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Trent year 7 pupils have started the academic year with a great day out to Beaumanor Hall as part of our excellent transition programme on joining Senior School. High ropes, aerial trekking, plank walking and structure building challenged pupils and teachers alike!
The tours, discovery days, induction days and open events at Trent over the past 2 years have given students the essential practical preparation, early opportunities to develop friendships and build a sense of
anticipation about all that awaits the children on their journey through Senior School. This culminated in the superb start to the Year 7 year with an induction day at Trent just for Year 7 before heading out to Beaumanor hall for a day of discovery and excitement.
On arrival, the pupils were taken to the main sports hall and split into four activity groups. The timetable for the day was explained by Beaumanor staff and they had the opportunity to complete two out of a possible three activities - Team Challenges, Bridge Building or High Ropes. All activities were designed to be both physically and mentally challenging, encouraging team-working, leadership and self-motivation.
Bridge Building was a favourite for many, where groups of four/five pupils had to build a bridge that would enable them all too successfully (and without getting wet!), cross a small stream. They had different size poles and lengths of rope to use and needed to explore skills such as structural engineering, rope/knot work, teamwork, physical balance and movement to design, build and test their own bridges. The activity was great to encourage working together and potential leadership and there were a lot of laughs, wet feet and a few soggy bottoms by the end of it!
Team Challenges was similarly a great bonding activity. There were a number of exciting physical and mental games/puzzles for them to solve, aimed at bringing out team-working skills and promoting problem-solving, leadership, self and peer-evaluation and physical co-ordination. This ranged from team plank walking, group races on an assault course, designing and building structures for the team to sit on for at least 1 minute (without collapsing!) and working together to cantilever team mates to pick up a cup over an incrementally increasing distance! All great fun with some spectacular triumphs (and a few devastating disasters!).
Finally, the activity the children found the most challenging, but also the firm favourite was a chance to take part in the very imposing High Rope course. The course at Beaumanor Hall stands an impressive 11.5m high and has a range of activities to choose from, each testing a different skill or helping you face a different fear. The pupils were able to experience Aerial Trekking, testing their head for heights as they walked along ropes and poles 9m above the ground, a thrilling Zip Wire where they could race along one of two 150m wires starting from the top of an 11.5m tower, or Abseiling, where they abseiled externally down the wall of the tower to the safety of the ground below! All of these activities promoted the qualities in the children such as mutual support and trust, self-esteem, self-reliance, determination and how to push the boundaries. We witnessed some amazing bravery and great team-work, where children worked together to support those who were less confident and helped them overcome their individual fears.
“Amazing”, “A great day”, “It was awesome”, “So much fun!” were all direct quotes from the Year 7’s on returning to the coaches for the trip back to Trent College. Hopefully having made one or two more firm friendship bonds than they set off with, ready for the year ahead!