All the news from Secondary Trips Week

In the week before our half term, our Secondary students head off on many an adventure around East Africa. Here is all the news from Trips week!

Year 7 - Sagana

Year 7s enjoyed a fantastic trip to Sagana in Kenya this week. A full day's travelling on the Saturday meant that little other than settling in and enjoying some activities was had on our first evening. Sunday, however, proved somewhat more action-packed, as the students travelled to a nearby dam to try their hand at Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) and Ducky (Kayaking). In both, the students had to quickly master their ability to balance whilst moving on water - some feat I can assure you. I'm sure, that most students, spent longer periods in the water than they did actually on their rafts. Nonetheless, the students thoroughly enjoyed frolicking about in the water, as did the nearby villagers who were thoroughly amused at our escapades.

Our plans for Monday, however, were hindered due to the preceding heavy rainfall which had befallen the area of Kenya that we were based. We had been scheduled to do White Water Rafting but the river had swollen to such an extent that it would have been simply unsafe to do so. Instead, one group climbed to a nearby hill to enjoy some quite spectacular views over the surrounding countryside, whilst the other tested their temperament with heights by doing some rock climbing. The remainder of the day was spent with all students completing team building activities.
Tuesday's schedule was, similarly, altered because the river simply hadn't reduced sufficiently enough for the students to safely white water raft. A brief visit to a nearby Cultural Centre gave students an opportunity to engage with local Kikuyu life (both past and present), was followed by the whole group testing their endurance and physical limits with some mountain biking. For the afternoon, students had an opportunity to select either rock climbing or an extra round of mountain biking - both activities were very much enjoyed. This, along with the evening's activities, helped put an end to what was a fantastic trip and one that I am convinced our Year 7 students would have found to be an extremely rewarding trip.

Year 8 - Zanzibar

All we can say is that the Zanzibar trip was simply great. It was fun and educational and we had a chance of seeing one the largest tortoise, we had a tour of the prisons’ island, stone town and the spice farm. The most exciting bit was having free time during hot afternoons to swim in the ocean. It was one of our best trips so far and a trip we would like to treasure in our memories forever. It was worth of every minute and penny too. We interacted and got to know each other better than before.

Year 9 - Meru

Year 9 had a fantastic trip up to Little Meru. The weather couldn’t have been better: Clear blue skies and wonderful views. The group were coherently fit and while some claimed to be exhausted, they kept together with no stragglers at all and everyone made it to the top: A good omen for next year. As a sign of their exhaustion, the level of chatter never ceased from start to finish, even on the bus home there was the same lively energy. This group will fly up Mt Kilimanjaro next year. A big thanks to our illustrious  leader who couldn’t have had a worse group in terms of having to keep up but who nevertheless rose to the occasion and led her tutor group to their successful conquest.

Year 10 - Kilimanjaro

Our Year 10s bravely took on Africa's highest freestanding mountain - the beautiful Mount Kilimanjaro. Taking the 6 day Marangu route, they traversed through tropical rainforest, moorland and alpine desert before scaling the heights of a snow-covered Kibo summit. This is a massive challenge for our students and they faced it with bravery and determination. While not everyone managed to reach the absolute summit, every member of the group gave it their all. Congratulations! You should all be very proud!

Year 12 - Lukenya

The Year 12s spent 3 days in the picturesque Lukenya Hills in Machakos Kenya. The trip forms part of a compulsory assessment for BTEC Business. The training is carried out by Blue Sky. They believe in experiential learning.The students learn how to work as a team and how to listen to others; these are invaluable skills, which they will use in their working lives. In addition, they were able to challenge themselves and partake in activities such as low ropes, high ropes and swings. Trusting their team mates was an integral part.

As well as team building activities the students were able to meet other groups of people such as American youngsters who had come to train as team leaders; in this way they were able to identify themselves as global citizens. 
Multi-Year Group Enrichment

The theme or our enrichment activities was reduce, reuse, recycle.

“It has been a long but wonderful 3 days. We learned a lot and have participated in some recycling processes. I enjoyed Shanga, especially when my fellow students were participating in blowing the recycled glass. The other thing that we enjoyed were the bus rides and trips that we took, it brought us closer together as we bonded over recycling. We saw some very tragic things in the community, I hate to think about the environment around us and how people ignore it. As a group we just really want to thank the members of staff that helped us throughout the process. I hope to make more of an impact now that I’m more informed.”

“The three days if enrichment were pretty interesting. We went to a couple of places, one of them being "Shanga" where we were highly inspired by disabled people who made jewellery and all sorts of amazing things! Being there made me think of my well-being and how we take the smallest things for granted. In Shanga they reused old glass, melted it and made new beads, ornaments and some beautiful glassware. They also recycled paper and used old sufurias (aluminium pots) to make wind mobiles. Apart from Shanga we went to "Maendeleo Factory". Besides the funny smells we endured, it was a weird experience. There, they collected trash, and also bones (all sorts), crushed them and made them into some sort of calcium rich food for chickens. Overall it was an experience that has changed the way I look at plastic. I have a whole new perspective.  I am more or less scared by how harmful it is, as we speak we are breathing in microbeads of plastic which could eventually give rise to unknown diseases or even kill us. From these three days, I feel we could start working on the small things like the school wetlands area and later on expand to country wide projects. You never know how big an action is ...no matter how small it us to you. We all need to start taking action.”