Students at QE have relished the opportunity to attend the College’s Freshers’ Fair, the first to be held face-to-face since the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 60 extra-curricular activities were represented and students were able to sign up to as many as they wanted in order enrich their time at the College. Societies present included cabin crew, first aid and the College’s LGBT+ group with many having been created by students themselves. Also in attendance were local organisations and businesses, from Darlington Hippodrome to Durham Police, who were on hand to offer support and provide students with the opportunity to enhance their CVs and university applications by taking part in meaningful activities outside of College.

QE possesses one of the largest supplementary programme offerings in the North East and prides itself on the number of activities students can participate in outside of lessons. They can choose from six different languages to learn at beginners’ level or join one of the College’s sporting teams, including football, basketball and rugby, which have enjoyed years of regional success and secured many trophies. Those interested in music are able to showcase their talents in one of the ensembles which perform throughout the year at events, whilst students passionate about the environment can make their voices heard and spearhead change within College with the Green Team. The award-winning Interact Club have had a positive impact on countless lives within the community and the group is always looking for fresh faces to help continue their fantastic volunteering work.

Robyn Johnson, who studies A Level English Literature, Film Studies and Politics at QE, comments: ‘It was great to see all of the different groups that we can get involved in. I’ve made lots of friends in lessons, but I now have the chance to meet people who share the same passions as me’. Lt Kat Wilson, School Staff Instructor who oversees the College’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF), adds: ‘The CCF has proven to be incredibly popular this year, as have many other extra-curricular activities. It is clear that students are taking their enrichment programmes very seriously and are keen to develop their skills. We can’t get wait to get started’. Meirion Baker, Assistant Principal, concludes: ‘Freshers’ Fair is a highlight of the college year, a chance for students to learn about a huge range of opportunities in sport, performing arts, community action and much, much more. There was a real buzz about this year’s Fair, with hundreds of students engaging with dozens of activity providers. Being a QE student is about more than subject learning: it’s about developing skills, making connections, becoming a leader and having fun. Freshers’ Fair is where all that begins!’

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