THE GREAT OUTDOORS

It was great to see pupils out and taking part in a range of the outdoor education activities this term.

Year 4 embarked on their 'Mighty Mountain' topic with a visit to Queen Elizabeth Country Park. They enjoyed a beautiful, sunny day finding out about the local area, as well as the flora and fauna. There were lots of great activities for them to get stuck into including team building activities, a forest trail, a scavenger hunt and den building. "I really liked the scavenger hunt," said Jay in 4. "I got to work with my team to find the different things in the wood." "I loved the den building," said Erin in 4S. "We got to work altogether and go into the woods!"

Towards the end of term they had a very different outdoor experience when they visited Kingley Vale. "After our snack we could play some games in the woods, it was muddy and I thought I was going to slip and get dirty," said Isla in 4S. "After our playtime, we packed up our things and started walking, a couple of minutes into the walk, we saw a hill. We asked the teacher if we had to go up the hill and Mr Sykes said yes with a big grin on his face!"

First out in the Senior School was the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award pupils who spent a weekend at Hilsea Playing Fields pitching tents and lighting trangias as a practice run for their half term assessed expedition to the South Downs. When the 62 pupils headed out at half-term they had challenging distances to navigate around each day and while not camping out they still had to demonstrate cooking and camping skills.

The Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award pupils were also out during half-term having had a similar practice event earlier in the term. They weren’t quite as lucky with the weather but were self-sufficient and resilient throughout. The PGS Outdoor Education team are working with the pupils to get them to where they need to be, as many are starting their Gold Duke of Edinburgh.

85 of the 104 strong CCF contingent went out to Longmoor Camp for a weekend in October. The weather was a little challenging, but the Cadets' morale was high. They took on the challenge of the obstacle course, pairs work with paintballs in a close contact lane, teamwork, ropework, the British Heart Foundation Heart Start qualification for Year 9, weapons handling, an introduction to living in the field, low level tactics and leadership. It was a very busy two days and the attitude of the cadets and staff was outstanding throughout.

Since then twelve of the Year 11 Army Cadets have passed their Cadet Force Instructional Technique course allowing them to be Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs). The RAF and Royal Navy cadets have also had the opportunity to try their hand at air-rifle shooting at the indoor range.