Activities Week – Educational Experiences beyond the Curriculum Posted - 05/07/2019

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During the last week of the summer term all pupils participate in ‘Activities Week’ which allows for educational experiences beyond the curriculum. The vast majority go away on residential trips: from fun outdoor activity centres to countries across Europe to develop language skills. Whilst Fifth Form pupils who have finished their GCSEs find out about the ‘grown-up’ world of work doing work experience the Lower Sixth Form follow a bespoke Personal Development Week to prepare them for leadership and life after school. Upper Sixth Formers doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award completed their Gold expedition in Wales.

Here are a few reports from the various activities that took place over the week:

Third Form Trip to Wales

During the week spent in Porthcawl, Wales, pupils engaged in a series of outdoor activities including climbing up Pen-y-fan, gorge hiking near Pontneddfechan, surfing and paddle boarding at Aberavon beach and, one of the highlights, the coastal walk along Rhossili Bay - ranked as one of the top ten beaches in the world. The week seemed to fly by as we were all kept very busy, active and entertained.

The guides on each activity brought years of experience and their knowledge about the area was immense. It was impressive to witness Reed’s pupils picking up litter along the beach and in the gorge as they navigated the terrain. The plastic-free drive at school is certainly making its impact.

In the evenings staff prepared and planned cricket matches, quizzes and a water-balloon fight which had the pupils targeting their favourite teachers.

Outdoor education is increasingly important in a world dominated by social media and screen time. The ‘soft skills’ pupils learnt this week will certainly benefit them in the future. It was also an opportunity for them to overcome fears, demonstrate resilience in some tough expeditions and learn to reconnect with their friends and peers.

Mark Farmer, Art Department & Head of Fourth Form

Fourth Form Trip to Brussels

Pupils in the Fourth Form got a quintessential European experience with a four-day stay in Brussels. Starting the journey with a ride on the Eurostar, the itinerary was action packed. Activities included visits to the Comic Book Museum, the Atomium and Autoworld, a cycle ride through the city's 19 districts, and truffle making at the Belgian Chocolate Village. The highlight had to be the role-play activity at the European Union Parliament in which the group was divided into separate political parties and had to argue their case for two new directives. This was an exciting and stimulating task which showed the pupils just how much work an effective Member of Parliament does. All of the pupils were focused and dedicated throughout, and were complimented on their behaviour on a few occasions by members of the public. And I haven't even mentioned the chocolate...or the waffles...or the moules frites….!

Tim Silk, Director of Drama

Lower Sixth Personal Development Week

For Personal Development Week students took part in a number of competitive events and activities. Each of the eight groups we were divided into had high – and lows - that they took away from the week, ranging from winning the dragon-boat racing to getting lost in London without completing all the challenges in the London Rally to reversing the logo on the team T-shirts to finding that last bit of inner resolve to complete a task. Each group had its own unique name which fitted the characterful personalities in the team. The most memorable moments of the week were highlighted by the determination and teamwork of each team shown during the dragon-boat racing. The competitiveness pushed four teams into racing against each other in the final where the victory was had by team Fide. The students bonded well with others with whom they had perhaps not spoken to much before this week, developing stronger relationships, all thanks to the team spirit that arose when out of our normal comfort zones on each day and the accompanying activity.     

Georgia Smedley, Lower Sixth Form

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