Farlington School’s Year 8 girls have just returned from a three-day bonding trip at Blackland Farm in East Grinstead as part of the Key Stage 3 Physical Education curriculum and to develop peer group relationships.
The camp is run every year for the 12- and 13-year-olds and develops and enhances their team building skills, initiative, independence and self-confidence.
The girls have to work outside their usual friendship sets as they are divided into different groups for outdoor activities, doing chores and sleeping in tents.
The outdoor challenges included low ropes, an assault course, tunnels, orienteering, rock climbing, kayaking, abseiling, bungee jumping and crate challenge. These activities were in addition to the worthwhile, and for some, first, experience of camping: having to pitch a tent, cook on an open fire, wash up for themselves and sleep under canvas!
Maddie Ryan, Year 8, said, “Blackland Farm was a great experience for me. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and I and now feel closer to my friends. For me this trip really helped me grow a little more confident about my fears. I am not a huge fan of small dark spaces, but the amount of laughter I could hear through the tunnels was not only phenomenal, but helped me push through. The last time I went abseiling, I was so scared I couldn’t stop shaking. This time, the happy (and slightly crazy) instructors really helped me. Again with rock climbing, I have never had a good experience climbing, but the lovely instructors helped me persevere.”
The teachers were ably assisted by Sixth Formers who were excellent. All of whom are in the process of doing their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and gained great leadership experience.
Sara Whittaker, Farlington’s Director of PE and Games, who organised and led the trip said, “This trip is an invaluable experience before the girls enter Year 9: it builds relationships and co-operation across the year group.
“There has been much in the news about the cost and value of school trips. This three-day camp cost less than £100 which is outstanding value and the girls learnt so much about themselves by being taken out of their comfort zone and having to take on new challenges.”
Report and picture contributed by Farlington School.