Learning Through Experiences

At the beginning of the year it is always a challenge to establish synergy in the classroom and to encourage good inter student relationships. What happens in the first few weeks sets the tone for the rest of the year so it is important that we do our best to get this right. As it is summer when course begins it is ideal for us to get out into the sunshine and nature to expose our twelve students to new experiences such as horse riding and paddle boarding with the underlying objective of building team spirit. This exposure to things not ever tried before is so powerful as it helps our students build confidence in themselves, overcome their fears and reveals to them how resilient they actually are without knowing it. One student agreed to come along but was adamant that he was not getting on a horse. When he saw his peers riding and when they encouraged him to try, he decided to give it a go and within a short time his fear of being on a 'big horse' had disappeared and he really enjoyed the ride. In his mind he didn't believe he could do it but to his delight he could. We all have areas of fear, sometimes we just need to try doing it, even doing it whilst feeling afraid! The results are well worthwhile, and if we fail?, it's not the end of the world..... we try again. Kylah Meafau: Tutor


Jono Dempsey (24-7 Team Leader) and Ash Mowatt  (24-7 Youth Worker), were privileged to join the Year 13 Cohort on Camp to the National Park at the end of February this year.   

We are extremely privileged to be able to attend the annual year 13 camp, not just because it’s a fantastic adventure into wild New Zealand landscape but because the majority of year 13s attend which makes it a significant time for us to connect with them as they forge their way to schools finish line. Generally the most memorable experience is Tongariro Crossing. For those of you that have never walked it, rain or shine it never ceases to be an incredible out of this world landscape, and this year - while walking through a rain drenched cloud - was no different.

There aren’t many spaces as a youth worker where you get 5-8 hours to spend time with a group of young people and the crossing is one of those times. It’s an opportunity for us to share life, encouragement and value. For us to walk alongside them through a significant physical challenge and overcome it together. A chance for a long lasting memory to be made and in years when we see each other again be remembered for both the feeling of walking, drenched in rain and sweat and the sense of achievement, victory for conquering one of the most challenging alpine walks in the world. By Jono 

Ash added:  "This was a great opportunity to support staff, and help the young people have outstanding experiences like caving and the Tongariro crossing. Being able to build relationships outside of the school context is invaluable."

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