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A Week of Adventure at Skern Lodge

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As part of a long-standing tradition in the Junior School, Year 5 and 6 pupils recently returned from a truly memorable week-long trip to Skern Lodge, in a stunning part of north Devon, for a week of varied outdoor pursuits, with lots of stories to share! 

For many in Year 5, it was the first time they had experienced a week away from home and for many in Year 6, it was an opportunity to build on the experience they had last year. The girls took part in a broad range of activities, supported by their teachers and the instructors at Skern. They tried climbing, bouldering, kayaking, rafting, surfing and bodyboarding, to name a few, and for some, braving the heights for high ropes and bivvy-building. 

Year 6 had a brilliant day out on their Hartland expedition, around 40 minutes' drive from Skern, where they explored rockpools and the natural surroundings. For some of the girls, the highlight was the evening campfire and sleeping overnight in their bivvy for a true camping experience. For others, it was braving the waters to try surfing for the very first time and realising how much they enjoyed it. 

The annual residential trip to Skern Lodge provides variety to the outdoor education offering at the Junior School and is a natural progression from the Mendip Activity Centre visits in Years 3 and 4. Aswell as challenging them physically, it develops essential soft skills from problem-solving, teamwork and leadership, to communication, resilience and independence, as the girls have opportunities to apply these skills to different activities over the week. Most importantly, this dedicated time away provides further ways to build self-confidence. The girls are always encouraged to give everything a go, and we are very proud that they did. 

Mr. Hayward, Year 6 teacher and trip leader said “It was a privilege to accompany the girls on this journey, as a teacher but also knowing the value it gives the children. Shared memories last with them for the rest of their lives. Year 13 often still recall their memories from Skern.” 

The Junior School was buzzing with excitement when the pupils returned at the end of the week; Betty in Year 6 said “All the activities pushed us and by the end, we felt that we really achieved something.” Her classmate, Florence, shared her favourite highlight: “I liked the bivvy-building as everyone showed teamwork and we all helped each other.”

As with all our teaching, the activities were led with a focus on our Learner Profile. This framework supports our girls in becoming active learners, with the skills, knowledge and confidence to embrace new experiences, which they will recall for years to come! 

 
Date Posted: 18 May, 2023

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