Many thanks are due to Ms Atterton for writing this article about the International Award!
The multiple International Award trips this year saw an unprecedented number of adventurous and enthusiastic students taking part in a diverse range of activities. Approx. 500 students across year 10, IG1 and year 11 embarked on a series of challenging qualifying experiences.
The Silver group comprising most of the year 11 cohort and the IG1 students departed early on a Saturday morning for a 5-hour bus ride to the most beautiful region of Qian Dao Hu. On arriving at the Kayaking centre 1 group began their training for spending 2 days and 1-night developing compass and map reading skills along with camp craft, kayaking and living in an open and natural environment. All the students coped very well and learnt some valuable lessons regarding caring for and managing ourselves in a natural and clean location. The 2nd group commenced the arduous 80+ km cycle ride around the pristine Qian Dao Hu (Lake). Groups were guided by the expert Keystone Adventure Instructors and safety, hydration and group cohesiveness was the main priority.
The Bronze group gathered early on Sunday morning and prepared to carry all their supplies on a spectacular hike over 5 mountain peaks in and around the Hangzhou Tea Plantations. The terrain was safe, however the elevation of the mountains offered physical and psychological challenges new to many of our students. Once again, the fact that students were in groups was an essential component to the success of exercise as each group member was responsible and supportive of the others.
I was especially impressed by the patience and teamwork I witnessed over the three day expedition. Ms. Tsang and I wish to thank the staff who gave up their personal time to support this project. We offer our special thanks to the tutors for their advice in the preparatory stage and the staff from Operations, Boarding and Facilities who all played an enormous role in ensuring this event was safe, enjoyable and worthy of the International Award Qualifying Expedition.
“After the silver IA trip I'm neither sore or wounded and that's absolutely amazing! During this tour, I established tons of friendships”.
—— Denny J.
‘I gained a lot during the IA trip. I made a lot of friends and learnt some good personality traits like never giving up and collaboration. Although the weather bad on the second day, I am still willing to go if given a choice or not.’