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St Mary's Catholic High School

Year 11s at Hindleap Warren

On Friday, 10th November, our Year 11 pupils embarked on the now annual residential weekend trip to the outdoor pursuits centre, Hindleap Warren, where they participate in a variety of team building activities, led by the centre staff, and specialist subject lessons delivered by our teachers who accompanied them.

Hindleap Warren Outdoor Centre, in the heart of Ashdown Forest, is a perfect location, allowing students to become more resilient, develop stronger friendships, and build their confidence levels as high as the challenges they conquered.

Unlike previous years, when the weather was gloriously sunny throughout, this year’s visit took place in more traditional November dampness. However, students rose to the challenge and completed all the physical challenges with gusto. Fortunately, Hindleap Warren is well prepared for running weekends in wet weather and were able to provide wet-weather gear and wellington boots.

They will have long-lasting memories of the many physical activities that they completed. This year, as well as the traditional, night hike, campfire, and the ‘Leap of Faith’ from a platform the size of a pizza box on the top of a telegraph pole, pupils were taught how to scale the rock wall, complete the high rise ‘see-saw challenge’, and the ‘crate stack challenge’, all set in the stunning autumn woodland setting of Hindleap Warren.

Perhaps the most memorable for many pupils was the adventure hike through the forest, including wading through muddy knee-deep streams. All these activities were carefully supervised by the centre staff who, while impressing upon the students the importance of following instructions while encouraged them to find creative solutions to the various challenges.

As important as the physical challenges, the timetable for the weekend included revision workshops in English, mathematics, science and RE, led by staff from St Mary's. For the staff it was an ideal opportunity to really get to know their students; working with them in unfamiliar surroundings and even taking on many of the physical challenges.

Thank you to all the staff at the centre for their professionalism, enthusiasm, and friendship, ensuring that our students were always safe, well fed and engaged throughout. Also, a special thank you to all the staff from St Mary’s who were involved in the weekend.