Jack Petchey Foundation
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Students forge friendships and face fears on an action-packed residential

This summer, 36 Year 7 and Year 8 pupils from St Pauls Academy were lucky enough to attend a three day outdoor residential trip to Marchants Hill in Surrey. The trip included a wide variety of action-packed activities which helped them develop a variety of skills such as leadership, communication, and team work. It also extends the pupils learning beyond the realms of the classroom and environment of the school. As quite a large percentage of the schools’ students come from a low socio-economic background, there were pupils who could not afford to pay for the trip. A Small Grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation meant that those deserving students were able to attend the trip along with their classmates.

 The pupils enjoyed an action packed first day in which they went quad biking and bravely took on the heights of the ‘Giant Swing’. Despite the long drop, they cheered each other on and all had a go on the swing, they even encouraged their very reluctant teacher Miss Duffy to try it out. The second day included flying through the air on a zip wire, archery, and trapeze lessons, all activities that need concentration, determination and a strong nerve. However, the most popular activity for the students and also the teachers was the muddy obstacle course. One of the teachers, Miss Duffy said that despite them being covered head to toe in mud “what shone through were the smiles on every single student and teachers’ face after engaging in such a unique, uninhibited and exciting activity.” After everyone got cleaned up, the group had a disco to celebrate their final night of the trip, with their teachers acting as the resident DJs.

On their final day at Marchants Hill, the pupils took part in lots more activities including a low ropes challenge and a range of sporting activities such as rounders and rugby football. Miss Duffy commented that “On our way home it was fantastic to listen to pupils recall fond memories of activities they had engaged in, or enjoyable and memorable moments they shared with one another.  Such an experience has helped pupils to engage with each other much more, form new friendships and strengthen existing ones, as well as develop a mutual respect for one another.” 

One of the students commented 'Through our PE lessons we get to do lots of fun and exciting activities, however, it was brilliant to get the chance to do more activities outside that were new and challenging for me. They helped me push myself to reach my full potential and learn new skills.'


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