It’s been a fantastically busy week as the boys swapped the suburban ambience of TW12 for the tranquillity of the New Forest.


Since we returned your sons to you on Tuesday or Thursday evening, I am sure they have told you plenty about what we got up to, but let me give you some highlights.  On the first day, the emphasis was on problem solving within Forms. The boys undertook a series of physical and mental tasks, the solutions to which always lay in working together. The boys also got the chance to do a low ropes and a high ropes course, and many surprised themselves by the scale of their achievements. It was noticeable how much the communication and listening skills improved throughout the day, and you will be pleased to hear how much the boys are now starting to work together as a team.


In the evening, the boys went on a night walk in the grounds of the house.  Without the aid of any artificial light, their eyes soon adapted to the dark, and they were able to navigate round the woods with reasonable success. Experiments to illustrate the tricks our eyes play on us in the dark, ghost stories and the brewing of pine tea enlivened the experience. Of all the skills learned this week, bed-making appears the one that needs more practice – over to you, parents!


On the second day, the boys were mixed into new groups comprising members of different Forms.  They first built a series of obstacle courses, around which they had to guide blindfolded and trusting classmates, mentors and teachers – including Mrs Peattie! In the afternoon, the groups put their new found skills to good use to complete more challenges in order to gain points, which they could later use to bid for barrels, planks and ropes at a raft-building auction.  It must be said that the finer arts of auction bidding were somewhat lost on most of the boys – particularly one group who outbid themselves!


Once the lots were allocated, rafts were constructed and sailed on the lake.  The vessels themselves were impressively seaworthy for the most part, but the hot temperatures certainly made the idea of an unscheduled dip appealing to one or two boys. Much merriment was had by all. I do hope that the boys enjoyed their time at Avon Tyrrell, and feel more confident in themselves, within their Forms and the First Year, and as part of Hampton.   I am I sure you will join us in thanking the mentors, Form Tutors and Mr Clarke and Mr Davieson (our adventurous activities coordinators) for helping to organise and run such a memorable few days.


Each week Mrs Peattie is awarding one First Year the title of ‘Tutee of the Week.’  We are delighted that this week Tutee of the week has gone to Joe Moylan-Jones of 1H for his fabulous orienteering skills, and the enthusiasm and kindness that he showed to the other boys in his team.  Joe’s leadership meant that they got around the First Year orienteering cause in a record time.


Away from Avon Tyrell, we would like to wish some of our sportsmen the best of luck as they pull on the yellow shirt for the first time – we hope that the U12A, B and C Rugby players enjoy success against Caldicott Prep School in this season opener.


On a final note, please could we remind you that Open Morning takes place on Saturday 24 September, when all boys will be expected to help out as guides provided they aren’t taking part in another authorised school activity (such as a sports fixture). It has been traditional in the past for the Form Charity committee to put on a cake sale, and First Year boys are encouraged to take part by baking a cake (nut free please!) for charity. If you are keen to help out in this activity then we would all be very grateful. Walking around the school can be a tiring experience for visitors, and to be able to enjoy a slab of homemade baking and contribute to our wonderful charities is a great way for them to finish the tour off.


Mrs Peattie, Mr Hill and Mr Roland


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