Trips & Expeditions
Trips and visits are an integral part of education at Solihull School; they are used to enhance the learning experience of pupils while also educating the whole person. Curriculum trips are linked to learning in the classroom and therefore take part throughout the year at the most suitable time. Many other trips have an adventurous nature and usually include overnight stays. These range from Woodlands, Snowdonia School (Year 8 pupils spend a week at the School's David Fricke Mountain Cottage), Duke of Edinburgh, CCF and even world expeditions. These types of trips teach pupils skills and also allows them to develop personally. There is always something for everyone.
The distribution of overnight trips over year groups does change and it is not always possible to predict whether a particular trip will still be running in a few years time. However there is a wide range of sport, academic and adventurous trips over all year groups.
The declared policy of the school on overseas expeditions is that we will send a party every two years to a wilderness area where they can gain leadership training experience and get a wider view of the world with an emphasis on the problems of developing nations. Advisers (staff) accompany the groups to minimise any danger and we include a qualified medical adviser where possible to increase the element of safety. Students take on daily leader roles which helps their personal development in terms of understanding the true extent of their abilities when faced with adversity. They write a communal diary of their experiences and are encouraged to discuss their feelings about what they are going through. In the past it has produced a number of students who have gained such confidence that they have gone on to wider ventures on their own afterwards.
The initiative goes back to 1992. We now aim to run an expedition for our Sixth Formers every two years so that every Sixth Formers has the opportunity to go on a major expedition with the school. Below is a list of expeditions the school has been on.
- 1997 - Northern regions of Chitral and Hunsa in Pakistan. Included a 14 day trek up the remote Shimshal Valley and climbed the 6020m peak Mingli Sar II.
- 1999 - Tibet, via Kathmandu in Nepal. The highlight was the visit to Everest Base Camp.
- 2001 - Ecuador. In spite of snow conditions preventing the intended climb we still trekked over 3500m passes having to camp in 10cm of snow. The group did manage to reach the top of Ruminahui at 4712m.
- 2003 - Peru included a ten-day trek at 4000m around the Cordillera Huayhuash, followed by a climb of Mount Pisco. The group went on to visit Cusco and to trek the Inca Trail to the old Inca stronghold Machu Picchu.
- 2005 - Nepal trekking from Namche Bazar to Everest Base Camp. Trekkers climbed Kala Patthar and made their way back to Namche via the testing Renjo La above Gokyo.
- 2007 - Atacama Desert in the North of Chile. This presented the two groups with a different set of challenges; we had temperatures from 25oC in the daytime down to –20oC at night. The highlight of the trip was the 7 hour climb up Volcan Licancabur 5916m.
- 2009 - Two expeditions left our shores.
- The Sixth Form to the Ladakh region of India for four weeks trekking. Highlights included being able to see the Dalai Lama and climb Stok Kangri at 6153m.
- The Middle School headed off to Norway. It was a shorter trip (three weeks) but was action packed. Pupils got to experience kayaking on the narrowest and deepest fjord in the world, trekking on the Jostedal Ice Field and exploring remote valleys.
- 2011 - Alaska. It was based around the very successful 2009 Norway expedition which had an emphasis on 'Leave No Trace' and 'bushcraft'. We spent four weeks in southern Alaska trekking in the area around Seward to the ‘Lost Lake’, Canadian Canoeing in the Swan Lake area for seven days and finally spent a week on the huge Root Glacier.
- 2013 - Thailand and Cambodia. The group trekked into the Cambodian jungle to the temple complex of Angkor Wat. They then travelled to the coast in Thailand to sea kayak around the fantastic islands in the Gulf of Thailand.
- 2015 - Ladakh India. Twenty four students took part in an extended trek in the northern hills of Ladakh in the Nubra Valley which have only just been opened up to visitors. The high point of the expedition was climbing two 6000m peaks Dawa and Samygal II. This was followed by travelling out of Ladakh on the highest roads in the world and visiting the Taj Mahal. For a detailed report and photos of the expedition please visit our Ladakh page.
- 2017 - Klondike trail Canada/Alaska. A small group are hoping to follow in the footsteps of the gold miners following the Klondike trail from Skagway, Alaska to Dawson city, Canada. This will include a six day trek followed by 750km canoe journey.