Dear Parents and Carers

Earlier this week, I joined 200 of our Year 7s on their Bushcraft trip, ‘Into The Woods’, at Boughton Woods in Northamptonshire. I was with them on their first day in the tipping rain, as they arrived at the forest camps and started to settle in. They were brilliant. As one lad told me, it takes more than lots of rain to dampen the feeling of three days out of school.

They were split into their different camps, then met the camp leaders and started their activities. On that first day they were learning how to start fires, cook their dinner over open fires, conceal themselves in woods (which involved covering all exposed skin with wet mud), make shelters (these were tested by putting all the kids in their shelter and then chucking buckets of water over the roof), and how to live outdoors. They got stuck into everything with great enthusiasm, supported by the camp staff and our teachers. Mr Hibbard particularly seemed at home in the woods; he looked close to feral by the end of day one.

All day the rain kept coming, and all day the kids kept going with the same enthusiasm. We couldn’t be more proud of them. They do their parents great credit in the way they enjoyed themselves and conducted themselves with each other and all the staff. Speaking to Rob, the site director, he has seen many trips where the rain has been allowed to ruin the experience and the kids and staff just huddle under the shelters being miserable. Not our lot – even he was impressed by the way they ignored it all and happily got stuck in.

I would like to thank Mr Apostol for leading this trip, all the staff supporting (assuming we can tempt Mr Hibbard out of the forest and back to civilisation), and the teams at the camp for making sure our Year 7s had such a great time. When you get them back home, after fighting off the stench of wet clothes, wet child and wood smoke – please give your child a big pat on the back – they deserve it.

With best wishes

Andy Perry – Head Teacher

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