ICU Camping Adventure
Groups of students completed a 10-mile walk and a series of activities during their stay.
Here, Katie Smith, Director of English, shares a teacher's perspective of the trip:
I love camping - but the thought of camping with 40 Year 9 students was rather daunting. As the coach inched away from school I began to wonder why I'd volunteered for this. But with the fantastic bunch of students we took with us my worries soon proved unwarranted. This trip wasn't work - it was a holiday, one which I felt privileged to be on.
Over the three days we were away, I watched the students become more competent in a range of camp craft skills. When cooking the first evening meal I must have lit 20 stoves for students who had never cooked outdoors before - by Thursday morning I felt redundant. The students were all able to light their own stoves and prepare an 'inventive' range of foods for breakfast (chocolate pudding and custard was my personal favourite).
Daytime activities enabled us to teach the students how to plan and then navigate their own walks. For many of the students, the 10 mile walk on day two was an overwhelming thought - but they all set off at 9.30 am in good spirits. Along the way we completed a range of team games. The most frustrating of which was getting 8 students to stand on a groundsheet and then flip the groundsheet over with all of the students on top - without touching the ground. Despite many unsuccessful attempts, perseverance and inventiveness shone through.
The walk to the beach continued. Tiredness, aching legs and blisters were no match for our students and everyone made it to the beachside cafe where the cheesy chips proved popular. They even had the energy left for games on the beach before starting the long walk back to camp. Needless to say - all slept well that night!
Evenings at camp were spent in the wooded area adjacent to the site playing numerous games of 'man hunt' and 'sardines'. The best hider had to be Sam Pearson who managed to remain 'invisible' despite staff and students standing right next to his hiding place. Bradley Harris-Bruce was a star at sardines - virtually all of the students managed to hide in a bush with him before they were spotted and it was quite a sight to see 36 students emerging from a rather small bush. The best staff hiders were Mr Terry and Miss Webb who hid so well that even we couldn't find them! I think Mr Terry even managed to fall asleep.
As we left the campsite I felt saddened that the trip was over already. It has been a great opportunity to get to know students who I don't usually teach, to get to know them outside of the school environment. All have demonstrated hidden skills and personality traits that reflect what great students they are. They're the ones who have made this trip so successful and I thank them for giving me my best experience at KSA so far. And now, I can't wait for next year's trip!
"I really enjoyed the trip and I would definitely do it again. I liked doing the activities such as manhunt and sardines. I also liked walking to all of the different locations and cooking all my own food. Putting up the tent was fun, but getting it back in the bag was quite hard but I managed to do it. I also thought the days were structured and very fun. The teachers were all nice."
"It was an experience that will be in my head and heart forever! Living like that for 2 nights and 3 days makes you realise how easy we have life - it was really hard because you had to live on just basics.
"The team building activities were really fun and made you think how hard or easy it is to work with a team of people that sometimes you won't even have spoken to before."