Sanctum is in full swing at Colchester Sixth Form College. Two days in and the atmosphere surrounding it is vibrant and thoughtful.
This year’s theme is “Is real life about what you’re doing, or who you’re becoming?” and enables students to reflect on what inspires them, what their priorities are and how to find calm when the pressures of life make them restless. We’ve got a couple of activities from last year, but the rest is new.
My favourite comment from today was by a student who was talking to one of the team and had found Sanctum to be profoundly helpful. After one of the narrated activities about the impression other have made on us and the impression we want to leave on others he took off the headphones and let out an awe-struck sigh; “This is the best thing to have happened.”
One of the new activities, and the first thing we ask students to do, is to leave a fingerprint on a piece of coloured acetate and write three words that describe them. These are then linked together using treasury tags to form a curtain of unique identities in front of one of the windows – not as easy as it sounds. Many struggle to find three positive things to write about themselves and it’s always a joy to be able to chat to them about what makes them unique and special and affirm the characteristics that they then become aware of.
In the lead up to Sanctum we’ve run a teaser campaign hinting at the issues covered by the different activities, inspired by this from Jason Taylor, chaplain at the Archbishop Sentamu Academy in Hull.
It’s interesting to see what gets taken first and what is left til last. ‘Strong Values’ tends to hang on. ‘Calm’ often goes first.