As I write this, Form 4 are about to land back at Stormont after two days and one night away at the Kingswood Centre in Kent. I have heard that they all went to bed on time (!) and so I hope that they (and the staff) are not too tired as they return today. Form 4 started the summer term with a day off timetable with Darcy Turner, building impressive sculptures of two giraffes that are now standing tranquilly in the stables courtyard and waiting to be released into the Stormont grounds. Yes the girls have had three days not sitting in a classroom, but I know very well that their literacy, numeracy, problem-solving, reasoning, creative, listening and comprehension skills have all been in action.
When I was at school, we loved ‘going on a jolly’, and some of my favourite memories of school are of trips I went on during my junior years. Pond-dipping, mayonnaise-making, archery, beach-combing – these are just a few of the activities that girls at Stormont all get to try that are not just valuable in terms of their ‘educational’ value, but also in building character.
A rounded education is one which builds confidence, fosters courage, encourages risk-taking and engenders resilience, and a well-rounded character can tackle most things that life throws at them – and come out on top. I am looking forward to hearing from the Form 4 girls next week about the challenges they have faced in the last 48 hours, and how they have overcome them, both individually, and working as a team.