Pupils boost self esteem on outward bounds course

Adventurous students were given a taste of the great outdoors in all its gale-swept glory in an initiative designed to boost self-esteem and leadership.

More than 70 students from Bede Academy, in Blyth, took on the challenge of a week in an Outward Bound centre in the Lake District tackling mountains, open water and unpredictable weather.

For many of the Year 7, 8 and 9 students it was their first visit to a National Park to experience a variety of outdoor pursuits.

They spent the week on the shores of Ullswater under the expert eye of teachers and staff from How Town Outdoor Centre, learning a host of new skills designed to stand them in good stead for life.

One of the biggest challenges was an overnight expedition, which involved the students hiking into the countryside with heavy packs, setting up camp under canvas and cooking outdoors.

They also took part in abseiling, climbing, gorge walking and a variety of team-building activities including building a raft from barrels and ropes, camp craft skills, canoeing, obstacle courses and tests of logic.

Teacher and expedition organiser Emma Johnson said: “The students have all been amazed by the views and the beautiful countryside and it has been lovely seeing them enjoying themselves in a completely different setting.

“The aim is to give them an appreciation of the environment and of the flora and fauna of this country. It also boosts their confidence and self-esteem as they tackle and overcome the host of challenges set for the week.”

Student Alexander Forsythe, 13, added: “It has been a really great adventure and everyone has learned something.

“Being put into situations like this is interesting as everyone responds differently. Some found themselves natural leaders, others needed more support but have now experienced what it is like to push themselves.”