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.