Challenging times for Year 9
Welcome Once again Challenge Week has provided our year 9 learners with an actionpacked, fun-filled week of activities, where they were given the opportunity to learn new skills and take part in all sorts of different experiences. Groups learnt to dance, made and decorated toy boxes from scratch, went mountain biking, learnt how to survive in the wilderness and laid on an international picnic for staff. The week was coordinated by Mr Goodwin but thanks also need to go to all the staff that led and assisted with the activities without whom it wouldnâ€™t have happened!
Painting and Gardening
There were two parts to our challenge. Some of us planted up tubs to go in the quad with flowers in the school colours, we also made hanging baskets, we hope that they will brighten up the area and make the quad look more inviting. The rest of us have been making murals to go on the walls of the quad. We started by sketching out a design on huge sheets of paper over which we laid big sheets of clear plastic. We went over the outline of our design with special inks and then added all the colours. The murals look ace and we are looking forward to seeing them up on the wall. We had a brilliant week, it was really fun!
On the Computer Programming challenge we had to construct a robot using the Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robotics kits and program it to complete an obstacle course without hitting anything. It was very difficult to program the robot successfully so that it wouldnâ€™t hit any of the boxes but we managed to do it eventually! Later in the week we modified our robots to complete another challenge whereby we had to carry out a series of tasks to do with the journey food takes from the farm to table. Overall we really enjoyed the week and learnt loads about programming which was really interesting.
Dance Our dance teacher was Laura and during the week we learnt a dance from scratch which we performed to the rest of year 9 in the Prys Jones Theatre on Friday. Some of the steps and movements were difficult to learn but we practised over and over again until we got them right! I think the performance was brilliant and we had an ace week doing something different that we all really enjoyed.
We have spent the week doing all sorts of things which would help us to survive in the wild. Firstly we learnt first aid, then we went into Tan-y-Gopa woods to make a shelter from whatever we could find. When we had finished Mr Williams tested them by making us sit in our shelter while he poured water over it. It was a good shelter, if we didnâ€™t get wet! We also went to the beach where we learnt how to make a fire, it was hard to get the fires we had built lit because it was so windy, but we managed to get a decent fire going so that we could cook bread twisters and marshmallows! The week was really interesting and taught us lots of important skills.
During Challenge Week we devised a concise version of Shakespeareâ€™s Macbeth. At the beginning of the week we decided who was going to play each part and sorted out props and costumes, and then started learning our lines. By the end of the week we were perfect and were ready to film the play at all different locations around school which we then edited together. We showed the completed video at the presentation on Friday. We had a wonderful time doing something a bit different and are really grateful to the staff who led the sessions and those who helped us too!
Design and Technology For our challenge in D&T, we designed and made from scratch a toy box. We measured and cut the wood ourselves and we each decorated our boxes differently. Some were made for family and friends and some were made for us to keep. There are a range of different themes on the boxes such as, cartoons, names and bands. We all helped each other if we were having trouble and made friends whilst doing it. It was a very enjoyable project and everybody seems happy with the results.
We had a busy week playing and coaching different sports. On Monday we played cricket but it started to rain so we came indoors and played blind cricket where the batsman wore goggles with paper on so he couldnâ€™t see, and the ball had a bell in it. It was a lot of fun! After that we made up our own game and then did some cricket coaching. The next day we gained a tennis qualification and played basketball. On Thursday we had some football coaching before playing a game of football. It has been a brilliant Challenge Week!
We like Challenge week, we wish we could do it every day of the week instead of normal lessons. We have learnt new cooking skills and tasted foods from different cultures. We were given ÂŁ30 per group so had to learn how to budget, how to shop to save money by buying foods in bulk and to scale up recipes for a large group of people. Our favourite activities were cooking and eating the food. The staff who came to the International Picnic were very impressed by the quality and presentation of our food.
Mountain Biking On the first day during challenge week we did a first aid course just in case one of us hurt ourselves on the trip. On the second day we went to Marsh Tracks in Rhyl. First of all we did road biking which was good because we learnt new skills. Then after that we did BMXing on the track. This was fun because we fell off our bikes and got to have races against each other as many times as we wanted. Last but not least we went mountain biking in the Gwydyr Forest. We experienced a lot of new things and learnt some new skills. Overall we had a good time, we feel we had the best experience.
Art and Crafts
The clay work group had the challenge of creating a design based on nature for a pot or dish. The first task was to select shapes and images to create a collage of ideas. A range of paints and textures were experimented with. There was then the physical task of rolling the clay and an object was created and decorated. The pots were embellished with a range of designs and features from the plan. The pot was dipped in marble effect paint and more colour added where necessary. The group worked well with each other and learnt a variety of new techniques from this enjoyable week with the patient support of Mrs Richardson.