Year 9 trip to Sierra de Gredos 2017
It’s 9.45 am on Tuesday, 26th September. The sun is shining through our windows and onto the beautiful countryside all around us. We have gently warmed up from the 5 degrees Celsius that not long ago brought a flicker to our eyelids, waking us with brief hesitation to the semi darkness of a new day, in a strange room, on a strange bed and the sudden realisation that our friends are all around us .
Trips like this offer much more than the opportunity to learn about Science and Geography out in the field. Our students are learning something much deeper, something they will take with them long after some of their seemingly indelible memories begin to fade. The more confident are learning to consider others, to grow in empathy and understanding; finding out that being quiet doesn’t equate to a lack of personality, worth or individuality. The less confident are learning that being thoughtful is an attribute, not a weakness and that listening, when it is active can be a real strength.
In rooms sleeping six to eight, our students can chatter in the darkness with others of their own year, finding out the truths of their own age group, that although we differ, we all have much more in common than we may think. Everyone brings different fears and aspirations; some express them and some hold them back, some are more excited and some more relaxed, some are more rational, some more creative, some are tidier, some more disorganised, some like to chat, some prefer to listen. We are all human, with our own foibles, weaknesses and strengths and that is why we are all so precious.
Silvia’s shirt this Tuesday morning expresses it all so well, “I’m not weird, I’m a limited edition.” Forty students enjoying the unforgettable feeling of belonging to a community with a purpose; a few short days of learning, laughter and living together in the sun.
Some words from our teachers about the more academic aims of the trip
‘In a world where some show little regard for the protection and sustainable utilisation of the resources we all share, the activities we do at the Gredos Centre help students to begin to take stock of our environment. Over these two days the students have collected data about the biotic and abiotic factors in two different ecosystems. Whilst doing so they have also learned how to use specialist equipment that is not readily available to them at school.
Collecting the data is only half the process. Once back at school, the students will begin to make sense of it all. Through a range of different graphical techniques in science, geography and maths, the students will identify correlations between the biotic and abiotic factors. Once identified, the students will then consider more deeply the links between the living and non-living, to see how correlation links to causation. Acknowledging this, allows them to make informed suggestions as to how we can best protect the environment and utilise its resources in a sustainable way for the benefit of us all.’
And now we are home, we will always remember: Gredos – A great place, lovely people, fun, interesting, challenging activities and a trip worth doing for so many reasons.
Published on: 28th September 2017