On Friday 20 May, 27 Year 9 pupils and 3 members of staff participated in a fund raising and team building sleepover. The event was planned to help our team of Ghana volunteers bond and raise funds to support their trip in April 2017 when they will be travelling to Ghana in Year 10.
Over the course of the 20 hours they were together, pupils took part in a range of team building activities, but significantly, working in groups of three, they took part in a sponsored overnight cycle ride on static exercise bikes. Riding in 45 minute shifts from 4pm on Friday throughout the night and until 12.15 on Saturday, the team covered approximately 500 miles between them. The money raised will go towards supporting their own volunteering.
I was very impressed by the team’s commitment to the overnight cycling and how punctual and resilient they all were especially when changing shifts in the small hours! They definitely kept the wheels turning, often very fast!’
Chiquita Henson, Headteacher
Stacey Bluett, Geography teacher, and Callum Broussine, RP, Citizenship and PSHEe teacher, worked alongside Chiquita Henson in planning and supervising the event. Between them they put the team through their paces. During the intensive programme participating pupils had the opportunity to work with each other in a range of different contexts. They took part in a series of activities including trust and memory games, team challenges which put them in the shoes of those in the developing world (bag making and construction), research and catering.
The team was based in our Languages Faculty and ‘slept’ on the floor of the classrooms. They also took advantage of the Catering classrooms to prepare a hearty buffet supper and well-earned breakfast. Before they left, they worked hard to ensure these spaces were fit for teaching and learning on Monday morning!
The sleepover tested everyone’s endurance. It definitely strengthened the feeling of team spirit! Hopefully this experience has helped everyone in the team gain a better understanding of life elsewhere in the world, and prepare for their trip when they will be together 24/7!
The Ghana fundraiser was a huge success. Pupils were excellent at immersing themselves in the various activities on offer and were a credit to the school, their parents and themselves. One particular highlight for me was the Sales Technique workshop in which the pupils practised a range of different sales pitches and really threw themselves into it. All in all an enjoyable and rewarding event!
Callum Broussine, RP, Citizenship and PSHEe teacher
In the past few months it has been fantastic to see the whole team working together and becoming more aware of each others' strengths and weaknesses through each meeting and fundraising activity. A large part of the sleepover’s success should be attributed to this and I am looking forward to seeing this develop even further in the lead up to the trip next Spring.
Stacey Bluett, Geography teacher
The group came together in February 2016 and will be travelling to Ghana with African Adventures over Easter in 2017. The team have been working collaboratively to raise funds by holding cake sales in school and at parents’ evenings, and selling sweets and popcorn at the District sports event.
I enjoyed the 20 hour sponsored bike ride even though it was tiring. We got to participate in many of the activities like making paper bags out of newspaper and cooking our tea. I thought the night walk and photo hunt were fun. Throughout the time we were there I got to know people better and work together as a team. I am looking forward to Ghana next year.
Doing this activity I have learnt how to make paper bags out of newspaper by folding them and gluing them with flour and water paste. However, the majority of us also learnt that we should sleep instead of staying up all night and feeling terrible during the rest of the activities. We also got taught how to give a sales pitch to strangers to try and raise money for the trip when fundraising at car boot sales.
Over the weekend I learnt how to interact with other people who I would not usually speak to. I did this by working with them on some team building activities. I enjoyed the cycling, late night walk and developing my sales techniques!
I have learnt how to pitch to people when I am fundraising.
I really enjoyed spending time with my Ghana group, I feel that the experience was important because I have got closer to most people in the group. The bike ride helped me because it made me realise I have a stronger determination than I thought. It also allowed me to gain new skills in encouraging others even when I didn’t think I could fulfil the task myself.
I learnt how to work as a team, and tidy up the classroom. I solidified my hoovering skills. I learnt how to co-operate as a group and clear up the mess we made!
From the Ghana sleepover I have learnt to be resilient in everything we do. I also helped the rest of my team as we went along.
As a result of this weekend I have learnt that our team work together well, we are all ready to contribute and generally look out for each other. We worked closely with two other people in groups of three, we all encouraged each other to carry on cycling through the night and when someone felt like they couldn’t go on, people volunteered to replace them.