Year 7 students make a splash during weekend residential

Last weekend, 83 students in Year 7 were given an opportunity to engage in a range of activities from raft building to climbing as they took part in the school’s annual residential trip.

ABOVE: We are delighted to be able to share highlights of this successful experience with you through our official video.

Now in its sixth year, the trip is a fantastic opportunity for our youngest students to experience a weekend away from home. For many, this is their first such experience outside of their families – offering them a unique taste of independence and responsibility.   

Held at the Kingswood Outdoor Centre in the Dearne Valley, the weekend is designed to boost confidence and encourage team-building through a wide range of fun activities including: climbing, abseiling, fencing, problem solving and laser quest.

For the first time this year, students were also given the exciting opportunity to take part in a raft building activity. This saw them working together to design and build their own raft out of barrels, logs and rope before taking to the water to test out their craft.

Any hopes of staying dry were soon dashed as many students made the most out of the experience by doing backflips in to the water and trying their best to soak the teachers!

This year's trip was yet another huge success and our students were, as always, a credit to the school. They received a great deal of positive feedback from the outdoor centre's staff and did themselves and the school proud.

Eight members of staff accompanied the students throughout the duration of the weekend. Leading the trip was Acting Headteacher Mark Crofts who commented: ‘It was an absolute privilege to join our enthusiastic Year 7 students for a weekend of adventure and activities at the Kingswood Outdoor Centre. 

The range of activities was superb and all the students found something they really enjoyed, often something they’d never tried or even thought about trying before.

We believe this trip is all about realising what you have the potential to do: in so many students we saw courage, resilience, great teamwork and new friendships taking root.

As ever, the staff leaders and myself were very proud of how the students of Withernsea High School conducted themselves in public.

Well done to all involved and huge thanks to the staff for leading such an excellent trip.’

Reflecting on the impact the trip has on students, Second in Humanities Andrea Monaghan said: ‘The students faced many challenges over the weekend, including being away from the security of home, raft building, climbing, fencing and problem solving (and making their own beds!), and every single student achieved more than they thought they could. They have come back from the weekend with increased confidence, self-esteem and maybe even a few new friends.

It was particularly good to see so many students cheering one another on, offering each other support and encouragement. I am sure that, like many other students, they will still be talking about their Kingswood experience when they are at their Prom at the end of Year 11.

Student feedback was equally positive, with many of them keen to share their thoughts and offer words of encouragement to future participants. Below are some of their reflections, in their own words, which clearly highlight the value and impact of the whole experience.

What impact did the weekend have on you? Has it changed you in any way?

‘I feel more confident and I reconnected with friends from primary school that I lost when I came to high school.’ - Jack, 7RSC.

‘I met people I didn’t even know went to this school and I feel more confident.’ – Ella-May, 7RSC.

‘I feel more confident being myself around people I don’t really know and I made a few new friends.’ – Anna, 7MCG.

‘I can now do things I didn’t know I could do.’ – Kieran, 7MCG.

‘I pushed myself past my limits and made loads more friendships.’ – Rean’n, 7RSC.

What would you say to any students in next year’s Year 7 who might be reluctant to go on the trip? What words of encouragement would you give them?

‘It was the best moment in Year 7 and you should go on this trip. It pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you take part in things you normally wouldn’t.’ – Harvey, 7MP.

‘If you don’t go, you will definitely regret it. It will help you conquer your fears. It will help you make new friendships and strengthen current ones.’ – Alexander, 7RSC.

‘Go, because you will change in to a different person (a better one). Also if you don’t go, you will probably regret it because it was one of the best experiences I have ever had!’ – Isobel, 7MCG.

‘You should do it and try everything, even if you’re scared of it, because you could enjoy it. But you won’t know if you don’t try.’ – Ellie, 7MCG.

‘You might be scared but it’s so super fun! You sit around the campfire with your friends, eat marshmallows and Mr Whittaker sings the banana song and you DON’T want to miss that!’ – Jessy, 7MP.

‘I would tell them that it was great and they should definitely go. I would tell them that everyone is friendly and everything will be fine.’ – James, 7RSC.

On Thursday 17th May, Mr Crofts led an assembly for all participants of the trip where he praised students for their behaviour, enthusiasm and resilience.

Certificates recognising these qualities were awarded to three members from each of the six groups who took part. Staff leaders from each group had the unenviable task of choosing winners from a strong field of candidates. Congratulations to the following:

Most Resilient

George Holwell
Richard Croft
Jacob Jackets
Ben Miller
Ricky Dunn
Josh Ward

Most Improved

Jessica Newlove
Rihanna Johnson
Charlie Hill
Ellie-May Dixon
Kieran Dale
Ryan Lewis

Group Champion

Millie Harman-Bevan
Lily-Mae Curtiss
Izzy Rutter
Ellie Armitage
Courtney Jolley
Mimi Kettley

ABOVE: The Kingswood award winners.

ABOVE: Students encouraged one another on the high ropes.

ABOVE: Getting to grips on the climbing wall.  

ABOVE: Students set to work on building their rafts...

BELOW: ... before 'abandoning ship' in favour of some backflips!