Keswick School undertake challenging mountain project

Posted: 1st May 2024

Since September, our junior boarders have undertaken ‘The Six Fell Walks Project’.  Each walk has increased in difficulty and last week saw the group ascend High Spy, from Littletown Farm, Newlands in the heart of the Lake District.  So far as part of the project, the boarders have climbed; Walla Crag, Catbells, Castle Crag and Barrow/Outerside. The last climb will be Latrigg, an easier climb to celebrate with other staff and friends.


It was by far the most challenging walk of our programme of six walks, put together by staff in the house and a local Mountain Guide.  The views were dramatic and inspiring which the group were able to enjoy along the way.


In this cycle of planned walks, what our youngest boarders have achieved is quite remarkable. They have undertaken a level of challenging and physically demanding climbs, acquired map-reading skills, recognized the importance of teamwork, and learnt much about the area in which we live, the history, flora and fauna of the Lake District. All within this first year.  Not surprisingly with a mountain guide as our mentor, our walks have also embraced topics of local agriculture, climate-change, and sustainability, consistently relating these issues to our environment and natural heritage.  Lairthwaite Boarding House and Keswick School are in an unparalleled position to take advantage of this amazing, and beautiful resource, we are incredibly lucky.


What we hadn’t understood fully until other members of staff joined us at various times, was the golden opportunity it gives us all to strengthen our ‘family’ relationships with our students in the House. Building trust, exploring concerns from peers, home, abroad and of course school, both academic and pastoral. It has become clear that our newer, younger students feel more and more able to share with us their issues, with confidence.


Our walks now have an added dimension; that of talking therapy with LBH staff and others, such as our independent listener. Teenagers are invariably better at side by side conversation rather than face to face.  One of our prefects-elect from Yr. 12, also joined us from time to time, giving support to younger boarders and proving an exemplary role model.


All this activity is helping to foster a healthier and stronger foundation of resilience that we can share and draw from each other, an ‘untapped reserve’.  These walks have given all of us, staff and students alike, a window of walking and talking in an outdoor environment which can be less stressful than a one to one formal counselling session for young people.


With 214 Wainwrights listed, we have plenty more to go during the next academic year!



Categories: Keswick School