Conquering the great Outdoors

Sixteen, Year 9 students from Albany Academy took part in an outdoor education week. The course, which was held at Tower Wood in the Lake District, is designed to improve the students’ teambuilding, leadership and communication skills.

The students enjoyed a great time and experienced a variety of activities such as dry slope skiing, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, hill walking as well problem solving activities such Jacobs ladder and the sky pole challenge. The Jacobs ladder challenge was a particular favourite amongst students and saw them having to work together to climb a giant ladder of 6-inch beams reaching up to 40ft high. This is a difficult challenge as the distance between each beam increases as the students got higher. They had to rely on support of their team mates below who were holding the ropes in the event of a fall.

In the evening students were kept busy with activities such as night time orienteering and a wide range of challenges. Students were also taught life skills which involved daily housekeeping duties. These included tidying and maintence in specific areas such as the dining area, bedrooms, boot room and drying room.

PE teacher, Martin Peacock, who had coordinated the week, said, “It was a very challenging week with varying weather conditions from blue skies and sunshine to hailstones. All the planned activities were successfully completed by our enthusiastic students who used excellent team work and communications skills throughout the week.”

Year 9 student, Ameila Chorlton, said, “I wanted to take part in the trip because it looked fun and I love taking part in sports and activities. I had such a great time and made some great memories. I really enjoyed the dry slope skiing and the kayaking was brilliant, even when the rain started to come down heavy we were enjoying the activities that much that we just carried on.”

Fellow Year 9 student Luke Pemberton-Forshaw, said, “I love outdoor activities and couldn’t wait to go to Tower Wood. I really enjoyed the skiing as it is different from anything you can do locally. My favourite part of the trip was making it to the top of the Jacobs ladder. My team mates stopped a couple of sections lower but I was determined to reach the top. When I stood at the top it was such a brilliant feeling.”