Brother and sister, Aisha Qadi (17) and Abdulrahman Qadi (16), joined Ashbourne in early 2018 after feeling very unsupported by their previous school. Aisha is very interested in Psychology and Abdulrahman would like to study Medicine at university. Since day one, Aisha and Abdulrahman have attended most, if not all, activities provided by Ashbourne, including Laser Tag and Escape Room, as well as participating in the end-of-year Revue.
We "catched up" with them to see how their time at Ashbourne has been so far and how they've been enjoying the activities:
How has your time at Ashbourne been so far:
Aisha - 'Ashbourne is the best school I've ever studied at. I feel extremely supported by my teachers and all the admin staff. I've very grateful to be able to study here.'
Abdulrahman - 'Yeah, I agree. It has been great so far. I really like how close we are to our teachers. Here we don't have to call them "Mr" or "Ms", we can call them by their first name, which breaks down the formal barrier between students and teachers and makes everyone feel more comfortable.'
You guys have attended and participated in basically all of Ashbourne's activities and events so far this year. How have they been?
Aisha - 'The Escape Room was so much fun!'
Had you been to an Escape Room before?
Aisha - 'Yeah, we have played before, so we kinda knew what we were doing.'
Abdulrahman - 'The Escape Room was a lot of fun. It was funny to see the rivalry between Lee (Director of Studies) and Sean (Deputy Head of Year 13).'
Aisha - 'We were separated into two teams and I had the idea to mix students and staff. The activities are an opportunity for us to interact with our teachers outside of the classroom. They get to know us a little bit better and how we are in a less formal environment.'
How were the teams divided and who won?
Aisha - 'I was in Sean's team.'
Abdulrahman - 'I was in Lee's team'
Aisha - 'We won!'
How does an Escape Room work and how do you win?
Abdulrahman - 'Basically, you are locked inside a room filled with clues and puzzles and you have to use logic and teamwork to escape the room.'
Aisha - 'And some of the clues are misleading, so you can spend a lot of time in a clue that actually doesn't help you escape. You win by escaping the room in the shortest time.'
Abdulrahman - 'That's exactly what happened to my group, we spent a lot of time on a misleading clue, I think that's why we lost... But we managed to finish, only a minute and a half behind the other group.'
Aisha - 'It was the first time for many people as well, and we did have an advantage for having played before, that's why Abdulrahman and I were in separate teams.'
Do you think it is important for Ashbourne to provide these activities for students?
Aisha - 'So important! It gives a chance to chill as a group, and we get to meet new people who I probably wouldn't have met if there weren't these activities. The college actually encourages us to have fun, it's not just work, work, work all the time... They provide us with a break between studies with these activities.
Abdulrahman - 'I agree, and I like seeing staff and teachers participating in the activities with us. It helps break down the barrier that normally exists in other schools. It helps us feel like we are in a more relaxed environment.'