Aim for the Stars
During Enrichment Week the whole of our (new) Year 8 took part in ‘Aim for the Stars’ activities, which have been chosen to help develop team building and communication skills and to give individuals a challenge.
Tutor groups worked under the supervision of their tutors, other Deer Park staff members and qualified specialist instructors. They certainly achieved more than they first thought was possible!
Each day pupils participated in something different. One day was spent at Waterland Outdoor Pursuits at Cotswold Water Park, where pupils had the opportunity to take part in three exciting activities choosing from windsurfing, raft-building, sailing, bridge-building, kayaking, canoeing, bushcraft, archery, stand-up paddle boarding and rowing. Pupils showed particular resilience doing these activities and were able to work well as small teams.
Team-building and instilling trust in each other were evident at Head4Heights at Keynes Country Park where pupils learnt how to use ropes safely and developed their communication skills with one another in order to climb the extremely high poles. Reciprocity and resilience were required, along with encouragement, to succeed in reaching the platform at the top! Some pupils climbed higher than others but everyone’s confidence had been boosted by the end. There was also an opportunity for relaxation at the beach and time for a swim in the lake.
The challenges at the water park were complemented by two further days of discovery and wonder. Mr Perkins and Mr Grant offered some excellent woodcraft skills in the woods near the school site. Pupils discovered that it is possible to spend a day having fun without technology and learnt some survival skills, such as making a camp fire and cooking their own lunch on it. A further day was spent in Bristol at the @Bristol museum, where pupils had the chance to take part in ‘hands on’ Science activities, with a 3D planetarium experience being a particular highlight.
The final day of the week was spent at school. In the morning tutor groups participated in the annual rounders tournament, led this year by Mr Germaine. The weather was fantastic and both pupils and tutors had lots of good, competitive fun. In the end, 7Du were victorious. A short time after break was spent out of the sun, creating posters of memories from the week.
After lunch it was back out to the field to compete in the ‘Aim for the Stars Olympics’. Pupils took part in ‘Human Hungry Hippos’, battling it out lying on skateboards and ‘eating’ pingpong balls with washing up bowls. An extraordinary sight and a huge amount of fun. There was also a highly competitive welly-wanging contest. Finally, the afternoon ended with an inter tutor group Space Hopper Relay Challenge. After a quick demonstration by Mr Broussine about how to space hop, a colourful and entertaining sight followed, with pupils bouncing along as if their lives depended on it, with lots of cheering and whooping of encouragement.
By the end of the week, all pupils were exhausted but had had a lot of fun. Pupils had risen admirably to the challenges they faced and learnt a lot about themselves. They were inspired to try new things and achieved many things that they had never dreamed could be possible!
Miss Moss, 'Aim for the Stars' Leader
Josh, one of our new Year 8 BBC News School Reporters, was part of the Aim for the Stars activities week and shares his experience.
My favourite activity was the rowing at Outdoor Pursuits because I love to do water activities. The thing I most liked about Head for Heights was the fact that it involved working in a team because in school we don’t get very many opportunities to do so. I learnt lots of skills during the week, such as how to do survival skills e.g. how to make a sausage stick. I most enjoyed getting to be with nature in CDPS Survival Skills because I love the wildlife. I enjoyed a variety of things during the week. It is a great change from being in a classroom all day - not that that is so bad! In the water activities, my favourite was the rowing because it was a new experience. My most memorable moment of Enrichment Week was @Bristol because I had never been there before. I am looking forward to next year’s Enrichment Week!