Pupils at Jurby School have recently returned from a four-day ‘wilderness expedition’ to the Lake District.
The aim of the trip was to develop the children’s independence, resilience, team work and self-trust, by supporting them to step outside their comfort zone and experience challenges that would push them, both physically and mentally.
Fifteen pupils from Years 5 and 6 (aged nine to 11) spent four days exploring the Lake District with hiking, canoeing, a high-ropes course, and wild swimming – alongside a ‘digital detox’, avoiding the internet.
At the beginning of the trip the children climbed to the peak of Helvellyn (949m high), via Striding Edge, before descending back down via Swirral Edge.
In total, the climb took nine hours and whilst the distance walked was relatively small at only 14km, much of it was steeply uphill.
They are only the second primary aged group from the Isle of Man to reach the summit.
The first group was also from Jurby Community School, back in June 2017.
The following day the expedition took to the water in ‘rafted canoes’ to journey 12km down Ullswater, starting close to Glenridding, and finishing by canoeing under the recently replaced Pooley Bridge.
The highlight of the day being a wild swim at lunch time, the first for many of the children.
All of the challenges were designed to encourage the pupils to work as a team, while learning mental resilience skills from coaches.
This included learning to listen to others in your group, planning head and timekeeping.
Headteacher Will Nelson said: ‘I am incredibly proud of what the children achieved on our recent trip – the main challenge, especially when climbing Helvellyn, was mental rather than physical.
‘The coaches passed on some excellent mental resilience tips to help them reach the goal, focusing on not letting negative thoughts hold them back from reaching the peak.’
He added: ‘I’d like to thank Adventurelogy for all their hard work in putting together this trip, I have no doubt the children will have learnt some valuable life skills – as well as having an excellent time!’
During the time they were away the children also worked with the staff to prepare, cook and clean away all their meals which included navigating their way through a local supermarket to buy food for the group.
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