Review: Skill Up and Incrementum

Category: General, Trips, Academic

Skill Up Week is the name given to the penultimate week of the Summer Term for the Hundred. It marks the end of the GCSE examinations and the transition into the Sixth Form.

The aim of Skill Up Week is to get the Hundred thinking about the opportunities and challenges associated with the Sixth Form, to engage in these through a variety of opportunities and prepare them better for the next stage of their educational journey. The opportunities in 2016 were a cultural trip to Rome, preparation for the RYA Day Skipper Award on the South Coast, a creative writing trip to Pembrokeshire, the CCF Summer Camp, the OA trip to Snowdonia, work experience and the College-based Incrementum Course.

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The Incrementum Course welcomed 18 pupils and two staff from Marlborough College Malaysia to join some of our Hundred to further reinforce the links between the two schools. The aim of the Incrementum Course is to develop communication and leadership skills through a variety of challenges, both physical and mental, and culminates in a Model UN Conference on the final morning. Points are awarded for each of the challenges and activities to incorporate a competitive aspect into the week.

Jules Hodgson
Head of Hundred


Georgia Dunlop (MO Hu) attended the Incrementum Course and has written:

“45 pupils, MCUK and MCM, attended the Incrementum Course with little knowledge of what was to come! However, the swift split into various groups of 3’s and 4’s (all of which were named after a different country) added an immediate sense of competition to the week.

Introvert or extravert?  On the first day, we had a morning of personality tests to find out the answer to this question. The outcome of these assessments was then clearly demonstrated in the series of competitive challenges the next day which included one-legged squatting on a slack line, securing the whole team to the top of a 30-foot tree and safely reaching the other side of the river on a barrel and rope raft!

As each country collected more points, the tasks became harder and more challenging, necessitating the need for good communication skills as plans were devised. The importance of listening, as well as speaking, became apparent. On Wednesday, we headed to Brimslade Farm to continue the challenges. No sooner had we arrived our shoes and socks were soaked through from walking in the wet fields. However, the high team spirit of each country continued as we competed in stretcher races, throwing competitions and filling a pipe with water which, little did we know, contained multiple holes!

Back in the Ellis Theatre, our analysis work was put to good use as we watched a series of job interviews and took notes on how to perform or not to perform an interview! This was particularly useful for those of us hoping to do work experience in the near future. There was also a seminar on the university application process led by Mr Hardee from MCM. We also had the opportunity for a walk up the Mound to see the far-reaching view over the school and the town, which was thoroughly enjoyed by both the UK students and the Malaysian students.

On Thursday, an external company came in to work with us. Their aim is to help improve the younger generation’s skills in communication. We took part in a set of team challenges some of which involved no speaking and we were also mind boggled by a bunch of questions which needed focused listening skills and a switched on mind. The day was topped off by an hour of Scottish reeling run by Mr. McSkimming and Mr. Finlay, which was great fun for all of us.
The final day consisted of a UN mock referendum and was also the final chance to win points! This was a brilliant experience especially for the UK students as we hadn’t taken on anything like it before. However, everyone rose to the challenge and took part in either of two amendments, the Zika Virus or nuclear weaponry, whilst representing their country. The points were then added up placing New Zealand as the winner closely followed by Japan.

Huge thanks must go to Mr. Hodgson and Mr. Finlay for making the week run so smoothly and for creating such an enjoyable, fulfilling course. I would certainly recommend it for later years as many others and I have gained so much from this experience.”


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