Top Achievers enjoy the Outdoors

On the 22nd of February, a selection of "Highly Achieving Highly Skilled" students from Years 10 and 11 were taken on an incredible three day trip to the Snowdonia National Park in Wales. I was lucky enough to be invited on this trip, and I can honestly say it was one of the best and most rewarding experiences of my life.

The coach journey to Wales was long, so when we finally arrived and were able to relax and make a drink for ourselves, we were relieved.

However, this relaxation period did not last long as soon enough we found ourselves covered in waterproof clothing with wellies and hiking boots on, ready for our first challenge. We were going to build shelters which we hoped would shelter us from the rain, or any water which would be poured over us whilst checking its effectiveness.

The next day, the real challenge began. Originally, we were hoping that we would be hiking up Mount Snowdon, however, we were told that conditions on the mountain were too dangerous for us to climb.  So not to spoil our day, the guides made a quick change of plan and we decided to hike around the mountains surrounding a beautiful lake. Although this may sound less exciting than climbing up Mount Snowdon, actually hiking around rather than up the mountain may have created a much more enjoyable experience.

The trip took much of the day and was hard work. Our legs were aching and sore by the time we arrived back at the coach, however, the beautiful scenery and quiet that surrounded us was a blissfully beautiful occurrence, which was worth the hike.

On our final day, we completed a morning of orienteering, using maps to help us find our points. The woodland was beautiful, and helped myself, as well as many of the other students who attended the trip, appreciate the nature around us. It also challenged some of the students who previously said that they did not enjoy the outdoors and didn't think that they would do very well to realise their own capabilities, and challenge themselves.

Overall, the trip to Wales was a complete success, and helped to teach some very valuable lessons about perseverance, challenging ourselves, and overcoming our fears. I'm sure many of the students, and even some of the teachers, will benefit from the skills and attitudes that were developed as they look towards the future with college applications and the changes to come.

 Paige Chappell Yr11

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