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    An Adventure to the Northern Hills


    07 Jun, 2018

    10 : 00

    • At the end of May, Year 5 clambered excitedly onto the school coaches, wearing caps, sun cream and carrying full-to-bursting backpacks for a big adventure. Every year, our eldest Primary School students are taken on a residential trip to experience the beauty that surrounds Beijing and take part in team-building activities. This year our Year 5s went to the Northern Hills, accompanied by their teachers and tour guides from The Hutong who led the trip.

      Independent Exploration

      The first stop of the trip was Tianxianyu Village, about one-and-a-half hours outside of Beijing. The village is famous for certain foodstuffs, and our students were given maps and challenged to explore the village in small groups, finding the local fish farms and beehives and talking to residents to find out more.

      “Exploring the village in groups teaches independence, map-reading skills and encourages our students use their Chinese language skills”, explained Ms Iyabo Tinubu, Year 5 Learning Community Leader. “All the students took to this task really well, finding out, among other things, about the local chestnut that is grown in Tianxianyu, how much it costs, when it is harvested and why they are so popular.”

      At the guesthouse, students enjoyed a cooking class where they made delicious bing, and took part in various activities such as tight-rope walking before dinner.

      Support and Encouragement

      Day Two of activities began with a two-and-a-half hour long hike through the beautiful Yunmengshan Park.

      “This was a long walk, and our students all felt extremely proud of themselves for completing it”, explained Ms Tinubu. “Some students found the walk more tiring than others, but they really encouraged each other. It was lovely to see them be so supportive.”

      The hike left a lasting impression on our students. Sofia from Year 5 described the beautiful landscapes on the walk, while Jenny remembered “a pond filled with thousands of tadpoles”.

      “We had a rest at a little waterfall”, said Morgan also in Year 5. “We were able to climb up a steep rock, sit there and eat these very sweet apples, looking over the water.”

      Team Work

      In the afternoon, students moved to their campsite to set up base. “The Hutong guides showed us how to pitch our tents”, explained Morgan, “and actually it was pretty easy to do in our pairs.” Students were treated to a memorable campsite bonfire before bedtime, where they roasted Smores and drank hot chocolate.

      “The last day was the best of all!” agreed Morgan, Dylan and Sofia. Our Year 5s travelled to a watersports centre to take part in a range of activities on the reservoir. They were challenged to assemble rafts using empty plastic cylinders and ropes and raced against each other in teams.

      “My team won”, said Dylan, “but it was because Mr Fitzpatrick told us how to row most efficiently – moving our oars all at the same time.” Dylan, Sophia, Jenny and Morgan were overcome with laughter and excitement as they recounted the tails of the final day.

      “The watersports were a real exercise in teamwork”, said Ms Tinubu. “Students had to put their heads together to assemble their rafts, and use communication skills to race. On top of this, it was just a huge amount of fun.”

      A Trip to Remember

      Our students were sorry to be taking the coach home after a fantastic trip, though they all commented that they slept very well that weekend!

      “When I got home my cousins were staying,” said Dylan. “It took me three days to tell them everything!”

      A special thanks to the Year 5 teachers and Mr Fitzpatrick for taking our students on such a memorable adventure, and the Hutong Staff who organised and led the trip so well. We are already looking forward to next year’s Year 5 adventure!