Two groups of Year 11 pupils from Saint Paul’s recently visited the Manchester Climbing Centre where they enjoyed tackling the large indoor climbing wall.
The trip aimed to take the pupils, who are studying for their GCSE PE, out of their comfort zone giving them the experience of a totally different activity. This was a very intensive five week course giving the pupils the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and hence improve their assessment grades. The pupils reacted positively to the experience with many pupils excelling and gaining high marks. They also worked very hard as a team supporting each other on the climbs.
Climbing can aid the development of co-ordination and motor skills, as well as giving individuals achievable goals and the instructors use a range of techniques to include climbers of all abilities. This session focused on skill development and safety as well as climbing techniques.
“Climbing is a great way to develop fitness, teamwork and communication skills,” explained Ms Laura Wild, Head of PE at Saint Paul’s. “All the pupils had a great time exploring the different challenges put in front them in an enjoyable and exhilarating environment. This has meant that many of the pupils will now select climbing as one of their four sports for their GCSE practical exam.”
Ms Wild added “The pupils were all excited to use the climbing walls and showed a great deal of enthusiasm for the activity. As well as improving fitness, climbing is also an effective tool in boosting self-confidence, giving young people the chance to try out a new and unusual activity. With the added safety issues, every child takes on a role of responsibility, making them feel like an important part of the team. It proved excellent for developing team work skills.”
Deputy Headteacher, Miss Tina Wilkinson, said “The visit was a fantastic opportunity for personal development and had a very positive effect on self-esteem and social interaction. I was pleased to see how well the pupils responded to being outside their comfort zone. They worked well as teams and were able to communicate with, and trust, their climbing partners.”