Thursday 21 October saw pupils enjoy the first Enrichment Day of this academic year. Enrichment Days are a valuable addition to the School calendar, providing opportunities for pupils to develop and explore a range of skills and subjects from a different perspective, and to take part in team building activities.

Lower Third pupils enjoyed their first St John’s Enrichment Day, visiting Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Pupils visited multiple exhibitions including the Mary Rose Museum, HMS Victory and the Horrible Histories Exhibition, as well as a harbour tour boat trip. The trip compliments their studies of Tudor life and history, as well as appreciation of maritime and military history.

Upper Third pupils spent the day at Kew Gardens, where they have recently broken the record for the largest collection of living plants. The trip linked in well with Upper Third’s recent studies in geography of ecosystems and biology, making it an exciting opportunity for our pupils to explore the different environments. Pupils enjoyed visiting the exhibitions and glass houses, whilst appreciating the stunning surroundings, and enjoyed an educational session where they learnt more about the plants and took part in a team task.

Fourth Form remained at St John’s for the day, enjoying an exciting carousel of activities including orienteering, basketball, water polo, escape room, quizzing and a design challenge.

CCF pupils packed up their bergens and headed off on a 24-hour overnight Field Training Exercise! The first exercise as part of the CCF Army Section programme is Exercise First Strike, which saw cadets from the Lower Fifth and Sixth Form take part in a Field Training Exercise. Cadets were able to gain more experience in operating in the field and developing their basic military skills, including learning how to administrate themselves, develop their individual skills and work collaboratively in a team. Senior cadets spent time developing their battle skills through fire and manoeuvre exercises and building on their camouflage and concealment.

Further trips for Fifth Form pupils included an exciting visit to Explosion: The Museum of Naval Firepower – an award-winning museum of naval warfare set in the 18th century buildings at the Royal Navy’s former Armaments Depot of Priddy’s Hard, in Gosport. Several thrill-seeking pupils took on the adventures of mountain biking in Queen Elizabeth Country Park, and a number of pupils also challenged themselves with an adventurous army assault course!

Upper Fifth pupils had a number of fantastic activities to choose from, including an informative trip to the Tower of London, where pupils explored the Tower and visited various exhibitions, galleries and historical sites within the Tower complex. The trip culminated in a visit to Tower Bridge to walk across the spectacular glass walkway 42 metres above the River Thames, and to visit the Victorian engines that lift the bridge. Other activities included a water sports trip, where pupils could try out paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, raft building and other land-based team building activities.

Sixth Form pupils hosted a fantastic carousel of visiting speakers, covering topics including Healthy Relationships, Mental Health Warriors – breaking down the stigma and increasing mental health awareness, and Unilever Employability Skills including CV and interview techniques.