SCHOOL COLUMN: James Calvert Spence College

The new head boy and head girl at James Clavert Spence College, Amble, are Jordi Avison and  Georgia Soan, both in Year 13.
The new head boy and head girl at James Clavert Spence College, Amble, are Jordi Avison and Georgia Soan, both in Year 13.

Students get a challenging start

The start of a new school year, GCSEs a distant memory and a challenging and varied timetable of A-Level subjects awaiting – what better way to settle us in to Sixth Form than a little gentle exercise? Well that is how they sold it to us!

The annual sixth form challenge is a 10 mile walk along the beautiful Northumberland coast from Craster harbour, weaving along the coastline to Seahouses. The magnificent spectacle of Dunstanburgh Castle followed by the glorious stretch of beach to Low Newton are just two of the sights enjoyed along the route.

It all sounds very idyllic. However, despite a September celebrated because of the sun and warmth this year, we choose the day when the coast was shrouded in thick mist!

Don’t you just love a sea fret? Many of the sights were lost to us in a hazy fog, not to mention our peers on occasions!

The walk was introduced many years ago by our Head of Sixth Form to offer the new year group an opportunity to get to know each other away from the school environment. It is also run as a sponsored event and this year we raised money for Cancer UK.

Following a de-brief in school, we travelled to Craster, disembarking from the bus and hoping that the sun would break through the murky grey day – no chance!

Craster harbour was an outline against an even damper horizon but our spirits were high and we set off with a spring in our step.

Apparently there is always a challenge on top of the 10-mile walk, to try and beat the time achieved by the previous year group. We were onto a winner this year as the weaklings from 2013 gave in once they reached Low Newton due to driving rain and gale force winds! I suppose we should give them some credit for trying, however.

On reaching the Ship Inn, we were able to stop for lunch and have some hot drinks before the next stage of the walk which took us away from the coast and inland across fields. The weather did improve slightly as we left the beach and, passing through Beadnell, we paused for another food break and an obligatory visit to the local shop to buy chocolate and Kendal mint cake! It is very important to maintain sugar levels…apparently!

The final stretch to Seahouses involved taking your life in your hands as we crossed over the golf course and took the cliff walk. You would imagine that the cliff walk would present the greatest concern for H and S reasons. However, having walked this stretch on a number of occasions, it is the golfers that cause the greater concern! Fortunately for us, due to the low visibility there were not many out and certainly even less managing to hit anything!

On arrival in Seahouses, we enjoyed some well-earned fish and chips and celebrated successfully completing the 10-mile challenge in record time.

It was a great day and a really good way of working together as a group, starting the year off in style, whilst raising money for a good cause.

The Sixth Form