May 2018 will hopefully stand out in the memories of the children in Class Four and Five as the day they first summited Sugarloaf mountain in our local uplands, the Brecon Beacons. They can be especially proud as they all summitted together, as a class.
Arriving at the peak was not the end of the story; en-route they learnt a new plant (Bilberry), and learnt what to pack for a day out in the mountains. It was a surprise to most when we arrived wearing t-shirts, but as soon as we got out of the van the wind chill brought the temperature down to below ten degrees! This was ideal from an educational perspective as it showed them a real life example of how mountain weather can be very different to the weather at sea level – no matter how sunny it is!
Our young adventurers also found some cunningly hidden geocaches, which are small boxes that people tuck away and leave interesting items in, such as a notebook for people to write in and document their adventures. The Class were eager to find these and they found nearly all of the secret stashes left by the previous wilderness explorers. Inspired, they decided to hide one of their own (now hidden on the North side of the mountain), so that other Acorn students in years to come will be able to make their mark in the quiet story of that small secret book.
Scrambling up loose scree, and traversing a rocky “ridge” lead to the summit, whereupon the elements made themselves felt. The wind competed with the sun, vying for the attention of the students. Our young adventurers enjoyed finding some shelter for lunch, and spent time exploring the scattered, timeless rocks and dark crevices, many of which could be concealing a new and undiscovered geocache.
After a well earned pause at the summit, the descent passed with no hitch, and with no sign of energy levels dropping until the students were all in the van, reminiscing about the adventures they’d had.
After such a great trip the students are look forward to their next mountain day which will involve following in the footsteps of the upper school and summiting an even bigger peak, of which there are plenty.