From Monday the 17th to Friday the 21st of October 2022, Osborne school offered a select group of pupils the opportunity to go on a four-night residential visit to Argoed Lwyd Outdoor Education Centre (Hampshire Mountain Centre), situated in the Brecon Beacons, Wales. The aim of the visit was to help our young people develop their, communication skills through social interaction, independence, life skills and resilience through a variety of different outdoor activities.
In order to get to Wales, two mini buses were rented and driven by staff with a van to carry all of the luggage following closely behind. The route that was followed, was planned by Tyler, a student from Class GF and it only took A and B roads as it was designed to be picturesque so the pupils could appreciate the beauty of the British countryside as they rode. About halfway, the buses stopped at a McDonalds where the students, if they wished to could buy lunch for themselves.
On arrival, pupils were given a set of waterproofs by the instructors which were to be used for all the activities and then given time to set up their shared rooms with their peers showing their independence and ability to work with others.
The pupils and staff were divided into three separate groups and followed a rolling timetable each day. The activities on the timetable included:
Canoeing: Two pupils and or staff had to work together to navigate along a local canal. The person at the front being the power paddler which helped the canoe propel forward and the person at the back being the steerer to avoid crashing into other boats or canal banks. All pupils were provided with a helmet and lifejacket to ensure safety. This activity promoted teamwork, communication and resilience.
Henry steering) and Finn from Oskings (power).
Climbing: The group worked as a team to help and support one of their peers to ascend up a natural rock wall. The pupils would either be climbing the cliff face or belaying (working the ropes). All pupils were provided with a helmet and harness to ensure safety. This activity promoted independent thinking, confidence building, resilience and teamwork.
Caving: The group explored and navigated their way round a local underground cave and were led by a qualified and experienced instructor. Pupils would twist, turn, slide and even crawl through narrow passageways to experience the natural wonders of the cave. All pupils were provided with a caving suit, a helmet with a torch and a number which they would call out when instructed to keep the group together. This activity promoted resilience, communication and teamwork.
The instructors also provided evening activities which included going to the Brecon Beacon National Park to stargaze, group problem solving and orienteering. Each day all the groups would take turns helping set up the dining hall for breakfast, after breakfast they would make their own lunches and would help with the preparation of the evening meals. If it was not their group’s turn to help with breakfast or dinner then they were allowed some down time with provided board games.
After all the fun and tiring activities were completed, it was time to leave Wales. Almost everyone fell asleep from exhaustion on the bus journey home which led to a nice quiet ride back to Winchester. Arriving at Osborne, everyone gathered their stuff and went home.
Thank you to all the site instructors and staff from Argoed Lwyd for such a fantastic experience but most of all, thank you to all the Osborne Staff who volunteered their time for free as it would not be possible without all their help:
- Tracy Warland
- Lydia Simpson
- Clare Powell
- Sam Graham
- Kyleigh Purton
- Henry Dillon
- Anna Lockley
- Gabe Fulford