School swings into action with high ropes challenge

School swings into action with high ropes challenge

8th October 2013


STUDENTS are being driven up the wall thanks to new facilities designed to test their mettle.

Pupils at The King’s Academy, Coulby Newham, are getting to grips with an impressive climbing wall that was fitted to the to the outside of the sports hall over the summer.

They are also swinging into action on a new high ropes challenge course, which is expected to be opened to the community.

Newcastle specialist contractors Rockworks installed the steel and Real Form-finish climbing wall, the culmination of two years’ planning.

Students can now enjoy the challenge of the 8m high structure, which has hand-hole routes graded in difficulty by colour.

Outdoor education instructor at The King’s Academy Stephen Hall said: “The wall tests the students physically and mentally as there is an element of problem solving with the various routes.

“It develops them individually and enhances teamwork as they have to trust their colleagues who are in charge of the safety ropes.”

He said the wall was an invaluable teaching aid because it was ‘challenge by choice’. “If they want they can strive for the top,” he said. “Equally they can gain individual satisfaction by traversing the rock face just 3ft from the ground.”

The wall is part of the PE curriculum from KS3 onwards and forms part of the outdoor education GCSE.

The 12m high ropes challenge was provided by arrangement with Middlesbrough Council and is expected to be made available to local primary schools and the community. It features a Jacob’s Ladder, Leap of Faith jump and Crate Stack team exercise. 

King’s student Holly Parrish, 11, said of the climbing wall: “It was quite hard, particularly in the rain, but it was good fun.

Joshua Arrondelle, 11, added: “It was excellent as it tests your strength and your nerve. If you do fall off you can just get back on and try again.”

Sammy Allport, 11, was first to reach the top. She said: “It was quite scary at first but I feel dead brave and proud that I managed to reach the very top.”

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