Travel and Tourism students at Nescot were thrown in at the deep end at the beginning of their course when they embarked on a camping trip to Blacklands Farm in East Sussex. The year-one students, who barely knew one another before the trip, spent two days carrying out challenging team building activities like abseiling and crate building. For many of the students it was their first experience of camping and the experience saw them bond very strongly as a group.
‘Everyone was really supportive and we got to know each other very quickly in that environment,’ said Jess Bunce, 16, who went to Cheam High before coming to Nescot. ‘You can see the difference in class,’ agreed tutor Vykke Gill, ‘They’re all more willing to speak out and participate in group discussions and activities.’
For many of the students, camping was just the first in a list of challenges they had to face. For Amy Hersey, 17, from St Andrews School, the trip saw her defeat a lifetime fear of heights on the zip wire. ‘I’ve always had a problem with heights,’ she said, ‘On the way up and waiting at the top was seriously scary but I managed to do it with the support of the group.’
As well as helping the class bond and challenge their fears, the trip underlined the difference between the classroom-based learning students were accustomed to at school and the more practical collaborative challenges they would face on their new course at Nescot.
‘I’m very happy with the way they’re tackling the course now,’ Said Vykke Gill, ‘There’s a real enthusiasm and buzz in this group as a direct result of getting them out there together.’