Challenge Espana!

July 2019

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Year 11 students pictured at the Palacio Real de Madrid.

In the last week of term, twelve specially selected students in Years 10 and 11 enjoyed a unique trip to Spain, which allowed them to experience the spectacular sights, cuisine and culture of both Madrid and Barcelona.

The six-day ‘Challenge Espana’ experience was designed as a reward trip for twelve students who had demonstrated an excellent attitude to their studies and showed a high level of commitment to maintaining outstanding behaviour and attendance throughout the academic year.

Six Year 10 students and six Year 11s were selected to attend the exciting trip, which involved stays in two of the most beautiful cities in the world. The trip was unique in that students experienced the sights and culture of each city by completing a series of organized challenges issued to them each morning by our Headteacher.

The group was divided into four teams of three and although each was accompanied by a member of staff, students were encouraged to take control of solving clues and earning points for their team. This allowed them to build team working skills, self-confidence and independence. In addition to this, each team was given a budget of €100 per day to spend on food and travel expenses; this allowed students to develop skills in effective money management and the handling of cash.

The group first travelled to Liverpool for an overnight stay before their early morning flight to Madrid. In the city they travelled via the Madrid Metro, which was an excellent life experience in itself, and visited the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas and the Plaza Mayor, the main public square which dates back to the 15th century. For one of the challenges, teams made their way to the Palacio Real de Madrid, the official residence of the Spanish Royal family and the Bernabau Football Stadium; they also enjoyed a traditional Spanish picnic and fun boat race in the beautiful Retiro Park, which is home to the Crystal Palace. Students also enjoyed excellent meals at a local Italian restaurant and the Hard Rock Café.

After three days in Madrid, the group travelled to Barcelona on the AVE high-speed train, which travelled at speeds of 205mph and completed the 310-mile journey in just 2 hours 30 minutes. This was an excellent way to absorb the diverse Spanish landscape in air-conditioned comfort.

In the stunning city of Barcelona, students were able to enjoy time on the beach and visit some of the most famous sights including La Sagrada Familia, the Arco de Triunfo, the Olympic Stadium and the superb Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. They also rode the Teleférico de Barcelona cable car, which offers spectacular views of the city.

Overall it was an amazing experience for all involved and one which will have a positive impact for other students as we begin the next academic year. Those who participated in the trip will now share their experience by organising and leading a series of ‘challenge’ events in our local area and further afield in the UK, for students in younger year groups.

Challenge Espana

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