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MY SUMMER TERM AT SHEBBEAR COLLEGE
Continuation...

PREFECTS, HEAD BOYS AND HEAD GIRLS

     By this time, most of you would already have heard of prefects, head boys and head girls from the famous Harry Potter book series. I bet most of you are still curious as to what exactly is the significance of these people.

     Unlike in the books, where students become prefects in the fifth year, it was mostly the lower sixth formers who became prefects in Shebbear College. The prefect's job was to ensure discipline and maintain order among the lower years. They did this by issuing warnings and referrals (equivalent to our greenslips) to students who broke the rules. It was also their job to report to the teachers or staff any students who were particularly troublesome.

     There are two kinds of prefects in Shebbear: the house prefects and the normal prefects. The normal prefects were mostly lower sixth formers who were day students. They were in charge of maintaining discipline during school hours. The house prefects were always boarders and were in charge of the other boarders when the normal prefects were not around. Pollard and Ruddle Houses had their own house prefects and Pyke did not yet have prefects. The house prefects were mostly fourth and fifth formers because very few of the lower sixth formers were boarders.

    Head boys and girls are former prefects who are chosen to be role models for the entire school at the end of the lower sixth form. They hold these titles all throughout the upper sixth form, after their year as prefects. They do not really do much, but they always head all the activities organized by the School Council.

     Different schools have different systems regarding prefects and head boys and girls, and this is the way things are done in Shebbear College.

ACTIVITIES WEEK

     The second to the last week of the school year at Shebbear College is always Activities Week. This is the week wherein all the forms from the first to the fourth go off to do different activities for one entire week. The fifth and sixth formers were not required to attend, since they had already formally finished senior education.

    On our first day, we went on a little field trip to places near the area. Our first stop was the Gnome Reserve, where we learned all about the creation and distribution of garden gnomes and desk pixies. The second stop was to Brannam's Pottery in Barnstaple. This was where all the finest terra cotta pots in England are made. In fact, the Queen made Brannam's Pottery the official Royal Pot Maker. And finally, we got off at scenic seaside Fremington, where we ate our pack lunches. And after lunch, we all rented bicycles and followed the Tarka Trail all the way to the beach. It was a 45-minute trip by bike, but all was rewarded by the countryside scenery we encountered along the Trail. The beach itself was wonderful, we all sat down on the sand and chatted for about an hour before getting back onto our bikes and heading back to Fremington.

    Our second day was spent at school doing indoor activities like Cookery, Carpentry and Silk Painting. For Cookery, we made ourselves a delicious pizza, some pancakes and a lot of chocolate cereal treats. It really was my first time to try my hand at these dishes, but all turned out well in the end and we got to take our food back to the boarding houses and common rooms. And in Carpentry, we all made our own wooden jigsaw puzzles and then painted them. This activity was a lot of fun for me, though unfortunately, I didn't get to bring home my creation. And finally, the last activity was Silk Painting, where we made greeting card covers with silk on which we painted on different pictures. My work ended up messy, but it still did look pretty nice.

    I was out for the third day because I was at Away Day. But what the other students did was they had outdoor activities on the Cricket field. This was the day when we were finally joined by the rest of the second formers. Among the things they did was arts and crafts and the creation of a little village made up of many different 'clan houses' out materials that were readily available on the field. I would have enjoyed being at school for this day, but not as much as I enjoyed myself at Drayton Manor.

     The Thursday of that week was a continuation of the activities of the previous day. I had joined the Douda clan, which included the three French boys and some of my other friends. We had three activities in the morning, which included doll making, prayer-stick making and earth painting. For all these activities, we were only given very basic materials and we had to find other materials from the things that were already on the field. The activities were fun, but at times got really messy and frustrating. After these activities, we ate packed lunches outside in the Cricket field. Then we had loads of free time, which we used to talk, rest and play with each other. And before the day ended, we had a bonfire during which we roasted marshmallows and played more games.

     On the last day of Activities Week, we all went paintballing. I had gone paintballing before and enjoyed it a lot, but not with such a big group; there were about 30 of us that day. I was sorted into the Red Team for all the five games we played. I got shot a couple of times, and I don't think I actually hit anyone, but I still enjoyed it a lot. And quite surprisingly, our team won all five games that day. We then headed back to school, very muddy and tired, but still chatting and smiling from ear to ear.

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