October 18, 2017
New Year 7 Students Settle in to Plymstock School Through Foxcove Experience
Plymstock School’s annual trip to Foxcove for its new Year 7 pupils took place last week. Run as part of their transition from primary to secondary school, the 260 pupils engaged in team building, problem-solving and sporting activities. They slept in tents, cooked their own food and learnt a range of bush craft skills.
The aim of the trip was to give the pupils the opportunity to meet new people, make new friends and bond with key staff. The activities were run by staff and supported by a team of Plymstock School Sixth Form students.
Foxcove campsite, based near Wembury, offers outdoor camping surrounded by woodlands where each tutor group spent a whole day and night together as part of a week-long activity run by Kevin Dyke (deputy headteacher), Mark Taylor (PE), Miranda Kirk (Head of Year 7) and Phil Chivers (assistant head of Year 7). The staff were supported by the Year 7 tutor team and an outstanding group of Sixth Form students that included Hannah Caton, Lolly Matthews, Katy Smith, Esme Jones, Issy Burdett and Molly Slemon.
Students were away from home, perhaps for the first time, and lived alongside their new tutor group under the stars. It was a crucial, and often daunting, time for Year 7 students having just made the transition from primary to secondary school.
The opportunity to live with fellow students in a residential community meant that trust, confidence and respect were required in abundance.
Students supported one another in an amazing host of outdoor creative activities such as: den-building, fire lighting, cooking, problem solving, night walking, team challenges, orienteering, archery – to name but a few.
In the inspirational setting of Foxcove, tactical thinking, self-reliance and a special connection with nature were evident; it would be hard to achieve all of this within the confines of the classroom.
Miranda Kirk (Head of Year 7) said: “Despite a week of challenging weather with heavy rain and some very windy evenings, this did nothing to dampen the spirits of our new students and their tutors. This week of activities is crucial to ensuring our Year 7 pupils get the opportunity to bond with their fellow pupils and learn some new skills whilst having fun”.
“It was lovely to see how they took the opportunity to get to know each other and get stuck in with some of the activities. They all left with big smiles on their faces and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how they progress with us at Plymstock School”.
One of the new Year 7 students commented that she had an amazing experience: “I had such a fun time at Foxcove. I was nervous at first because I didn’t know many people, but I quickly made friends and had an amazing time. Even though the weather was wet, we all had a really good time.”
First published in the Plymouth Shopper – October 2017