Form 5 Canoe Trip

On Saturday morning, 21st September 2019, all the Form 5 students travelled offsite to experience canoeing on the River Severn, heading towards Shrewsbury. Most of the students stayed in their tutor groups, while a few groups were divided into different segments. Although we knew that the trip could be tiring because of the long distance we had to cover, it was very enjoyable canoeing together, as well as seeing the beautiful views on the river, and the fun experiences shared with the tutors. As soon we started canoeing, our doubts disappeared, we had even more fun with our friends, enjoyed the sunshine and talked to one another. Around halfway through, my partners, Ryan and Barney and myself capsized because we hit a tree! However, we enjoyed the trip a lot and had lots of fun.

Leo – F5

The sky was painted blue and the sun radiated onto the river. It was a fantastic day for canoeing. After a short briefing with the instructors, we headed off on our 19km journey canoeing down the River Severn from Montford Bridge to Shrewsbury. Chloe-Nicole, Pennt, and I shared a three-person canoe for the journey.

As we had little experience of canoeing, we had a very bumpy start. We zigzagged across the river and tried hard to paddle towards the instructor’s canoe, but we always seemed to head the opposite direction. We also crashed into a few extended branches, but luckily without capsizing. Eventually, we started to get the hang of it and coordinated our paddling. Not only were we able to catch up with the group, we also overtook them. Sometimes, we even went too fast and the instructors had to tell us to hold on.

During the journey, we acquainted ourselves with about 12 ducks and 32 swans, including a black swan, which are rarely seen. One of our friends’ canoe also capsized right next to us! Seeing them soaking wet, I decided not to capsize my canoe intentionally. My favourite part of the journey was challenging the other group (Hugo, Wiktoria and Austin) to several races. Even though Chloe-Nicole, Pennt and I paddled as hard as we could, the races still ended with a humiliating defeat.

At last we arrived in Shrewsbury, not extremely exhausted, but a bit tired after more than five hours of canoeing. Overall, we had a refreshing day out on the River Severn and created some great memories. Thank you to all the staff involved.

 Jennifer – F5

Lake Bala – F5 Canoe Trip

F5 Canoe Trip

24th of September 2017… Form 5 students began the special journey to the canoe trip. We had to wake up early in the morning for breakfast and then set off from the school by 8am! The trip took roughly 2 hours but that wasn’t a problem because we could have a nice sleep on the coach. As the coach arrived at our destination, we woke up to see beautiful scenic nature, including the main attraction we’d been waiting for… Lake Bala! As soon as our eyes saw it, our hearts and minds went wild. It was absolutely beautiful.

We rushed down off the bus to get ourselves prepared for the activities. But firstly, the instructor had to tell us about what we should be doing and what we should not. Luckily, the main rule was just “Don’t get wet if you don’t want to”. Surprisingly, there were kayaks for ‘lone wolves’ who were willing to get wet and experience extreme fun, and many of the boys just couldn’t hold themselves back from getting one. Obviously I’m a boy but, sadly, I wasn’t one of the kayakers.

After we were taught how to paddle and instructed to be cautious, we started off lifting up the boats and getting on them in the water. At first, we weren’t so good at controlling the direction of the boat but as we learnt along the way, all of us became noticeably better and THAT made the afternoon part even more enjoyable!

At the start of the day, we sailed to different spots to practice our control. It was pretty hard and annoying when I paddled gently on the right and the canoe started going too far to the left. It would have been so much easier if Mr Tilson hadn’t been on board with us!

For lunch, we had sandwiches provided by the teachers and afterwards, we had a chance to light a small bonfire and roast our own marshmallows. After we’d finished our lunch, we began our journey back to the start destination. Unexpectedly, we had travelled for approximately 4 km on the boats and yes – it was exhausting and painful when you had to sit down for the whole day, but honestly, it was worth our time learning new skills, seeing such scenic nature and most importantly, spending time with friends.

I had to admit that at first, I didn’t want to go, but at the end of the day, I wished we could stay for a bit longer. Overall, it was a very interesting and enjoyable trip, and I hope we’ll all have another opportunity to do something like this again in the future with all of our friends.

Tee Saran – F5


Form 5 Canoe Trip on Lake Bala

It started in the middle of the night for some, including me. Being a typical teenager, I can’t manage without my Sunday lie-ins and waking up at 6 am after going to bed after 1am is probably not the best of my ideas so far this term. Once I arrived at school at 7:30 we waited for everyone to gather around and get their bags ready; at 8:50 we all clambered drearily onto the usual Boultons coach.

After a long foggy coach journey through misty old Wales, we found out Aous’s bowels had churned when he realised that he couldn’t see anything because of the fog, but thanks to our bus driver we are still alive. Anyhow, we got the activity centre somewhere along the right bank of Bala Lake. We equipped ourselves with paddles and waterproofs an then carried our canoes down to the water.

It was still really foggy at this point and I honestly couldn’t see much at all, but the water was mysteriously still and made the view look absolutely breath taking. I found most of the morning quite tedious because I have been canoeing many times before; also we spent a long time trying to figure out good leading strategies on how to control the group most efficiently.

When it was lunchtime, we pulled up at a rocky beach besides a railway, where Jordan, Edward and I emptied the chilly water out of our canoe that had been sloshing around since the start. Previously, when we were still in the early hours of the morning Miss Taylor had told Jordan and I that she fancied her chances of managing to push him and I into the lake, but we had believe different. We had been planning and plotting on how to get her in instead the whole morning, so when we realised that we had the chance at our lunch break then we didn’t wait too long. We lured her closer to the water, which then obviously lead to her falling in and us not. (Sorry Miss if you’re reading this) Next Miss Taylor tried to push me in, but she didn’t manage (sorry again) haha.

After that, we had some more canoeing which was again not that interesting for me, and was quite tedious, but I hope everyone else enjoyed it. Towards the end of the day, my group and I had finished early and our instructor, James, decided to be especially mean and make us all have two different races. One being the two (or three in my case) members of the boat sit at the very front of the canoe, and the other as you may have guessed, all of us perched at the back. After these races were over it was time to go in, but just to top it all off our instructor made only my boat paddle back to shore in the most awkward position I could think of; it was as if Crystal was almost on top of me at the back of the boat. Therefore we managed be the only boat to capsize the whole day (I’m sure watching this was Miss Taylor’s favourite part of the day).

Finally, to end the day a number of us decided to jump into the water just for the sake of it. To their surprise there was a layer of something like sludge about 40cm thick in the bottom on the lake. Quickly we all got out, got changed and in no time we were back at school.

Joe Parker F5