On Friday 30 September 2011, 172 very excited Year 8 pupils accompanied by Pastoral staff, House staff and senior prefects, enjoyed a day of fun outdoor activities in Castlewellan Forest Park.
Mr Jonny Reid organised the event and commented: “The day was aimed at helping our Year 8 pupils settle in, build confidence and start to make new friends. It was also a great way for the Pastoral staff and tutors to get to know their year group and class set better.”
He continued, “The day was great fun and it was fantastic to see pupils working together to paddle canoes, find their way out of the hedge maze and taking part in other problem solving activities. I think it’s been a great success. The staff found it very rewarding and the pupils had a great time. Everything from the weather, the challenging activities and even the hotdogs worked well. The smiles on the faces of both staff and pupils at the end of the day spoke for themselves!”
The programme of activities involved canoeing, laser clay pigeon shooting and archery as well as a range of mental agility and physical team building tasks provided by “Outdoor Concepts”.
Head of Year Norma Cairns added: “This was a terrific experience for our pupils as it not only helped to reinforce all the newly-formed relationships but also helped the students develop the essential skills of cooperation and teamwork. The various activities allowed our pupils to highlight their individual strengths and gave an insight into the many opportunities which are available to all our students at The Wallace High School. Hopefully, the day has produced firm friendships which will last well beyond school.”
It is perhaps fitting to leave the final word to two of the pupils who took part on the day. Ben Nelson commented: “The whole day was great fun and everyone in my class seemed to really enjoy it. My own favorite activity was the clay pigeon shooting and I also enjoyed the hot dogs which were expertly cooked by Mr Reid.” His class mate Abby Neill added, “We were kept very busy all day and all activities were great fun. My own favorite was canoeing.”