Garden Diary

Top 5 things to look out for in the garden this month

with Simon the gardener

  1. Berries, seed heads and skeletal trees – sculptural in their stark winter beauty.
  2. Huge ripe, yellow quince fruits hanging from leafless branches in Dickens garden with their fuzzy winter coats. Perfect for Christmas chutneys and cheeses
  3. Old fashioned medlars full of curious fruit in the Dickens seating area. Medlars have been cultivated since Roman times, and are unusual in that they ripen in winter.
  4. Our sparkly RIC Christmas tree all lit up and festive on Star Hill
  5. The building of the new ‘fox-proof’ chicken coop and chicken house next to the Maths Shed. Simon says: ‘We’re building a new, safe and fox-proof chicken coop for RIC with a 6ft wire fence around and net over the top.  We will start with 4 very fluffy chickens perfect for students to cuddle. It is proved that cuddling chickens is calming and excellent for health and well-being. Hopefully they will lay eggs too – not so much in the winter but when the light gets better we could get 4 a day! Sally is going to look after them and especially make sure they go on holiday too when there is no-one at college.”

Making waves in Whitstable

Our touring art exhibition has now opened at it’s next venue – the Horsebridge Arts Centre in Whitstable. The private view on Thursday was well attended despite the wet weather. Congratulations go to all the students with work on show. It’s a great opportunity for them to see their work in a gallery setting and to receive feedback from new audiences beyond their teachers and fellow students. The Exhibition continues until 21 May.

Invitation to the Private view

Book now for the private view of 35 Years of Visual Arts at RIC in Whitstable!

Come along to The Horsebridge Arts Centre, Whitstable on Thursday 9 May from 6-8pm. It’s a fantastic venue right by the beach. See map. Come and share a drink with us and continue our celebration of 35 years of art at RIC in 2019. Tickets are FREE – please book via Eventbrite by clicking here.

Stratford and the Shrew

April is often the cruellest month for RIC’s year 13 and year 14; the difficult final choice between university offers to be made, coursework deadlines to be met, a round of full mock exams and the knowledge that the real things aren’t long after. That’s why we welcomed the opportunity to combine revision with relaxation and to take a weekend trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon at the end of the spring term.

Stratford is not only Shakespeare’s birthplace but the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the best place to see their wonderful performances. This year A level English Literature students have been studying The Taming of the Shrew a play which continues to provoke so much debate about gender roles, in spite of being about 425 years old. How does one perform a text, which, at least first sight, seems to be an ode to female submission in marriage? Justin Audibert’s fantastic production has the innovative solution of inverting the genders; the male roles played by women, and female roles by men. Whether students attending their first live Shrew (although many saw another production with college at the Globe last year) or jaded teachers on their fifth, all found this lively and provocative, as well as terribly funny. As well as cementing this crucial text in the minds of the students, it provides them with material to discuss in their exams, where they can debate different productions.

We also had time to fit in another Shakespeare comedy, As You Like It, a trip on Stratford’s new Ferris wheel and a visit to a butterfly sanctuary. The college hasn’t been to Stratford since 2016, but the English department hope to make this a yearly occurrence. Click here for more photos. By David Thornthwaite, Head of English

Studying Starlight

On 21st March, Physics and Astronomy students from year 11 and 12 visited the Greenwich Observatory to take part in various workshops and attend a Planetarium show. After a look around the Weller galleries, they attended a Galaxies and Cosmology masterclass led by an enthusiastic PHD student, with demonstrations and a lively Q&A session! This was followed by a Studying Starlight workshop where the students learnt more about the light spectra we receive from stars and how they help us understand what those stars are made of which tied in nicely with the main event – the Planetarium show. The show covered our Solar System, Galaxies, The Universe and everything in between, with students and staff enraptured throughout. We then finished the day with a photo opportunity at the Greenwich Meridian Line, from which all time zones are calculated, and a quick visit to the UK’s largest refracting telescope. The whole day provided an excellent addition to the work our Physics and Astronomy students are currently doing, as well as being a great learning experience for all!

Image result for royal observatory greenwich logo

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