Sunday, 28 August 2016

Year 9 and 10 SPA Geog achieve new heights at the Wide Horizons Nightline Event

Image result for wide horizons logoNightline Hike with Wide Horizons
#What will you do today in Geography? 

I am writing to inform you of an incredible achievement by some of our Year 9 and 10 Geography students. They entered a competition called Nightline by Wide Horizons, which involved the students walking 30 miles overnight to raise funds for disadvantaged children to attend outreach programs with the charity. It would mean children who are economically deprived could attend trips like our competition win to Wales.

Year 9 team (from the left Emmanuel, Wojciech, Shanelle, Finlay, Sammy, Lilly, Phoebe, Nosa and Faith).
The Year 10 team (from the left Amy, Eljay, Taniesha, Joshua, Lateef, Folarin, Keoin, Kevin, Steve, Mateusz and Hugo).
Walking from Eltham through Avery Hill Park.

At the weekend we witnessed great team performances; England football team beating Wales 2-1 and the Rugby team winning their first ever series in Australia. The weekend was also commendable by the St Paul’s students in Year 9 and 10 showing the same values of teamwork, leadership and perseverance to achieve an incredible sporting feat. 
Hugo, Kevin and Nicolae leading from the front at approximately 9pm.

After a brief introduction from the Wide Horizon team, the students embarked from the start at Eltham and walked at a blistering pace of 3.5 mph. The students travelled through Chislehurst, Sidcup, the volunteering sites along Foots Cray Meadows (seen above) and to their first stop at Bexley Cricket Club.

Dusk along the River Cray.

Resting for approximately 20 minutes to refuel with the array of different snacks and drinks provided by Wide Horizons we ploughed on through Bexley Village. The journey suddenly became real for the students when the light diminished and we entered Hoxton which was the rural fringe to Dartford. As we approached the halfway mark the students were in excellent spirits. I was particularly impressed with the front runners (Keion, Lateef and Eljay) who led the way and maintained our speed of over 3 miles an hour. Similarly, the students worked hard to support themselves by carrying bags and providing supporting comments. I was particularly impressed by Finlay, Taniesha and Emmanuel – to name a few – that had never walked further than 3 miles and yet we found ourselves enjoying a hot beverage at 1am at the half way mark. What an achievement!

Having a break and having a kit kat at the halfway point.
Fields of poppies at midnight in Eynsford.

At the mid-way point we refuelled on a balanced diet of Lucozade tablets, sugary hot beverages and chocolate. Although there were now tired legs the students were determined to tackle the next phase of our adventure; the hilly North Downs. What made this part of the Nightline hike such a challenge was the lack of lit and designated pathways, the undulating terrain and obstacles such as thick mud and rivers to navigate through. Our pace slowed and we made our way to the 21 mile marker. I must admit that at this point some of the staff were huffing and puffing.

Farningham at sun rise at 4.36am in the morning. A well-deserved rest before we reached the next Wide Horizon's pit stop.

It is without a doubt, a tremendous accolade to achieve a challenge of this magnitude without training. 20 students reached the 21 mile marker navigating through undulating terrain, rivers and often limited light, except for the glow sticks directing our route. Amy shows you how learning does not have to be based in the classroom:

At this point the students had walked from Eltham to Shoreham village Hall. This distance is portrayed by the selection of the route below. If you would like a full description of the route please click on the links:

A selection of the route until the 21 mile base in Shoreham village.

A further 10 students walked with Mr Davis, Mr Eldridge and Ms. Gregory to tackle the hilly final 9 miles of the route. This included two hills over 200 metres above sea level and certainly proved a challenge when legs were tired and we were entering our 10th hour of walking. Nonetheless, the students worked cohesively and showed the staff why we have some many amazing young people in our school. The students achieved the unthinkable from the beginning of the evening the night before and recorded a time of 11.5 hours with rest breaks to reach 30 miles (50km).

The end which included a steep hill at Wrotham Hill Park.

40km out of 50km (24 miles).

Our position at 8am on Sunday morning.

Joshua and Amy at 48km.

Congratulations to all students for their tremendous achievement and I hope they thoroughly enjoy the Nightline Hike. What is especially commendable is the fact that these students have raised over £600 (including gift aid) for the charity and proved yet again that Geography students are a credit to the school and assets to our department. The students raised this to support disadvantaged students being able to attend outdoor learning experiences at Wide Horizon Centres. These students are marginalised from these spaces due to socio-economic status. If you would like to donate to our students please follow the link below:

My thanks to Miss Gregory, Mr Elderidge and PC Verrall for their dedication to this event outside of curriculum time. Similarly, well done to the Wide Horizons team for a fantastic and well-organised event. See you next year! 

SPA Geog Team.

#Where is your geography classroom?

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