A life-changing trip to Kenya for four Year 10 girls from Stafford Grammar School

Dan Mew

Pens and pencils at the ready, a multitude of Kenya-focused resources, a hall full of excited and motivated students; it could only be the African Adventures School Geography Challenge final! After a year of planning for the project team and several months of anticipation and suspense for the students involved, the day of reckoning was finally upon us and we would find out who would be awarded the unbelievable winning prize of a trip to Kenya.

An unassuming community hall in Slough was the venue for this exciting event and it provided the perfect location for the incredible display of teamwork and geographical prowess from the nine schools who had earned their place to compete for the trip of a lifetime.

From the word go, there was a buzz and energy throughout the hall; the determination and commitment from the students clear for all to see. The standard was higher than any of us could have imagined and the event went better than we ever could have hoped; entirely because of the attitude of the students involved and the way that they applied themselves to the task at hand.

African Adventures’ project team were accompanied by the lovely Shelley Monk from OCR in judging the competition, and she, along with all those involved in the process, was struck by how the schools approached the day; “The students were so engaged and seem to love their day and they produced lots of excellent material.”

The day finished with feelings of pride, anticipation and hope. Understanding of the challenges faced by developing countries increased, and information about our important work to address these shared. Everyone felt like they had achieved something great, regardless of the outcome.

The next day was a chance to reflect and review, with an important job at hand; the decision regarding which school had earned the trip to Kenya. An afternoon spent going through the creative resources enthused us about the competition even further and resulted in the announcement that everyone had been waiting for: Stafford Grammar School were going to Kenya! Four Year 10 girls have earned a life-changing opportunity and can now look forward to planning for the adventure ahead…