Every year, for the last 5 years we have offered our Year 7 students the opportunity to climb Pen Y Fan. Each of our four House Teams, made up of approximately 60 students each, have a day when they travel up to Storey Arms Activity Centre and with the support of the specially trained outdoor education staff they climb Pen Y Fan together. Last year over 93% of a Year 7 year group of 240 succeeded in this challenge.
The aim of course is to get to the top of the mountain, and hopefully, weather permitting, take in the amazing view and feel that great sense of achievement of having just climbed the highest mountain in South Wales and England. However, we have seen that our students gain a huge amount more from the day climbing up the mountain with all the other staff and students from their House, many of whom they have really only just met.
Our motto is ‘Flourish in Life’ and as a school we strive for all our students to leave us prepared to do just that. Our overall ethos is supported by our commitment to our four sustainable pillars that guide our actions and choices of supporting enrichment experiences such as the Pen Y Fan climb for our students. They are:-
Sustainable approaches to learning
Sustainable relationships & partnerships
Sustainable body, mind & soul
Sustainable resources & environment
What has become an annual activity and almost a rite of passage of becoming an Eastern High student in Year 7 is in complete alignment with these sustainable pillars and the values that underpin them. The climb is of course a learning experience in itself, but the overall experience also supports the building of new relationships between students and students and also between staff and students as we share this beautiful and challenging experience together. It also exposes our students to the positive power of the outdoors on our mental wellbeing and offers the opportunity to explore the outstanding natural spaces and wider environment that exist on the doorstep of their home city, that many of our students haven’t had the opportunity to explore.
The friendship that the Cardiff St David's Rotary Club has offered Eastern High, and the sponsorship that they have been so kind to give has been vital in keeping this annual experience going. We would like to offer them our wholehearted thanks for ensuring our students continue to have this wonderful opportunity, and look forward to continuing to develop our relationship.