Desire to carry on great outdoor legacy

Brighouse High School's trip to the Lake District
Brighouse High School's trip to the Lake District

Two hundred Year 7 pupils and 45 staff and volunteers returned from Brighouse High School’s annual trip to the Northern Lake District.

The participants were as always, physically exhausted but mentally and emotionally exhilarated.

This was the 29th time the trip has run. It was the brainchild in the early 1980’s of the then deputy head teacher, Rod Archer, a geography teacher with a vision that all children should experience the outdoors.

Rod sadly passed away shortly after his retirement in 2000 but his legacy lives on.

The trip continues to be known as the ‘Blencathra’ visit; a nod to the original location of the hostel overlooking the mountain.

Catering is done by our own staff and Steve Bishop (Head of Outdoor Education and Challenge) co-ordinates the wide range of activities.

Pupils get the chance to test themselves on the Lake District hills, to kayak, to climb, to swim and to learn bushcraft.

The unanimously favourite activity this year was ghyll scrambling which the students describe as ‘awesome’.

In today’s risk averse world there are many pressures to end trips such as this. At Brighouse High we are determined this must not happen.

All activities are risk assessed and the pupils rise to the challenge of co-operating with each other and with staff so that all stay safe.

The trip provides memories of a lifetime; ask the generations of Brighouse High students about it and they will all have a story to tell.

As Headteacher I am always impressed by the positive attitude shown by the pupils on the trip and by the resilience of staff who often exist on just a few hours each night.