Big Camp

After months of meetings and planning, the Big Camp was finally upon us and on a bright sunny July day Year 7 descended on the Nevill Campus, to experience a range of activities and camp overnight.

Throughout the day students had the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities, including; festival flag making, team building, shelter building, fire skills and ‘Stomp’ style percussion workshops.

The students excelled and enjoyed all the activities. The day whizzed by and we were all grateful for the pasta supper cooked by our parent volunteers. There was little time for rest though as the evening activities got underway. A great obstacle course, Capture the flag and football, all accompanied by our own Hove Park music festival with over three hours of music provided by our student bands, from across all year groups. It was an exhausting but enjoyable day and evening… where did the girls get the energy to still be chatting in their tents at 2:30am?!

The first morning voices were heard at around 4am, so with less than a couple of hours rest and with bleary eyes we enjoyed the sunrise on another fine July day. The morning was a chilled out time as students emerged from their tents – some having spent their first night under canvas and some their first night away from home and family.

It was an amazing experience for all involved. Thank you to all the staff who helped on the day to make it so successful, the parents who gave up their time to feed us all, the students who embraced the opportunity and engaged in the day and those that spent many an hour planning and organising the event to make it the success it was and a legacy that the students will always remember.

Of the event our Head Teacher, Jim Roberts, said: 

"Student outcomes will always remain a key priority at Hove Park because exam results so often dictate future pathways and opportunities for young people.

However, my vision for our school also relates very much to the school experience each and every student will have.

It is about identifying the skills, values and attributes that we believe students should develop during their time with us and the things they will see, hear, try and explore at KS3, KS4 and KS5.

I have always been very clear that I want to ensure we provide experiences that all students can access and be part of, and over time, this would develop into an entitlement that all students could expect in coming to Hove Park.

At the beginning of the autumn term we came together as a community and won the OneFamily community grant of £25,000 for our Valley Campus outdoor gym. ‘The Big Camp’ is another opportunity for us to come together as a community to support all students in Year 7 to have the opportunity to spend the night under canvas and take part in a range of Forest School-type activities".

Hove MP Peter Kyle attended the event and said:

"Hove Park School has just finished its amazing 'Big Camp'! Year 7 students spent the whole day doing projects, exercises and challenges, mostly outside.

By the time I popped along yesterday evening there had been obstacle courses, musical performances, and fire building to cook marshmallows over. A 'wide game' was just getting underway as I left, which filled me with nostalgia for my days as a Scout when I was growing up.

Many of the students I spoke to hadn't been camping before, let alone cooked over an open fire. This kind of thing is a brilliant thing for young people to do and I'm so pleased that the teachers, staff, volunteer parents, and the police cadets all put so much effort into making it happen. I'm sure it wasn't easy for them but from what I saw every student was very, very grateful that you did".

Nice Words From Parents, Carers and Students

"I hope you have a relaxing weekend planned after Big Camp- thank you so much! Milo looked as though he was really enjoying himself and was cementing new friendships- he has definitely settled in now and enjoys school. It was also great for me to meet other parents whilst helping".

Year 7 Parent

"I just wanted to drop you both a note to say thank you.

Xavier had an absolutely wonderful time and it was clear there was so much thought, time and effort put into the event".

Year 7 Parent

"I think that the big camp was really fun. To start of with I did the shelter building which was so much fun I really enjoyed it. It was a challenge that we completed in a short amount of time which I think was a good thing. It was nice to see how it would be like for people who had to survive in the wild. All of the materials that we had were handy to have and there was not any thing that our group didn’t use. So overall I think that the shelter building was a big success !

After I did that I did the team building. I loved this activity it was definitely up there with the best. One of the reasons why I loved it was that I didn’t know many of the people in my group before this activity so it was really nice to get to know everyone a bit better. It was also fun because all the activity’s in the team building were challenging to do which made it even more exciting to do. It also helps to build your trust with others because your partner had to guide you through a big spiders Webb and get you to the other side.

The next thing I did was making the nature flags which wasn’t quite what I thought it would be because it didn’t take very long to do and then when we had finished we still had a half an hour where all we did was sit under a tree and talked to our friends. So overall maybe they could of thought of another activity after we had finished them so we would have more to do in this amount of time.

After that we had a go at the ‘rubbish’ music which was really funny. It was something so different to all the other activities and it was cool how there is so much more then you think that can make music. All of the ‘instruments’ were fun to play. They all made a very cool song when we put all the sounds together.

So overall I think the Big Camp was amazing all of the activities were great, the food was yummy, the activity leaders were nice and it was a BIG success. Even better then I thought it would be".

By Avy and Lula, Year 7 students

The first activity my group went to was called natural flags. Itwasn’t what I though it would be but was enjoyable, we printed aflag each. Then we had free time because the activity went quitequickly.

We then had the activity called Rubbish Music, everyone learnthow to play the different musical instruments. We also played asink, which was really fun.

Next was fire building. We first learnt how to light a fire, they theygave us a challenge to keep the fire alight for five minutes. Ourgroup also got to roast a marshmallow over the main fire.

We next did shelter building, this was my favourite activity becauseI really enjoyed the creativity of trying to make a shelter againsteach other. We went into different groups and my group made onethe fastest.

Lastly we did team building, this was really fun because I didn’tknow everyone in my group so I got to get to know everyone. Themost difficult activity was going blind folded in a spiders webbecause we had to trust our partners to lead us through it safely.Overall, I really enjoyed the big camp because it gets you out ofyour comfort zone and challenges you. I also learnt new skills andreally enjoyed the day. It was really fun getting to have a differentday to normal. I didn’t stay overnight but it seemed fun.

Lula Year 7 student