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Year 8 Trip to Marchants Hill

posted 6 Nov 2014, 05:25 by . WebResources Account
On a wet and blustery Wednesday in October, 51 Year 8 students arrived at the Academy bursting with excitement, their suitcases bursting more with Haribos and Doritos! We were heading off to Marchants Hill!

Despite the rain as we stepped off the coach, spirits were high as we unloaded our luggage. We were immediately greeted by PGL staff and were taken to the sports hall to eat our packed lunch which was a bit grim as the sandwiches were now quite squashed after the journey!

Before we began our first activity, we hiked through the forest to the famous ‘Devil’s Punchbowl’ where we all shouted “Bexleyheath Academy is great” which could be heard echoing across the valley - that was an amazing experience! We could even see the Beckhams’ residence in the distance, and we like to think that they heard us shout out.

It was now time for our first activity to begin - hurrah!!!

The students were split into five groups with each group rotating around the centre for the activities - giant swing, trapeze, problem solving, power fan, Jacob’s ladder, climbing or zip wire.

At 5pm, all the students collected their cases and made their way to their new home for the next 2 nights and quickly unpacked, changed and spent some of their pocket money in the shop before tucking into dinner. Mountains of food was piled onto plates and on seeing the empty plates afterwards, dinner was enjoyed by all. Unfortunately, it decided to rain again that evening and that meant the fire wood was too damp to light for the camp fire so the group were moved indoors for some entertainment. Lights out at 10.30pm (for most), OK, 11.45pm!! Mrs Boswell and Ms Fewer crept around in the darkness like MI5 to ensure all students were sleeping.

After a 7.00am alarm call, the early morning mist had cleared as we strolled along to breakfast. Fuelling our bellies with bacon, mushrooms, beans and other delights, we were all now ready for action! The overnight rain ensured that there were plenty of fresh puddles for the day’s activities and the students were eager to get muddy! This did not stop the students and staff pulling the ropes of the giant swing, climbing the towers, jumping off a 30ft trapeze, climbing a 50ft pole and then jumping off and zipping across the lake.

After building up an appetite, we feasted yet again on a selection of jacket potatoes, salad, pasta and fruit - by now we had all put on a few kilos! We were then ready to take on the afternoon’s activities and, more importantly, we took on the rain, thunder and lightning! At one point, you could not actually see who was on the zip wire as it was raining so hard, everyone was soaked through and at 5.00pm we welcomed a change of clothes and headed out for dinner. After yet another enjoyable meal, the PGL staff took the lead and escorted the students off for games and entertainment until 9.00pm followed by lights out at 11.00pm. MI5 were back on patrol late into the night and it seemed that all the students slept well.

Our final morning started off early again with an alarm call at 6.45am. As we peered out of the window, we were greeted with a rare sight ….. the sun! The rain had finally decided to give us a break. Our students packed their cases and tidied their rooms, picked up lonely, headless Haribos and crushed crisps off the floor, they even stripped their beds! With a spring in our step (bringing our raincoats ‘just in case’), we headed out for our last breakfast. We swapped tales of our previous day’s adventures and, having heard stories of the remainder of the sessions we had planned, this led to even more excitement. Testing our strength and commitment to work together as a team, we headed out for our last 2 sessions.

The trip saw us supporting each other in facing our fears and achieving our own personal goals, and our aims were certainly fulfilled.
All the students were brilliant and all the staff tried at least one activity. Mr Hills and Mr Jones-Omomia tackled every single one!

We would definitely take our students again; they were fantastic, happy and lovely young people to spend time with.

Finally, many thanks to those members of staff who not only gave up their time but were also fantastic group leaders: Ms Fewer, Mrs Windsor, Mr Jones-Omomia and Mr Hills.

Mrs T Boswell
Head of Year 8