After half term, 15 students, myself and Helen were lucky enough to go on a wild adventure deep into the Welsh Mountains at a place called the Outward Bound Trust. The trip was all about helping the students believe in themselves and to develop their confidence; which they all did in spades!
Danny: My group went rock climbing and rambling; kayaking and exploring. Katelyn and Issy were brave enough to abseil off a cliff, showing great grit, guts and determination as they did so. In fact Issy’s face as she prepared to lean back over the cliff edge was a particular highlight of the trip! Alisha Sims did a 360 degree maneuver on a near vertical rock side – a feat that left her beaming with pride, but also shaking with adrenaline! Brandon Bilsby conquered his fears and was ably supported by the group to ramble up a rocky slope. Needless to say I was incredibly proud of the students particularly with the care, support and encouragement they were giving each other.
Helen: My group canoed down the River Dyfi into Snowdonia National Park on our first day. It was particularly windy and as we travelled down the river, we went from paddling in single canoes to pairing up and finally being three canoes strapped together! John and Vernon were a top team in their canoe. At the end of the route, Xander and Chloe even did a canoe slide where they had to launch themselves along the length of an upturned canoe, flying off the end straight into the sea!
Our second adventure was crag hopping up Cregennen Ridge, a 383m high mountain in the Cadair-Idris mountain range in Snowdonia. Chloe led the way and Caitlin overcame her fears to follow us all up. Xander, ever the gentleman gave a number of us a helping hand!
We camped out in the Welsh wilderness – some of the students had never camped before so it was quite a baptism of fire! With no phones or signal, I was delighted to see how young minds could be entertained by conversation and comradery, instead of fortnite and social media. I am sad to report that I (Danny) was the only one willing to use the poo tube, as I channeled my inner caveman. The students were united in their desire to wait for a traditional toilet! We then trekked across the moorland to our pick-up point and collapsed on the coach ride back.
Helens group also camped, but first we had to get there! After scrambling down from the ridge, we proceeded to our campsite next to the River Gwynant, in the dark, being led by Vernon map reading. We then had to pitch, it was very dark by then and we ate from ‘Adventure Ration Packs’, which were surprisingly good! The group really came together on their expedition, it really was one for all, and all for one! Devan was a constant source of positivity for the whole team. No one got left behind, and no clearer did this become than when the students were at the wall challenge the next day, getting each other over, putting all of their trust in each other, and making friendships that will be enduring – Summer went over the wall twice! And as for John, on the trapeze…he was amazing!
The purpose of this trip was to achieve things outside of the classroom that the students did not think they could do. Their challenge was to then take these experiences and translate this back into their school life. I sincerely hope that all involved took something valuable from this trip and would like to personally thank all students, parents and staff for their support in making this week a rip-roaring success!