HAPpy Time At Hesley Wood

Surrounded by towers of oak trees and leaves and terrible weather, the Year 11 HAPs (higher attaining pupils) took part in a core revision experience at Hesley Wood in Sheffield. Our three day visit provided an abundance of helpful sessions to improve our English, Maths and Science skills and give us an edge over other GCSE students in different schools.

Our dedicated teachers had planned a fun packed programme which began with a ‘Quotes Treasure Hunt’ where we had to explore the unknown territory of the woods and work out quotations from the Anthology Poems. Disaster struck as one of the clues fell into the water, but with the quick thinking of Miss Averill, was fished out and the team could continue. Everyone had a chance to revise the poems and recall key quotes. The only thing that hindered this activity was the premature decapitation of Mrs Mather’s piñata which was the prize for this task.

Other fun activities included ‘BIDMAS and Buns’, where we had to solve challenging maths questions in order to find the amount of each ingredient. Miss Williams and Mr Jones were pleased that we seemed to struggle more with the baking element than the maths! Next was Science, and the workshop was really useful for us all; drawing graphs was a weak point, but after an hour and a half of practice, we all got the hang of it, much to Mr Goorwitch’s delight!

Dinner was prepared by efficient cooking teams and we all enjoyed pizza, salad and garlic bread on the first night and a chippy dinner on Saturday. This trip not only taught us exam skills, but valuable, necessary and practical life skills that will help us to be independent when we go on to university. Learning how to cook, wash up and serve were a steep lesson in independence and a new experience for many of us students. Evenings were spent relaxing, playing games and we also had some memorable times in the woods, singing around the campfire and having a late night walk. We enjoyed every minute of this freedom until the teachers surreptitiously sneaked up behind us and scared us all to death!

On the last day we participated in two fun activities: the obstacle course and the cube. The cube was a 3D maze in the dark that helped with our memory, communication and teamwork skills as we passed through the passages and tunnels. Harris and Joe impressed the instructors with their amazing time trials. The obstacle course provided the perfect (but muddy) end to a great weekend. Miss St. Pierre was particularly looking forward to this!
Although drenched in a blanket of mud, students and teachers didn’t want the experience to end. We finished our time at Hesley Wood, filthy, but relaxed. It was the perfect way to end our HAPs residential.

Reflecting back (now we have caught up with sleep) this has been the best weekend ever – a once in a lifetime experience to be independent, get in crucial revision and spend time with fabulous teachers and friends. By HAPs students from 11En1.