The Kench Hill Experience

17th May 2019

The week spanning from Monday 29th April to Friday 3rd May 2019 was an extremely busy week for sixteen of the Year 8 students on their residential trip to the Kench Hill Centre in Tenterden - Kent, with a further two joining the group for a day of fun at the seaside on Wednesday 1 May. Everyone had a brilliant time!


Year 8 were kept incredibly busy with a wide range of excellent activities. On Monday each student created a ‘Journey Stick’ to reflect on an afternoon trek through Parkwood where they found a huge ‘phoenix tree’ to climb on, and later listened to the evening ‘soundscape’ of this special woodland area. The students petted guinea pigs, fed chickens, and walked ponies in the grounds of the Kench Hill Centre. They made flour in the traditional Anglo-Saxon way, and baked delicious bread rolls to have with the evening meal. The students tasted interesting treats from the garden and, in an act of daring, some of them tasted raw rhubarb! The group experienced archery, and built shelters from scratch; toasted marshmallows on a campfire and told some truly bad jokes about chickens, dogs, and all manner of other animals, crossing the road. On Thursday the group went on an excursion to the Rare Breeds Centre and got within touching distance to some amazing wild animals, and played in the playground area with its network of tunnels, and a group swing. Everyone took great satisfaction in cheering on Anthony from 8C, who won the Pig Race! He was incredibly modest when he retold the story of his race, Anthony said his success was “partly due to luck” and partly due to having a very fast pig!

The group were extremely lucky with the weather throughout the week, on Wednesday they had a wonderfully sunny day in the soft, sandy dunes of Camber Sands. So many of our brave students paddled for at least an hour in the freezing waters off the Kent coast, and others set to work finding shells, running down the sand dunes, burying each other in the sand or digging an enormous moat round a sand castle - inspired by a ‘wicked’ and interesting day at Bodiam Castle. High up, in the Armoury at Bodiam, all of the students donned heavy chain-mail and shining armour, and raised their weapons to belt out the loudest battle cry in history!

On the last night the rain poured down, but this did not dampen anyone’s spirits as they all danced in the disco. All of the adults who accompanied the Year 8’s commended the students most highly for their attitude and behaviour during their stay at Kench Hill. There were numerous ways in which the students were kind and considerate to each other, accepting of help, and understanding of each other’s needs. All of the students were, on many occasions, pushed outside their comfort zones, they all did their best to manage the many challenges, and should be very proud of themselves for their amazing efforts. Well Done Year 8!