ve been to Gregynog Hall 3 times. Luckily for me it’s a beautiful place – a stately home in the middle of Powys, with superb gardens, and really nice cake. The first visit was with our first year students, who we take there every year for a team building weekend. The second visit was with our second year students who’re going out on industrial year. And the final visit was Monday and Tuesday of this week for a staff awayday. Here’s a picture of dawn mist over the fields in the grounds:
I think it’s great that we take the students there – the first year weekend is an intense series of team-building exercises, designed to stretch the students in terms of their interactions, their computational skills, their presentation skills and their critical thinking. We get them doing indoor stuff, outdoor stuff, and creative stuff. With the second years, it’s more about employability, so we have actual people from industry in to do mock interviews, we have an “assessment centre” type exercise, and we try to prepare them for interview and application situations before they go out to do a sandwich year. The staff awayday was more strategic, but still very useful (actually, I found it surprisingly useful and positive – I’m usually kind of cynical about these kinds of events). So all in all it has been a pleasant Gregynogging, but to be honest? I’m now pleased to be home.