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Dixons Brooklands Academy

Kath Fry Challenge

Posted 2nd February 2024

Ms Riches took 8 Year 10 students to Ghyll Head on 26th January, to compete in the Kath Fry Challenge; the students were amazing representatives of Dixons and staff at the Ghyll Head Centre all commented on how well behaved and polite they were during this residential. We are incredibly proud of how the girls conducted themselves and their efforts in the competition.

Here is an account of their time there from Ms Riches:

DAY 1 of the Kath Fry Challenge started with the evening night walk. This walk included our 8 students navigating using a set of picture cards, a map and a compass through the wooded area just outside the Ghyll Head site. With headtorches, the 8 Year 10 students set off on this 3 mile walk, overcoming many fears to solo navigate back to the Ghyll Head outdoor centre. Being the only school group this weekend completing the full walk, they started their quest for the Kath fry Challenge trophy in style.

DAY 2 was to be the most challenging day yet for many of our students, with the challenge to reach the summit of the Old Man of Coniston, which is 2635ft high! With backpacks packed with layers and waterproofs, the students headed off on their 6 mile, 5 hour hike to the summit. To say this was an easy task would be a lie, these students had to grit through the steep climbs, gale force winds (up to 30mph), and freezing cold rain to push to the top. Our students showed huge resilience to overcome their own difficulties and complete this epic challenge, but were rewarded with maximum points once again for their teamwork, motivation and resilience throughout the day.

After drying off, and not quite enough time for the students to have their desired nap, the girls were now ready for tea which was followed by the evening activity; the egg drop challenge. The challenge, to throw the egg off the top of the climbing wall, without it breaking. The students were given a few materials, and 30 minutes to find the best solution to protect their egg on its journey or plummet down the climbing wall. After lots of discussion the students used balloons and a paper bag to attempt to create a flying egg. The result, 95 out of 100 points, as the egg only has a small crack in the shell. Great effort and thinking skills from all.

DAY 3 was the final day of the Kath Fry Challenge, and the final weekend in which 12 different high schools from the borough of Manchester have attended to complete challenges to win the Kath Fry trophy, which is climbing pic on wood (very cool)! On the final day, students selected as many challenges as they wanted, to help them gain as many points as possible. Despite two days of walking, to my surprise the girls chose another walk, where they navigated once again alone, using just a map and a compass around the different check points and back to the centre. They completed the raft building challenge on Lake Windermere, using the raft to paddle to the other side of the lake (which did not capsize), as well as 4 other team challenges, Swamp Walkers, Minefield Maze, Fire Making and the Leaky Pipe. Only dropping points from the leaky pipe as the water fired out of all 14 holes on the pipe, by the end of the day, the girls had gained 760 points! They were now all ready for the journey back to Manchester, having given their all, showed resilience and demonstrated fantastic teamwork all weekend - along with showing our school values at all times throughout the trip; Work Hard, Have Integrity and Being Kind. Now all that is left is the see the final scores of the weekend. But whatever the result, the students gave 100% and gained many skills and learnt many life lessons on the way.

Thanks to all the team at Ghyll Head outdoor education centre for what was a superb weekend for our students. We will be back, and we're keeping our fingers crossed for the result of the competition!