On January 29th, ten pupils and four staff members headed for Glenshee on the 3rd Annual Ski Trip, an event which rewards the boys for their sustained effort and positive attitude in the school.
It was an amazing experience on all fronts. Involved right from the start in the planning and organisation of the trip, the boys could work on their teamwork and action planning skills. The trip also gave them plenty of opportunities to build on their social skills and strengthen relationships as they got to know each other away from the school and their daily routine.
As for the skiing, the boys made great progress and they all came back with a Snowsport Scotland award. This is how some of them described the experience:
“It was something to work towards, it helped me make good choices about behaviour.”
“The trip means a lot to me because it proves that I’m doing well and my effort is recognised.”
“It was good getting to know the boys better, as a day pupil I feel I have bonded.”
“The residential is great. Staying with the boys away from the school, it’s worth behaving for.”
“The jumps were fun. I liked getting the freedom to ski on our own and be trusted.”
“I was proud to have skied the longest run in Scotland and to have completed my first red run.”
One of the staff members said:
“This year’s ski trip to Glenshee was an extremely enjoyable and rewarding experience. The boys who participated were both a credit to themselves and to the school. Their enthusiasm and determination shone throughout the trip.”
While the skiing was rewarding and enjoyable, the focus for staff was much more on the residential experience with all the skills that this can promote, On these occasions, the boys may find themselves having to face different challenges. There was one unexpected challenge on this trip. One of the staff members described what happened:
“On Wednesday the weather was particularly wild for an hour at the end of the day. This meant the steep descent road from Glenshee was quickly covered in snow and ice. This resulted in a lorry crashing and blocking the road. The consequence of this for our group was a 4-hour, 135-mile detour. Although this was a frustrating event, it actually did not detract from the week because it reinforced the process and choices made about the boys attending. Each of them handled the situation brilliantly and proved through their behaviour that they did indeed deserve to be there.”
All the boys declared that the trip was the highlight of their year. It will undoubtedly live long in their memory and be one of the many positives they will reflect on about their time at the school. With the appropriate preparation and focused support, a wonderful time was enjoyed by all – pupils and staff alike.