20 Dec

At the beginning of the year we introduced the John Muir Award into Spring Brook Upper School which involves exploring wild places in our local area. This has been a great success so far and the pupils in Key Stage 3 explored the wind on a hill top with a quarry in the first half term (you can read more here). For their second half term, the task was to explore water and to find a hidden waterfall in the hills of the Peak District.

To get to the waterfall involved a trek up a valley cut from the hills by rivers and streams running off the top of the Peak District hills. The valley is forested with trees growing in all sorts of shapes and curves and lots of different vegetation and animals all around – it really is like being in a jungle at some points!

Once into the wooded area a river needs to be crossed multiple times which saw some amazing problem solving, teamwork and wet feet!

During this challenge I also asked each group whether they would like to get to the waterfall the ‘easy’ way or the ‘hard way’. Of course the answer was always “the hard way”! Finally after the choice of a leap of faith our pupils had to scramble up a rocky ravine to the waterfall itself which would only reveal itself when we got close enough.

Once there our pupils could pose for a photo, explore and, of course, go underneath it if they were brave enough in the cold water!!

All of the pupils were amazing and up for the challenges I set and all are really enjoying their experiences so far. They are also getting used to wearing the correct clothing and equipment to deal with the elements we face on a weekly basis so I also need to give all my thanks to Gift Your Gear, a local charity who provide us with all of our outdoor clothing and gear to make these experiences possible.

Well done everyone, here’s to the next challenge in a new decade!

Mr Hopkins