What a day! It was an early start for the students (and supervisors!) to be up and on the coach to head to Hampton Court Palace – the home of Henry VIII.
Fortunately, it was a beautiful day for our stroll across the park from the bus to the palace. When we arrived, all the students got a guided tour with ‘Tricia – one of the Reach Cambridge team who is also a very knowledgeable tour guide at the palace. We saw the old kitchens and learnt about the way food was prepared an eaten in the Tudor times. My favourite fact of the day was that people used to chop up and eat their food with only a knife, and then wipe that knife on a loaf of bread instead of a napkin between courses!
We also all had the chance to do an audio tour of the special exhibition: ‘The Young Henry’. We learnt about how Henry VIII came to power and about his early marriages and schemes. After a picnic at lunchtime, students had the chance to enjoy the spectacular gardens, maze and the rest of the palace.
When we returned to Cambridge, the students had the chance to explore some of the local restaurants for dinner. To finish a busy day was an evening lecture from Lewis, a criminal barrister and former Reach Cambridge staff. For many of our students, this was the first experience of a university-style lecture at the Cambridge University Engineering Department. In the lecture, we were introduced to the characteristics of leadership. Characteristics such as determination, humanity and steel were discussed with examples from leaders in both modern politics and history (such as Hilary Clinton and Oliver Cromwell). As well as addressing the importance of leadership, Lewis also discussed the bravery required to be a ‘first follower’: someone who has the courage to support people who have new ideas and innovations.
After a busy day, there was a chance to relax with new friends playing board games or chatting with their staircase, before signing in with corridor supervisors for bed. Although everyone was ready for a good night’s sleep after travelling and meeting so many new people, it’s been a great day and a great start to an exciting program!
Written by Kate, Corridor Supervisor & Head of Pastoral Care