Blyth students get a taste of the great outdoors

Students from Bede Academy in Blyth prepare for their first gorge-walk during a residential trip to the Lake District.
Students from Bede Academy in Blyth prepare for their first gorge-walk during a residential trip to the Lake District.
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Students swapped the classroom for the great outdoors on a residential expedition.

The group from Bede Academy, in Blyth, spent four days at Howtown Outward Bound Centre on the shores of Ullswater in the Lake District.

The 48 students from Years 8 and 9, accompanied by five staff, embarked on a host of outdoor activities from canoeing and camping to gorge-walking, sailing and an obstacle course.

Blessed with sunny spring weather, they began the trip with a run around the centre grounds followed by plunging in the lake.

Expedition leader Jenny Taylor, who is head of computing and business at Bede Academy, said: “Residentials like this allow the students to challenge themselves in a way that draws on their understanding of the academy’s core values, including determination, courage and honourable purpose.

“They work in groups which helps them develop communication and teamwork skills, and it also helps boost their self confidence and independence. Some have to tackle their fears and others achieve things which they didn’t they were capable of, so it’s a really rewarding experience.”

The group stayed at the Howtown centre except for one night which they spent under canvas and had to cook their own meals using supplies.

Abigail Herron, 12, said: “When we were told we had the chance to come I thought ‘why not?’, you only live once. It’s all been a new experience for me and I’ve loved it.”

Anabelle McPheil, 13, added: “It really helps build your confidence and it’s good having to help and encourage each other.”