Traditionally our Year 7 students would have been returning from Motutapu Island, having spent a residential week undertaking activities encouraging collaboration, challenge and character building.

With the camp still undergoing refurbishment and improvement, we looked closer to home to experience our education outside the classroom.


The first of our three day activities took place on the school field and on Mangemangeroa Reserve. The programme involved a range of challenges designed to test stamina, ingenuity and the ability to survive in the wild.Students cooked a meal using damper stoves, built shelters using a range of materials, evaded capture in a game of survival and tested themselves in an inflatable arena. The day culminated in a giant group activity followed by a well earned BBQ feast. All the students and staff had a thoroughly enjoyable day and credit must go to Gary Carr who organised and resourced all the equipment, to ensure the day was a great success.


Our second day of activities had us visiting Birkenhead Pool and Leisure Centre to experience raft building, archery and high ropes. The centre instructors took the students through basic knot tying and how to lash poles together to create a raft from bamboo and inner tubes. The rafts were then placed in the outdoor swimming pool and the students challenged to paddled them to the other end.

High ropes, for many, was the biggest challenge of the day and students faced and, for some, overcame their fear of heights. It was a great opportunity for students to support, encourage and demonstrate the caring nature for one another.


Archery proved a great 'hit' with students, learning how to load their arrow onto a bow, draw, aim and fire at conveniently placed targets.


It was very pleasing to hear, from the centre staff, the positive comments on how well behaved and polite the Somerville students were.


Our final day took us to Mission Bay where we took to the water to enjoy paddle boarding and kayaking, supervised by instructors from Ferg's Kayaks. In addition, we solved problems on the beach and played tabloid sports on the Orakei Domain.


None of these days would have been possible without the support of our amazing parents who gave their time and efforts to help ensure the programme was both safe and enjoyable. A huge thank to you!


Reported by: Mr Andy Hamilton - EOTC Co-Ordinator