Students from Oak Tree Primary School have been climbing the high ropes at Samworth Church Academy.
Teacher Chris Bury and Zak Needham, an Instructor at Samworth Church Academy ran the event and Zak, who has a military background and says that this kind of activity creates team work and problem solving, “It’s important to take students out of their comfort zone to show them that they can push themselves to achieve in areas they thought they could not. It builds confidence in their ability to keep going in stressful situations.”
Jade Clark age 9 years surprised the Academy staff with her speed and agility in the climb, she said, “I climbed right to the top, I tried to go fast and there was a hard bit when you get to the tyres. I could see a lot from the top!” Thomas Shannon age 9 years also reached the top of the high ropes, he said, “I climbed the high ropes and went up to the very- very top. I wasn’t frightened because if I let go, Sir, would look after me on the ropes. I thought it was brilliant.”
Mr Needham said that talents can be spotted in pupils during this type of activity that may not be apparent in ordinary school situations, “Youngsters like Jade have a natural talent for climbing and a good head for heights and if she came to the Academy we would develop that talent on the outdoor climbing wall, teaching her techniques to enhance her natural ability. This could then be taken forward to competition as we have done with other students.”
Mr Needham says that although not all of the youngsters at this stage show the physical capability, that they may in future, and that some other talents like leadership and team cooperation are allowed to flourish in this type of outdoor experience. “The Scenarios we use at the Academy are perceived as risky -but are totally safe and controlled by trained staff.” He says that often students gain confidence as a result of this type of activity, surprising themselves at the things they can achieve, “I have used the same type of scenarios in the military training soldiers and it gets results. Pupils leave having overcome some initial worries. It gives them a confidence boost that can translate to their school work as well as in outdoor education and opens their eyes to just how much they are capable of achieving.”