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It was with a little trepidation that we left for the mountainous Peak District in dreary and rainy weather conditions. The weather did not deter us from arriving on time at Thornbridge Activity Centre so that pupils could be allocated to their respective accommodation areas (10 teepees and 2 lodges) before starting the activities for the afternoon. Thankfully the consistent rain abated by approximately 16:00 and all the pupils were happily involved in one of the following activities: sky ropes, low ropes, marble mine experience, adventure walk, zip wire, problem solving, weaselling and cycling.
Pupils then had some time to unwind after their afternoon activity; they were either getting their sleeping areas ready in their allocated rooms or teepees, or they were playing football and just enjoying the grounds and fresh country air of the surrounding Thornbridge Activity Centre. By 18:30 a number of students and teachers were ravenous. We all appreciated the good food that the Trent catering department had prepared for us. A big thank you to Mr Mitchell and Mrs Webster for organising the respective kitchens areas. Watching students wash up and sweep the respective eating areas after supper was a revelation: one could clearly see which pupils help out with a few home chores. Clearly a number of pupils learnt, for the first time, a few life skills regarding the fine art of cleaning up and washing dishes.
Prior to going to bed, pupils had the opportunity to speak to their House Tutors about the day. Perhaps the golden moments of the evening were the singing of two songs by all in the Year 7 group. These songs were incorporated into a narrative about the ‘Bakewell Swamps’, inspired by the afternoon’s consistent rainfall. Pupils enjoyed singing the strains of ‘In the Jungle’ and the round ‘Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree’.
We were up bright and early on Saturday morning for the start of our morning activities, followed by a packed lunch and afternoon activities. Thankfully the sun came out to lighten up another exciting day. All good things have to come to an end unfortunately, and before we all knew it, we were embarking on the journey back to Trent. A big thank you to the Head and the PSA for the barbeque provided for all parents and pupils at the end of what were very successful days in the outdoors.
You may be interested in what a number of our Year 7s had to say about the residential:
The adventure weekend was great personally. Especially the sky ropes. Even climbing the pole ladder to the platform above was terrifying. It was muddy and slippery climbing; your nails got gritted with dirt but you didn’t care, you just wanted to get to the top where you knew you were safe. Overall the adventure weekend was, to me, about overcoming your fear and having self-esteem in yourself. (Tiam Baharvand, Owen House)
I really enjoyed the Adventure Weekend and I thought it was a great opportunity to make friends and get to know each other. My favourite activity was weaselling. We had to crawl through gigantic boulders acting like weasels, hence the name weaselling. I also enjoyed problem solving, in which I got very muddy because I got pulled through the mud. (Loui-Jo Ware, Kemp House)
I really enjoyed my time at the adventure weekend. I made quite a few friends and I got to know the year better. I am now much more confident in and around school. (Freddy Rhodes, Kemp House)
There are a range of activities from bike riding to mining. I felt quite excited but a tad nervous before we arrived, but soon I left my nerves behind me as there is just so much to do. The activities I did were cargo nets and abseiling/climbing. Cargo nets is completely exhilarating when you have climbed the net; I felt like a bird soaring through the air. When you do bike riding/BMX you feel liberated. When I did low ropes I felt my leadership grow and come out of me like a flower in mid spring. Adventure weekend was amazing. (Esmae Badcock, Wright House)
I thoroughly enjoyed adventure weekend because I was with my friends and I was able to make many new friends. I enjoyed all of my activities but my favourite two were the cargo nets and climbing a massive tree and ringing the bell at the top!! Adventure weekend was for me awesome!!! (Chloe Kimmitt, Wright House)
The year 7 trip was a new experience for us all especially if you were sleeping in a tent or a tepee. Each group did a range of 3 activities. My favourite activity was the low ropes. This was a team work activity. The aim of this exciting activity was to get us and 2 planks across tricky challenges to overcome. (Philipa Crowhurst, Owen House)
I really enjoyed the adventure weekend because we did lots of fun activities such as zip wiring and the adventure walk. The zip wiring was so scary, that I closed my eyes! Also the food was amazing! It was the best weekend ever!! Thank you all members of staff!! (Samantha Fawcett, Wright House)