In June, Farlington’s Year 8 attended 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 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.
The girls said, ‘The most memorable activities were kayaking- where almost everyone fell in, rock climbing- where the wall became gradually steeper, and the ground became further and further away, and abseiling- where you had to have complete trust in the rest of the group lowering you down.’
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! The teachers were ably assisted by Sixth Formers who were the best they had ever had. All of whom are in the process of doing their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and gained great leadership experience. The short-term Spanish boarders threw themselves into the experience and came out of themselves.
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 and the girls learn so much about themselves by being taken out of their comfort zone and having to take on new challenges.
Report and pictures contributed by Farlington School.