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Bethany Enrichment Week

The final week of the summer term at Bethany School is arguably the busiest of all as all pupils take part in our annual Enrichment Week.

This year, pupils took part in a diverse range of activities and educational and recreational trips. From Bewl Water to the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio and Port Lympne Zoo, the Natural History Museum, Leeds Castle, and St. Andrews Lakes.

Pupils also experienced thrilling rides at Thorpe Park, worked on segments of their Duke of Edinburgh Award, and participated in workshops focused on personal statements, CV writing and life after school. Additionally, pupils engaged in fun and energetic Zumba sessions, making the week both enriching and memorable and a perfect way to see out a successful year at Bethany School.

Year 7 Enrichment Week
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Activities week is always a fitting end to the year and a great way for the Year 7s to celebrate completing their first year at Bethany. This year, the pupils visited Port Lympne, took part in water based activities and team building day at Bewl Water Outdoor Centre and finished with a visit to Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio.


Tuesday

The week began with a visit to Port Lympne which was much enjoyed by both pupils and staff. An open top safari had been organised for soon after arrival where pupils saw a mix of endangered species from around the world. They benefited from expert commentary from one of their guides informing us of their important conservation work on our way around. Everybody had their favourite zones and our timing on the safari seemed brilliant with us seeing giraffes up close. Mr Beckham particularly enjoyed the “Asian Experience”, but the pupil favourite appeared to be the “African Experience” where they say giraffes up close.

After the safari ,there was a brief pitstop for lunch for pupils to refuel with some ham and cheese rolls before we began a walking tour of the zoo. Pupils saw some very excitable gorillas and despite the drizzle were treated to seeing the bears scaling the trees in their enclosure.

It was a brilliant day and a great start to the week.


Wednesday

Wednesday saw a more active focus for the day, with the trip to Bewl Water. The pupils were split into two large groups for this with canoeing and raft building planned for the day. It was great to see the pupils working together to build some pretty impressive rafts. However, they swiftly disintegrated when they put them through their paces. It was clear, that if this was a desert island, the pupils may be there for some time. The other group took part in canoeing paddled off for a tour of Bewl and to learn some water skills.

A leisurely stop for lunch saw some very tired pupils refuel on some welcome ham and cheese rolls before embarking on the activity that they had left. We were asked if we minded their work experience volunteer joining the instructors for the afternoon, and a familiar face appeared in the form of Aubrey, a Year 11 Bethany pupil, who was a welcome surprise. He aided in preparing the pupils for what they were up to in the afternoon and one would never have guessed he was fresh out of his GCSE examinations given how confident and knowledgeable he was.

Despite the rain, which almost seemed to encourage pupils to through themselves (both literally and metaphorically) into the water and their challenges, a fantastic day was had and there were some very tired Year 7’s on the bus back to School.


Thursday

Today we visited Warner Bros Studios and entered the world of Harry Potter. It always amazes me how much we manage to cram into the three days and it is great to see the pupils shine in very different lights. Many have been speaking about how much they were looking forward to today’s trip, including myself.


The pupils have been a real credit to themselves and it has been a pleasure seeing them really grow during their first year at Bethany. Of course, this week would not be possible without the dedication of those who staff it and therefore I save the last line of this article to thank them and to wish both pupils and staff a very relaxing and well-earned summer holiday.

 

Mr Clough
Assistant Head of Years 7 & 8

Year 8 Enrichment Week
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For activities week this year, our Year 8 pupils embarked on three daytrips, packed with adventure, history, and learning.


Tuesday

On Tuesday, pupils headed to the picturesque Bewl Water, where they participated in thrilling rafting and canoeing activities. These team-building exercises challenged our pupils to work together, communicate effectively, and support one another. Despite a few wobbly starts, the pupils quickly found their rhythm and navigated the waters with increasing confidence and skill. The day concluded with a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie as teams built and tested their own rafts and completed in raft race. Points were awarded for leadership, teamwork and communication.


Wednesday

Wednesday saw the pupils travelling to the historic Leeds Castle near Maidstone. The day was filled with a variety of engaging activities.

Self-Guided Castle Tour: Pupils roamed the beautiful halls and grounds of Leeds Castle, soaking up its rich history.  Pupils participated in an A-Z challenge, identifying and noting various historical facts and curiosities around the castle. Points were awarded for their discoveries and enthusiasm but no one found the sharkskin for ‘s’ covering a dressing table.

Falconry Display: An awe-inspiring falconry display showcased the agility and precision of magnificent owls and hawks as well as up close visits with a 5 week old owlet, a spectacled owl and a melanistic barn owl.

Maze and Grotto: Navigating the intricate maze and discovering the secrets of the grotto was a highlight for many.

Shops and Dog Collar Museum: A visit to the unique Dog Collar Museum and the quaint castle shops provided a delightful break.

Obstacle Course and playground: An exciting obstacle course tested the pupils’ agility and endurance.


Thursday

The final day of the trip took pupils to the iconic Natural History Museum in London. Here, they engaged in a fact-finding task, exploring the vast collections and exhibits. From dinosaurs to precious gems, the pupils marvelled at the wonders of natural history. The fact-finding task encouraged them to delve deeper into the exhibits, fostering curiosity and a love for learning.

At the end of the trip, points were tallied from all activities. The team with the highest score was awarded a special geode smashing kit, much to their delight. This kit allows pupils to break open geodes, discovering the stunning crystals inside—an apt reward for a trip filled with exploration and discovery.


This trip was more than just a break from the classroom; it was an opportunity for our Year 8 pupils to bond, challenge themselves, and learn in an interactive and dynamic environment. The teamwork and enthusiasm displayed by all were truly commendable.

A big thank you to the teachers and staff who organised and supervised the trip, ensuring a safe and memorable experience for everyone involved: Mr Beckham, Mr Clough, Mrs Iles, Mrs Mewett, Mrs Shapland, Mrs Smart, Mr Watts and Mr Roberts.

 

Miss Mills
Head of Years 7 & 8

Year 9 Enrichment Week
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Year 9 pupils spent their week completing stages of their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Including hikes to and from school and a masterclass in the camping basics.


Tuesday

Tuesday saw pupils stay on the school site and hone their skills. Navigation skills were learned and practised as well as receiving a cookery masterclass. They were also shown how to properly pitch a tent safely and so it would suitably protect them from the elements. All of these skills would be vital for the rest of the week.


Wednesday

On Wednesday pupils were dropped of in Matfield with the objective of putting their navigation skills into a real life situation for them to make their way back to the Bethany School site. All pupils were successful in this and were then tasked with pitching their tents for their overnight stay. Cooking skills were put into practice afterwards with pupils enjoying pasta and hot chocolate as their evening meal before retiring for the evening.


Thursday

The final day saw pupils have breakfast before setting off on their second walk of the week. The objective this time was to reach Knoxbridge, before being picked up in a Bethany minibus. All pupils were successful in this task and the entire week was a resounding success!


Mrs Wareham
Head of Year 9