At the start of every year we take Year 10 girls to Edale YHA, in the Peak District. It reinforces our belief that girls should be encouraged to step out of their comfort zone, taking risks to see what they can achieve. Every year the girls rise to the challenge and this year was no different. The group that I was attached to spent the morning rock climbing, and the afternoon canoeing. The weather was glorious but what struck me most was the joyfulness in the girls, urging each other on to climb the rock face, helping each other out in finding the cracks and jutting out rocks to haul them up still further. Some were nimble, some were more expert than others but all had a go with the cry of #perseverance from their peers.
In the afternoon, girls canoed in threes, welcoming whoever they were put with and embraced the games with energy and competitive spirit. Those that capsized accepted happily their wet and sodden state and wore their sogginess with pride. It is these moments as a Head that make you proud. Girls engaging fully, making the most of every opportunity and appreciating the lessons learned about themselves in the process.
This year we have introduced team building into our Year 8 curriculum. On Friday, Year 8 spent a day at Cople working with staff learning outdoor skills such as cooking a chilli on a trangier, setting up tents in less than 10 minutes and how to unravel a tangled group. When asked in the debrief what lessons they had learned, one group said the importance of being adaptable, responding to different people’s needs to bring out the best in the group.
I could not have agreed more. The girls at BGS are certainly adaptable, flexible in mind and joyful in spirit. My weekend was certainly enhanced by the experience of working with staff and being with the girls, in environments that took me out of my comfort zone.