Over the May bank holiday weekend, 30 Year 9 pupils set off on their Learning Outside The Classroom programme to the Mendip Hills, Bath and Bristol.
The pupils began the weekend with a caving experience and, despite initial nerves, most successfully navigated the caves and were lucky to see a number of tiny horseshoe bats. There were some tight squeezes but fantastic team work and encouragement made for a really enjoyable activity. Pupils also participated in DofE training in the Mendip hills, looking at map to ground work in an unfamiliar environment and observing the flora and fauna of the area, including a sighting of an adder. The evening was spent in a problem-solving activity, trying to escape from an alien invasion.
On Saturday pupils visited the Aerospace Museum in Bristol, where they boarded Concorde, saw how flight technology has developed over the years, and had a go at the Mission to Mars workshop. The afternoon was spent orienteering back at camp before an early dinner. In the evening, a trip to the Bristol Hippodrome was organised to watch the very impressive Welsh National Opera perform The Blaze of Glory. It was a fantastic cultural experience.
A trip into Bath followed on Sunday to visit the Jane Austen and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein centres, and a very informative and fun tour of Bath’s highlights with a Jane Austen twist. The afternoon was spent shopping and enjoying Bath’s architecture before heading back to camp for frisbee golf in the evening sun. Pupils got very competitive and it was a great show of skill and teamwork to achieve the course.
On Monday pupils returned to Bristol for a graffiti tour to learn about the work of Banksy and why street art is such a big part of the city’s identity. The Geography department took over for the afternoon and pupils completed a fieldwork study looking at the different areas of Bristol and interviewing local people. Dinner out at Three Brothers Burgers was a delicious treat and an hour at the fun fair was a great way to finish the day.
After striking camp the final day pupils headed off to the Mendip Water Sports Centre where they all had a go at the 20-obstacle assault course. After a rather dry start, the teams found the water obstacles and ended up covered head to toe in mud. A final wash off in the river was very welcome before heading back to School!
The LOTC programme is an exciting mix of educational activities, outdoor experiences and an opportunity for pupils to test themselves and develop their Mount Kelly values. Some fantastic examples were seen over the five days and staff are very proud of all the pupils for the way they approached the weekend and conducted themselves throughout.
Article by Katy Kelly, Head of PE and Director of Outdoor Education
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