Students from Blackfriars FE recently joined forces with the Outward Bound Trust for a Cumbrian adventure.
A group of eight students from the College, which is a Special Academy based in Bucknall, stunned instructors as they explored breath-taking sights whilst on an outdoor experience challenge based at the Ullswater and Howtown Centre.
Talking about the five adventure-packed days, Jason Jones, a teacher at the College and a participant of the trip, said: “The students blew me away with the amount they got through – and without any complaints.
“They smashed every target we set and every challenge was met with a smile.”
Academy staff worked alongside instructors from the Outward Bound Trust to provide students with the opportunity to develop their independence and resilience skills in an exciting and unusual environment.
Students’ team working skills were developed whilst they navigated their way through gorges, canoed down lakes and tunnelled through man-made caves.
Challenged to set up their own camping equipment, cook army rations by campfire, and pack and clean all of the equipment, staff and instructors were impressed by the students’ independence. But, the real surprise was when a few students safely climbed four waterfalls, leaving everybody astonished and feeling proud.
Mr Jones explained: “The aim of the trip was to build students’ independence and resilience, enabling them to adapt to changes – this is something that some of our students really struggle with.
“We want to give students opportunities they wouldn’t usually have and develop their personal independence to face challenges.”
At the end of the trip, all of the very tired but happy participants were presented with an Outward Bound Experience Certificate.
Tony Martin-White, Operations Manager at the Outward Bound Trust-run centre, said: “[The Blackfriars] staff have worked tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcomes for the students and have totally embraced the Outward Bound ethos, developing a great working relationship with our instructors.”
The Outward Bound Trust is a charity who run adventurous and challenging outdoor learning courses aimed at equipping young people with valuable life skills, helping them to become more confident, more effective and more capable at school, college and in the workplace.
Mr Martin-White explained that whilst on the trip, “students displayed both collectively and individually, teamwork, resilience, empathy & compassion”; however he emphasised that these were not the only social skills students further developed.
“The greatest achievement was the very obvious increase in the young people’s independence. It really has been quite remarkable.”
More information about the Outward Bound Trust can be found here: https://www.outwardbound.org.uk/