Transition to Therfield from Year 6

  As a parent/carer of a Year 6 student joining Therfield in September, please click on the link ...

Closure Update - 2nd April

  Dear Parents & Carers, It’s strange to think that the Spring Term officially comes to an...

School Band Performance

Members of the Jazz Band had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon performing at Wates Head Office.   ...

Fox Grove - Therfield Sports Facility

We are excited to share with you that after many months of planning the Department for Education h...

  • Transition to Therfield from Year 6

  • Closure Update - 2nd April

  • Sixth Form Application Now Open

  • School Band Performance

  • Fox Grove - Therfield Sports Facility

This year the winter mountain experience visit headed back to the Cairngorms national park, same venue, same accommodation but slightly different weather.....

10 students, Mrs Pickett, Miss Hobson, Mr Clark and 15.5kg of homemade cake made the journey from Gatwick to Inverness to collect boot, crampons and ice axes before settling into the accommodation and cooking the evening meal  - one of the benefits of this trip is the students working as a team both out in the mountains and cooking for each other back in the accommodation.

Day one was the chance to learn the essential skills of walking in winter boots and stopping slips becoming slides by self-belays and ice axe arresting.  This is often the highlight for students as it involves sliding downhill in various orientations (sitting up, feet first, head first....) and executing a controlled stop - everyone succeeded.

With these essential skills in place, and a dry weather forecast, Cairngorm was the target for day two. It was a fast pace set as students were introduced to both crampons and looking at the stability of snow slopes,  making excellent time to the weather station on the summit of Cairngorm, although unrecognisable due to the quantity of rime ice and snow built up on it!

The pace of he students allowed for kit to be checked and rucksacks packed before the planned snow hole expedition the following day. The day dawned windy with snow forecast, so final supplies purchased and packed before donning goggles and heading towards the summit of Cairngorm again. Arrival at Ciste Mhearad saw us drop out of the wind and begin the long task of digging our home for the night.....4.5 hours later and we had a six door, split level snow hole which ran approximately 15m from end to end and had excavated somewhere in the region of 13 tonnes of snow!  Copious amounts of snow were melted to cook pasta, cake and custard, hot chocolate and water bottles were filled with hot water to make hot water bottles before students and staff bedded down for a good nights sleep, sixteen sleeping bodies with just the odd snore heard (don't listen to the stories of Mrs Pickett's excessive snoring.....)

One student, Ben Harding, had requested the experience of a 'whiteout', the next morning was his opportunity.  As we emerged from our snow hole visibility was poor, making differentiating between snow and sky very difficult.  Each student took on the role of leading the group in these conditions as they contoured round Cairngorm, descending back to the car park, pleased that no member of the group had needed to use the dreaded 'keep the Cairngorms white' pots.

An afternoon of rest allowed the group to catch up on the Winter Olympics and plan what they wanted on the final day, it was unanimous, so snow belays, rope work and abseiling were the order of the day for Thursday.  The sun shone on us as we headed into a valley and set up our base for the day.  Students worked in small groups, digging belays, holding each other as they an backwards downhill, and in some cases falling over deliberately to see if their partner held them - Jordan Nicolle seemed to articulately enjoy this!

Time to pack up and go home......not much cake left and a celebration evening saw Lewis Bingham crowned as chief digger and Mrs Pickett given earplugs for snoring......surely not.

The 'short' delay to our return flight gave time to reflect on the previous days, leading such trips is never possible without the support of staff or the enthusiasm of the students involved, and this was no exception.  Mr Clark had enjoyed it so much the year before that he returned, along with Lucy and Ben.  Most of the other students had completed the summer mountain experience and were now keen to further expand their mountain skills, here is what they thought of the trip....

Interesting learning the new skills and why they were important before getting a chance to test those skills - Ollie Forsyth

Definitely do it if you have the chance - Adam Brady

Amazing experience - Ben Harding

Rare opportunity  and it doesn't have to be a once in a lifetime experience, I may do more of this when I am older- Hannah Rothwell.

And once again I am proud to be a member of the team at Therfield and privileged to spend my half term with these amazing students - thank you!