A sunny morning greeted those pupils setting out for the great outdoors for this latest Field Day. On Field Days, held termly, there are no formal lessons and pupils from Third to Lower Sixth forms undertake a whole day on their chosen activity. We had a very diverse range of trips this year: the mountain bikers set off for South Shropshire; the RYA Yachtmaster group visited Barmouth Lifeboat Station; the CCF had an overnight exercise; a group visited the Shewsy; Art Historians went to London; canoe groups paddled down the River Severn; Community Drama visited an old people’s home; gliders glided; Young Enterpise companies continued to set up their businesses, and so on. Overall there were some 35 different group activities. The sample of reports below give a flavour of what went on. Some are written by pupils and some by staff.
RYA visit to Barmouth Lifeboat Station
Long as the journey may have been, it was definitely worth it. After passing numerous Welsh signs that made us seem illiterate, the first wisps of sea were seen from a distance. As the tide retreated, banks of rippling sand advanced closer to the winding road that led us into the charming little port of Barmouth. Albeit cold, we were blessed with plenty of sunshine that reflected off the pallid sea where boats dotted the water.
At Barmouth, we parked the minibus next to the RNLI station, right below the rocky hills and in front of the great stretch of dove grey beach. Unlike the picturesque port, the interior of the station, to me did not resemble the charming little town of Barmouth; standing over us at the entrance of the station was the Moira Barrie - a 38-feet long Mersey-class lifeboat. Next to it hung a sign that kept count of how many people have been saved by the Barmouth station and a number of impressive panels recording previous coxwains and lifeboats for the last 180 years.
We were extremely grateful to have three members of the station, including the station mechanic, to take us around the station and the changing rooms and to show us the instruments on board the lifeboats. There was a stunning amount of instruments on board the lifeboat, not to mention the sheer amount of food carried for the crew as well (variety of food is definitely not as good as Kingsland Hall though!). We also had a chance to try on some of the lifejackets, tour around the crew room and climb into the tractor that tows the Moira Barrie.
The visit to Barmouth (and the Marches!) was extremely memorable and definitely one of the best ways to wind this half term down! On behalf of all the other Yachtsmaster Candidates who came on this trip, I would like to thank the crew at Barmouth RNLI for showing us around, and Mr Lapage for arranging this trip, stop on numerous occasions to refill the coolant of the minibus and taking us to a chippy!
Dan Lo (SH LVI)
Inside the Barmouth lifeboat
Sun shone brightly on the Building Society’s progress through Worcestershire and South Staffordshire. The morning was devoted to a visit to the ruins of Great Witley Court, one of the nation’s largest county houses, which became derelict after a fire in 1937. English Heritage has preserved its skeleton, allowing architectural students an excellent view of the anatomy of a great country house and has fully restored the gardens with their magnificent stone fountains, capable of sending pillars of water a hundred feet into the air. We also visited Great Witley Church, lavishly decorated in the late Baroque manner including ceiling paintings by Antonio Belluci.
In the afternoon, the Builders were indebted to the generosity of Lord Cobham in touring Hagley Hall, a fine example of English Palladian architecture, featuring some of the finest plasterwork to be found in an English private house.
The Builders man the ‘ha-ha’ at Hagley Hall
As a ‘bonne-bouche’ with which to end the day, the Builders were allowed to look round the cellars of the late 17th Century building from which the wine-merchants, Nickolls and Perks, has conducted its business right through until the present day.
Combined Cadet Force
We held a voluntary night exercise – where a good number of new ‘recruits’ and Fifth Form Leadership Cadre members took part in Exercise Terror Torment designed to test leadership of our Fifth Form in various scenarios, based on a the narcotics trade (run by senior cadets acting as an Eastern European narcotics ring.) Patrols encountered marauding cows but did eventually locate the ‘enemy’ and some suspect items were captured (KH flour wrapped up in plastic.) The friendly forces had partial success, although the enemy escaped.
Sgt Oli Pattison-Appleton (Ch UVI)
Some marine cadets took part in the night exercise and met up with the RM Pringle team later in the morning. The morning was spent preparing for a demonstration to be given to younger cadets illustrating the skills of the RM section. This comprised of several section attacks culminating in an assault on an enemy position where the ‘baddies’ were neutralised. All in all a good day, great fun and I think the younger cadets were very impressed.
Sgt H Young (SH UVI)
CCF cadets arranging a casualty evacuation
Third Form First Aid
Our Third Form boys were given a three-hour intensive first aid course by specialist trainers from St John's Ambulance. First covering essential ground with "DRABC" they gave mouth to mouth to "resusci annie" dolls, put each other in the recovery position, learned the symptoms of a heart attack and bandaged horrid gory wounds on each other's arm and legs. The trainers kept the boys on their toes with sudden, dramatic, role-played accidents, lending urgency and a real sense of how crucial these new skills may one day turn out to be.
Third Form First Aid pupils listening for a heartbeat'
A great day was had by all (10 students 3 staff) on the beautifully tree-lined course of Henlle Park near Oswestry.
After a start of bacon butties and hot chocolate, we tee-ed off. Ben Jones frightened the life out of the groundsman by hitting his tractor, and Oliver Murray immediately hit so far out of bounds that he wasn’t seen again until dinner time in the club-house! However, play settled down after this shaky start, and eventually Alex Haspel came out on top with an impressive round of just 6 over par. James Walker won the longest drive competition and George Birt was closest to the tee on the short 15th. Dr Foulger won the Barnes Wallace prize for making his ball bounce across the lake at the 9th!
Thanks go to the Secretary and members of Henlle Park for making us feel so welcome, and to Mr Schofield and Mr Joyce who accompanied us on the trip and showed us some excellent golf in the process.
We had a lovely scenic canoe down the River Severn. After we unloaded the canoes from the van we started the trip from Montford Bridge and paddled downstream for about two hours. We stopped for lunch to eat a packed meal provided by the School (yum!) and rested for about half an hour. The weather was really quite fair and not as cold as I thought. All in all tiring, but a great trip.
Ed Paul (Rb LVI)
This group of Fourth Formers have been working on developing their skills at organising and facilitating sports events. Field Day gave them a chance to arrange a sports event for the pupils from nearby St George’s Primary School. The photo on the right shows this in action.