Just a few weeks after starting at QE, Year 7 pupils headed off to an adventure centre to learn some new skills, test their nerve and have some fun together.
The visit to Stubbers Adventure Centre involved climbing, canoeing, archery and laser tag, with competition aplenty as the boys took on their friends and classmates.
The trip was open to the entire year group, with the Broughton, Harrisons’ and Leicester forms heading east to Essex on one day, and Pearce, Stapylton and Underne making the trip on another.
Crispin Bonham-Carter, Assistant Head (Pupil Involvement), said: “The timing and nature of this trip were quite deliberately chosen: through activities that required teamwork and collaboration, we wanted to give our youngest pupils the chance to cement some of the social bonds they have already formed over their first six weeks here, while also providing them with the opportunity to continue to make new friends.”
The trip was part of the new QE Flourish enrichment programme, which Mr Bonham-Carter oversees.
“We are keen that our boys get out beyond our campus to make the most of our location on the edge of the capital and of the opportunities nearby. Being out of doors and active was another key feature of the day.
“I was pleased that the boys had such a good time – and some of their tutors certainly got stuck in, too!”
The activities were run by the instructors at the centre near Upminster.
Alongside the healthy competition, some of the activities involved an element of trust. In the wall-climbing, for example, participants had to rely on their team-mates who were on the ground holding their ropes.
Siddharth Josyula, a member of Year 7’s Leicester form, said: “First, we went canoeing on the lake. After putting on our life-jackets, we learnt how to balance on the boat and paddle across the lake. My team, which consisted of me, Tahiyan [Khan] and Mr Batchelor [Chemistry teacher Thomas Batchelor], dominated 7L. We even turned around to help others who were struggling. Though my legs got a bit wet, overall, I enjoyed the experience of rowing for the first time.”
After lunch, he headed to the rock-climbing walls and then archery.
“The last activity of the day was laser tag and I was absolutely thrilled as the battlefield looked so cool, like in a movie. Our team lost 3-1, but it was a lot of fun running around and taking cover from shots.
“On the coach journey home, I had my left-over snacks from lunchtime, thinking what fun I had and what memories I made.”
His fellow Leicester form member, Somansh Patro, said afterwards: “That day was unbelievable! Overall, my favourite was rock-climbing – it blew my mind how far I had climbed. I probably stayed up for 10 minutes. Laser tag was fun too and a lot of us scored bull’s eyes in archery in my team.”
Canoeing was the hardest of all, Somansh felt, because of the “fearsome” demands of paddling successfully. “But I enjoyed it, especially with the good co-ordination between me and Sarang [Venkatasubramaniam], my partner and friend. The amount of fun I had was utterly to the max!”