Osborne School visited the Hampshire Mountain Centre, Brecon Beacons on 14th May to 18th May 2018. Pupils from Year 9 and 10 took part in a variety of activities including canoeing, climbing, mountain walking and caving.
23 pupils from year 9 and 10 enjoyed a week of outdoor fun developing skills in team work, social interaction, communication and independence. In addition pupils learnt skills in canoeing, climbing, abseiling, caving and mountain walking.
Monday 14th May 2018
We left the school at 11.00am after organising all the equipment and paperwork! We travelled by minibus followed closely by Mr Gabe Fulford driving all the luggage enjoying peace and quiet and BBC radio 5 shipping forecast. We stopped just after crossing the Severn Bridge into Wales for lunch. The weather in Wales was fantastic and we arrived at the centre shortly after 3pm in glorious sunshine.
After a quick chat with Morgan (course organiser), unpacking and pizza for dinner we were ready for our evening activity; a walk on the common. The views of Pen-Y-Fan were fantastic. We all returned to hot drinks before bed.
Tuesday 15th May 2018
We were greeted by another beautiful sunny day in the Brecon Beacons on Tuesday. All pupils had a good breakfast of juice, toast and cereals to prepare for the day ahead.
Group One went canoeing along the Monmouth to the Brecon canal in two man Canadian canoes. Pupils learnt about water safety, other water users (avoiding canal boats), paddling and most importantly steering. We also had the opportunity to swim in the river Usk to cool down at the end of a long day
Group Two went caving in Porth Yr Ogof a long caving system in the South West Brecons. It is a very challenging activity and the pupils were amazing showing great team work and courage. They walked and crawled through the system and even took on the famous postbox.
Group Three walked to the Moriais Quarry to climb, abseil and scramble. It allowed the pupils to develop confidence, team work and understanding of being safe as well as see the beauty of the Brecon Beacons. All pupils had a go and arrived back at the centre for a well earned rest and dinner.
Wednesday 16th May
We awoke to cloudy skies and light rain but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the pupils. We were all ready to start our activities at 9am having had a good night sleep and hearty breakfast
Group One enjoyed a day of climbing, abseiling and scrambling around Moriais disused quarry near Merthyr Tydfil. Pupils challenged themselves to take on different climbs. Once they reached the top they then had to abseil down. The pupils work in small groups learning how to belay, developing skills and team work
Group Two visited a local reservoir developing their understanding of water safety, the equipment required as well as the skills of canoeing. Each canoe holds two people with the person at the back responsible for steering. Pupils learnt to support each other as well build rafts and complete a variety of challenges,
Group Three took on the most challenging activity for the pupils both physically and mentally, showing great courage. Pupils enjoyed the activity and all of them attempted some pretty scary challenges on the way. They learnt about how the caving system was formed and the importance of working together in a tough environment.
Thursday 17th May 2018
We were back to fantastic weather in the Brecon’s and were looking forward to our days activities
Group One, After some discussions, decided they would like to take on a few of the mountain peaks in the Brecon Beacon’s. The group started from Talybont Reservoir climbing quickly through a wooded track next to waterfalls. The terrain was uneven and all had to work together to get to the fells. By lunchtime the group had reached the top and were greeted by spectacular views. Pupils were then asked to guide staff using maps and compasses across the tops and back to our starting point.
Group Two had shown commitment throughout the trip and were confident they would continue to perform well climbing in the quarry. They had the opportunity to choose routes, belay for each other and scramble some traverse walls. They showed great team wOrk and as a result completed lots of climbs between them.
Group Three visited the reservoir to take part in some caneoing. They learnt about being safe near water, how to paddle and control a canoe, build rafts and work together. With fantastic weather and a fantastic attitude pupils had a great day. Some pupils even decided to jump in the water to cool down, not such a good idea when one of them lost their glasses!
Friday 18th May
The last day of what had been a fantastic week. Pupils were tired and wanted to get home but they had one last task, to pack and clean the centre! Although not everyone’s favourite activity the pupils worked in groups to leave the centre with their belongings (hopefully) and in good condition for the next group.
We waved goodbye to the staff at about 10am and started our drive home. We stopped at the services for lunch, which some of pupils had been looking forward to as it had a Burger King. We then continued our journey arriving back at school tired but pleased with our achievements over the week. New friendships were formed and skills learnt and everyone of the pupils should be proud of their achievements.
Special Mention to all the staff who work tirelessly on the visit ensuring pupils are happy, developing independence and succeeding in the activities. Thank you to Martin Williams, Jennii Budd, Gabe Fulford, Tracy Warland and Carol Tattersall you are amazing.
Roll on next year