Tow­er­ing achievemen­t

A Nor­folk school has opened a new ac­tiv­ity cen­tre – and it’s not just the pupils who will ben­e­fit from it

EDP Norfolk - - EDUCATION -

Since re­turn­ing to school in Septem­ber, Gre­sham’s pupils have been en­joy­ing the chal­lenges of the new on-site out­door ac­tiv­ity cen­tre – the first of its kind for a school in the area.

The cen­tre fea­tures an ob­sta­cle course; 250 me­tre zip wire; high and low ropes cour­ses; 20-per­son bunkhouse or teach­ing fa­cil­ity; and 28 me­tre ‘Bour­dil­lon Tower’ with ab­seil­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

Named after Gre­sham’s alum­nus Tom Bour­dil­lon, one of Eng­land’s great­est moun­taineers in the im­me­di­ate post-war era and the first pres­i­dent of the Alpine Climb­ing Group, the climb­ing tower is one of Bri­tain’s tallest. Pupils will be able to use the fa­cil­i­ties and, for in­stance, can at­tempt the Bour­dil­lon Tower as part of reg­u­lar Sat­ur­day hobby times.

As part of the school’s sup­port of the his­toric Lon­don Chil­dren’s Camp char­ity, which was orig­i­nally es­tab­lished after the end of World War Two by Gre­sham’s teach­ers and alumni to of­fer young Lon­don­ers an es­cape to the coun­try­side, the cen­tre will wel­come groups of dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren from across the coun­try for week-long res­i­den­tial ac­tiv­ity camps.

Set in Gre­sham’s 200 acres, within an Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty and just four miles from the north Nor­folk coast, the camps are run by Gre­sham’s staff – led by head­mas­ter Dou­glas Robb with sup­port from sixth form vol­un­teers and spe­cial­ist in­struc­tors for climb­ing and sail­ing. The first three school groups were wel­comed in July and, as well as be­ing among the first to ex­pe­ri­ence the new tower, ob­sta­cles and bunkhouse, the pupils en­joyed the school’s wood­lands, nearby beaches, sail­ing cour­ses, boat rides, and a hike to see the seals at Morston.

With the open­ing of the new Cen­tre, Gre­sham’s pupils and chil­dren from across Nor­folk and fur­ther afield will now ben­e­fit from hav­ing acres of space to have an ad­ven­ture.

BELOW: A pupil tack­les the net­ting on the ob­sta­cle course while oth­ers pre­pare to climb the tower

ABOVE: As­cend­ing the im­pres­sive Bour­dil­lon Tower

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