There was more excitement in the air than could normally be attributed to a Monday morning in the academy – that’s because Year 7 were going on an adventurous visit to Wolf Mountain in Wolverhampton. One short hour, and three coaches later the students and staff arrived at the activity centre in Wolverhampton. Once split into smaller teams, we were all ushered straight into a series of activities that were as enjoyable as they were physically taxing (especially for an old man like me!). Amongst the activities were rock climbing, abseiling, archery, mountain biking, cave exploring, and tea drinking – the last one was a “staff only” activity.
Students threw themselves into each activity with full gusto! It was wonderful to watch the nerves of some of our year 7s turn into pure enthusiasm, when faced with a 30ft climbing wall. One such student was Iqra, who was close to tears when first shown into the room, but in less than a minute of being allowed, shot up the climbing wall like a Taser’ed squirrel! Primrose, Mustapha and Joseph were also notably at home, swinging around the wall with trapeze-artist-like ease. Monday was the first day that a lot of our students rode a push-bike and Mr Hulme and Ms James excelled in playing stabiliser for a few of our 7s. Indeed Mr Hulme seemed quite comfortable on two wheels, managing to swerve through a slalom, negotiate a see-saw and finish with a grassy skid.
I was looking forward to the archery part of the day, and was proud to take my Hadley team to victory by popping both balloons on the target (an achievement that even the instructor failed to complete). Victory was a theme of the day as two members of the Hadley staff managed to get up the climbing wall in the quickest time of the day – Ms James in an impressive 16 seconds and me in an explosive 13 seconds – getting up was easier than getting down though, and my sympathies were for the poor girl who was taking my weight on the rope – aided with a huge bag of sand!
Talking to the students on the way home, it was clear that each had a different favourite bit of the day, but what they all expressed was how much the day was enjoyed and appreciated by all. The Year 7s were a credit to the academy, and although I am sure I will be aching for days, the visit will go down as one of the most memorable for me.
By Mr. N. Pritchard – Head of House (Hadley)