On the 24th of September 2023, the boarding students of Ardingly Collage had the opportunity to exit school grounds and go to Thorpe Park for the day. The trip was organized by Mr. Justin Laleh and various other Ardingly Collage members of staff in order to give the children a chance to integrate with each other and make new acquaintances and memories.

                The children were to meet at 9:00 am in the Snow Car Park where a shuttle bus waited to take them to their destination. In the park they were permitted to roam around as they pleased, as long as they met up with the leading staff members in certain locations of the park at scheduled times in order to sign in and make their safety known.

                The students had a blast and the feedback on this fieldtrip has been one of the most positive ones yet! A Levels Ardingly Collage student, Charlotte Chen, from the sixth form stated, “It was really fun, and I made a lot of new friends.” When asked if anything could be improved about the field trip, she claimed that the organization of when and where the students had to meet up with the staff members to register their safety could have been better communicated, and that she and her friends had to run across the park in a frenzy to sign in with the teachers, due to a miscommunication of time. “I want the teachers to communicate with us. I feel like in the future we should create a Teams group chat so that if something changes or if something happens, we could just message our teachers.”

                The students came home to Ardingly Collage near 5:00 pm with a hyped and excited moral, highly anticipating the school’s next outing. Coming out of the coach, Ardingly Collage sixth form student, Sebastian Timelin stated “I really liked it! The ques were a bit long but other than that the vibes were really nice, and I enjoyed the experience.” When asked about his favourite part of the trip he claimed, “The rides were very fun, the food was good and I’m happy I got to spend time with my friends.”

                While living in a gated full-time boarding community such as Ardingly Collage, these outings are incredibly important and even necessary to make the students integrate and socialize. They are also beneficial to the mental health of boarders and help them find time away from the school campus, that can seem quite suffocating after a few weeks.

                Emily Harrison, a devout English teacher at Ardingly College claims that she wholeheartedly supports the initiative of organizing field trips for boarding students. “I think that field trips are an excellent opportunity for students to explore the wider landscape outside of the school and discover elements of culture beyond the immediate school culture.”

                At Ardingly Collage, new opportunities and expeditions for boarders get posted throughout the year and students wait with excitement to see where they might go next.