Earlier in the term, the School’s most recent intake headed off to Wales for a team-building weekend. Thank you to First Form’s Freya and Rosie for sharing their thoughts on the experience.

Day One (Freya)

We arrived at school on Friday excited but nervous, smiling despite our tear-stained faces and homesick stomachs. The morning went on like normal, but at lunchtime, everything changed. We all hauled our heavy suitcases across the lawn and past the car park and popped them just outside the coach. We then headed into lunch while the staff kindly slotted all the suitcases and bags into the storage area under the bus. After a nutritious meal, we all got onto the coach excitedly and went to our seats and shared snacks with our friends. It was a long journey, three hours to be exact. The roads were winding and the wheels on the bus kept rolling (and so did the song).

When we arrived, we were told our spots, groups and dorms. We then went to our rooms, though we were only there for a little while until the fire drill, but still long enough to be able to squabble over beds! When the fire drill was over, we unpacked our things and went downstairs to the food hall and enjoyed delicious pizza.

That night we had team-building activities in the evening and a lovely (and stressful but oddly relaxing) midnight walk. We all dragged ourselves to bed and rested our weary heads.

Day Two (Rosie)

Waking up on Saturday was certainly an interesting affair. Sleepy eyes and creaky bones met the teachers when we sat down for a breakfast of bacon baps and cereal, which we all wolfed down. Friday seemed years away as we were sent upstairs to get changed for our respective activities.

My group were doing gorge walking and we had to wear tight, uncomfortable wetsuits. The group leaders were prompt with getting us up and out. We were in the buses by 9 o’clock with sandwiches made and excitement at a peak. A 40-minute drive took us straight to the desired location, an abandoned old train tunnel that we had to traverse our way through. The whole group was incredibly brave and got through the cave with haste. The biggest problem was not the dark, but the cool murky water seeping through holes in our boots.

We had lunch after that (delicious homemade sandwiches) and went off to do the most exiting activity, the river walk. We were all tentative getting into the water after the coldness of the cave, but we soon warmed up. We faced many challenges including rushing rapids and a waterfall shower, but we got through them all before finally sliding down the river back to where we had come from.

That night at dinner, everyone was talking about the amazing adventures they had been on and the many challenges they had faced. We all fell asleep dreaming of rock climbing, caving and gorge walking, excited for the day ahead of us.

Day Three (Freya)

On Sunday we woke up, devoured our breakfast and made sandwiches. We did lots of different activities and got all wet and muddy. When we were all warm and done, we put away our last bags and got onto the coach. It was a long yet entertaining bus ride home and when family members were seen there was a joyous uproar on the bus as people went and hugged their parents, siblings and friends. Our residential was a changing and enchanting experience that I don’t think we will ever forget.