Our students have now been fundraising since the start of October, with Beth in 8S having raised over £1000 so far ! Many congratulations to her and everyone for their hard work and commitment to fund raising. Several pupils made very worthwhile sums at the Christmas Fayre, having spent a lot of time producing craft items to sell.
Livvie`s family in 9M have had a sponsored `dry` January and are also planning a walk around Jersey at Easter. Annie is preparing to cycle around the Isle of Wight to raise funds whilst Hannah has decided to walk around it. Ella in 9C did a sponsored cycle around Richmond Park and has set up a Justgiving page to reach a wider audience. Several 8C girls are holding a Movie Night on February 24th for Prep pupils and a pancake sale near Shrove Tuesday is also being planned. A cheese and wine evening is also being discussed at present
It is very encouraging to hear that all Vietnam students are doing chores around the house to earn extra pocket money (as well as helping their parents of course ) and many are babysitting for neighbours and friends. We wish them all the best in the next few weeks and very much appreciate all the support received from their families, friends and teachers.
Sue Parfitt - Expedition Leader
On the first Sunday of our half term break, a group of 21 Year 7 and 8 pupils gathered at Paddington Station at a very early hour to make our way down to Cornwall for a week of exciting activities. We were based at the Manor House Outdoor Learning Centre in St Issey, just outside of Wadebridge. While some of the Year 8 pupils had been before, for most pupils it was their first time – and they were very much looking forward to the week.
After settling in on the Sunday afternoon, we went down to the beach just a few miles from the centre for some very lively games before an evening meal and a DVD before bed. The next day saw the group divide in two and head out for a coastal walk or surfing/body boarding activities, swapping over at lunchtime. The walk was broken up with lots of stories about smugglers and Cornish folklore as well as seeing some of the locations where Poldark was filmed. In the evening, we returned to the beach for a bonfire and the opportunity to toast some marshmallows.
The next day we were more adventurous, with the day split between rock climbing and a chance to explore St Ives. It was a beautifully sunny day and pupils had terrific views over the sea - when they weren’t concentrating on climbing!
We headed to the south coast of Cornwall on the Wednesday and spent the day either kayaking or paddle boarding which was great fun. In the evening, pupils had a private tour of the Aquarium in Newquay, seeing a variety of sea life from piranhas and an octopus to turtles and clown fish.
Thursday was our last full day and we went as a group on a cycle safari along the Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Padstow, where we parked the bicycles and walked into town to try our luck with some crab fishing. Unfortunately, the seagulls seemed to end up with most of the bacon we used for bait and the crabs managed to evade capture!
Having missed the final of the Great British Bake Off with our visit to the Aquarium the previous evening, we watched the programme a day late and, before the final section, paused the programme and everyone came into the kitchen where Ms Goldburn and Miss Ryan had bought some cakes, icing and a variety of decorations and were challenged to decorate our cakes before eating them!
Thanks go to Ms Goldburn and Miss Ryan for giving up their time to organise the trip and looking after everyone. Finally, some comments from the pupils:
It was a fun week, filled with things I have never done before like climbing on a sea-cliff (Bani Ghumman – Year 7)
I absolutely adored it all and being with my best friends made it 100% better. (Eleanor Chidwick – Year 7)
I was scared to do the rock climbing at first because it looked a bit high. However, I did it and it was really good. My favourite activity was riding a bike with Ms Goldburn. (Kareena Rana – Year 7)
I enjoyed walking along the coastal path although it was really windy along the trail it was fun because of all the stories we were told like the story of the Padstow sand bar and the giants. (Eleanor Cole – Year 7)
What I liked most about my stay was the stand-up paddle boarding as I love being in the water and it allowed us to work as a team. (Silvana Marin – Year 8)
We watched the Great British Bake Off and then we got to decorate cakes. (Lucia Subak-Sharpe – Year 7)
The most challenging was the rock climbing as you had to find the right places to put your feet. (Lucy Savage – Year 7)
My favourite activity was surfing as it was really fun catching all the waves down to the shore. (Bella Williams – Year 7)
We are already looking at dates for next year’s trip – watch out for further announcements and book your place early!
