J Te Reo and our French students go kayaking

The planned kayaking and rock climbing trip for J Te Reo and our French international students had to be rescheduled to the Hokitika Town Pool and an indoor climbing wall due to weather, but that didn’t stop everyone from having a great time.

Manaaki is enhanced by welcoming visitors and looking after them like they are part of our school whānau. What a better way, than with J Te Reo inviting our International students in a day of kayaking together and collaborating as a team.

Kayaking is an ideal way for students to develop confidence, decision making and self-management skills in an enjoyable and challenging way. Introduction to kayaking was based at our local pool with lessons about how to paddle and control the kayak. They also learnt some significant things about water safety.

All students participated in different challenges, games and other activities like a distance paddle, technique practice or free time kayaking. Apart from that, by spending time together and collaborating as a team, students improve the school atmosphere. Furthermore, students acquire some self-reliance by getting a feeling for being responsible for their own and others’ safety and, as a consequence thereof, they can reflect on managing risk in outdoor activities.

Day two saw the students participate in climbing. A day on a rock climbing wall was a wonderful opportunity to teach our students the importance of responsibility and risk management skills while in a safe and supervised environment. Teaching skills like belaying and rappelling cover safe climbing practices and gives students a way to overcome their fears.

Climbing is a great way to teach students valuable goal setting techniques and increase their confidence at the same time. Half of climbing is mental, and because it’s an individual sport, goals, and accomplishments are very personalised. For some, simply getting on the wall was a huge breakthrough and for others climbing to the top of the wall or finishing a difficult route. It is a very easy way to measure success in climbing. If you’ve recently achieved a goal, you know first-hand the confidence it instills.

Thank you to the Outdoor Education instructors from Tai Poutini Polytechnic for their guidance.