Leavers’ Challenge - Hurstpierpoint College

Leavers’ Challenge

Despite weather warnings, the Year 8’s thoroughly embraced their Leavers’ Challenge in good spirits and with great gusto

Day one of the Leavers’ Challenge dawned bright and early. Brighter and earlier for some who thought it would be a great idea to get up at 4.30am and play cricket.  After a hearty breakfast here at school, everyone was bused to Beachy Head where the walk started.

The children were met in Jevington with much needed water and plenty of snacks and extra sandwiches.  They walked on through Friston Forest to the campsite at Alfriston where they erected tents and set about having showers and a good catch-up. Happily, pizza arrived and then the glorious sound of the ice cream van was much to everyone’s’ delight.  After some card playing, diablo tossing, jenga building, boomerang throwing, chatting and relaxing, it was time for bed. Some had sore muscles from almost running the route! Day one of the Leavers’ Challenge was complete.

Bright dawn and storm warnings

Day two dawned brightly. The children slept very well and there were quite a few who needed to be woken up.  After another hearty breakfast sitting out in the gorgeous sunshine, the groups set off to Firle Beacon.  Mr Williams and I took a quick detour into Sainsburys to buy some strawberries as a treat for the leavers.  Along with smoothies, sausage rolls and sandwiches, all enjoyed the re-fuelling stops along the route. After seeing the last group off from Firle Beacon it was a dash down to Southease where we placed ourselves on the village green.  There were a couple of swings, and we spent a lovely hour waiting for the buses which would return us to school for the night. We had to switch plans after the weather report announced an amber weather warning for storms in the area. There were fewer sore legs and, although it was very hot, all had kept hydrated.  Another evening of games and great food followed before turning in for the second night of the Leavers’ Challenge.

On the final day, we moved into school and camped. The weather took a turn for the worse and we decamped to the CCF building where the climbing wall and the rifle range became our bedrooms.  The next morning before we knew it, we had breakfast and were off to Ditchling Beacon. The return walk was cooler than the previous days and everyone arrived back smiling.

We all had a marvellous time, and it was extra special for me as this was my final Leavers’ Challenge!

Paulette Gordon-Stewart, Teacher of English


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