This is a unique opportunity open to all students in our current year 8 and above. In groups of 15, accompanied by 2 teaching staff and an Outlook expedition leader, we will fly to Hanoi and spend a couple of days acclimatising to the sights and sounds of Vietnam. We shall visit the Military History Museum to learn about the war from a Vietnamese viewpoint, before catching an overnight train to Lao Cai. Having arrived in the Sapa Valley we will explore local markets and take in the unique culture of the region.
A four day trek will pass through spectacular scenery and allow us to stay overnight in traditional homestays in rural villages. We then return by train to Hanoi where we move on to our community project with Volunteers for Peace Vietnam. Students will be helping with renovation work and constructing pathways as well as teaching English and organising activities with the local children, for 6-7 days.
The last few days of the trip sees us travel back to Halong Bay to enjoy the stunning scenery amongst the limestone towers and crystal clear seas. We stay overnight on one of the junk boats to experience the lifestyle of the region. Finally, we go out for a team meal to celebrate the completion of the expedition and fly back to the UK, ready to share our experiences and photos with family and friends.
OUR VISIT TO PERU
Sunday 10th July bright and early, the orange kit bags began to appear on the concourse at Gatwick Airport, with 28 excited students ready for the journey of a lifetime. All the hard work had been done with 2 years of fundraising, gathering kit and anticipation, luggage checked, parents hugged, we were off to Peru at last.
Arriving in Lima we were met by Miguel and Miguel, who were to be our guides for the trip, we set off for our first b&b just for an overnight before travelling on to Cusco; thankfully we opted to fly - we did meet with other groups who travelled by bus for 22hours!
Three days were spent acclimatising in Cusco, getting used to altitude and drinking in the culture, it was an amazing introduction to Peru.
The second phase started with us splitting into our two groups, quite emotional as the girls would not see each other for the next 10 days. One group did the project phase in the mountains, working in the community, using very primitive plastering techniques to finish a bedroom. This entailed marching in mud while treading in hay to prepare the plaster—great fun1 The second group started off to trek the Salkantay trail (4400m).
On returning to Cusco we prepared for the next phase which was to travel by air to Chulacanas where we had been invited by the Bishop: what a wonderful man and such hospitality; the girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Then back to Lima and on to Huccachina for sand surfing and dune buggy riding in the most enormous sand dunes.
The trip came to a close with the celebration of two 18th birthdays in a restaurant called Desert Nights in the dunes and the most delicious barbecue and birthday cakes.
We arrived back to reality at the end of July with a group of students who had had a truly life changing experience.
Peru was such an amazing experience and we both really enjoyed our time there. One of the highlights of our trip was visiting Machu Pichu. We had to wake up at 2.00am if we wanted to get to the coaches first, and we did. The views were beautiful and the historical knowledge that we gained was very beneficial.
The entire team really immersed themselves into the Peruvian culture, trying new foods and buying traditional hand-made clothing. We learnt may things from our experience, including appreciation.
By Roisin Neligan-Ayling and Zara Hill
I would like to thank Sr. Paula, Mrs. Stevens and Mr. Melling for their support not only this year but for ALL the trips that they have been there for, as without them they would not have been possible.
Iceland Geography Trip
A selection of actual and potential Geography students visited Iceland at the start of Easter. Upon arrival we experienced a refreshing dip in the ‘Blue Lagoon’. Its mud is said to have therapeutic properties, just what was needed after an early flight! We had a brief tour of Reykjavik, visiting some impressive churches and what must be the world’s smallest parliament building.
Unfortunately the weather was our enemy on Thursday, the driving hail and strong winds made our visit to the erupting Geysir a rather brief excursion. We did however see the sheer power of the Gulfoss waterfall and also learned how Icelanders use Geothermal power to produce all their electricity and heating.
Fortunately, the weather was superb on our final day with visits to a range of waterfalls, including one we walked behind. We visited the edges of a glacier which looked stunning in the bright sunshine and also enjoyed visits to a volcanic crater and an earthquake simulator.
This short trip really provided the girls with the chance to see some beautiful natural scenery along with gaining some appreciation of the power and role of natural processes in this land of ice and fire.
Mr D Rock, Head of Geography