Skill-Up Week

Friday 28th June 2024

Skill-Up Week marks the end of the Lower School journey for the Hundred. The programme delivers a range of experiences that provide a challenging and enjoyable end to the academic year. For this year’s Skill-Up Week, we had over 120 pupils from the Hundred involved in various activities that tested the physical, mental and social skills of each and every one of them!

A dedicated group of pupils made the decision to sign up to one of the accredited courses: Lifesaving, Fitness Instructor Level 2, LTA Tennis coaching and PADI Diving (a new addition). A big thank you to Catherine Christopher, Connor Hetherton, Martin Wright and David Roberts for managing these courses so well throughout the week. In addition to this, a cooking course was delivered to groups where they learnt to make everything for Thai green curry and breakfast muffins to salmon teriyaki and choc chip cookies. Thank you to Caroline Wrench for running such a good course!

Nick Gordon also took a group of very keen anglers to various parts of Wiltshire for some fly fishing – based on the number and size of the fish, this was a very successful week indeed. Christopher Moule took a keen group to Vienna for a trip of culture, history, good food and great weather! Mike Bush and the cricket group had a few fixtures to play before being treated to a fantastic T20 Blast game between Gloucestershire and Somerset at the end of the week. Thank you, too, to Kit Major who played a pivotal role in helping the days run so smoothly during the week.

The Skill-Up Week started with a relaxed picnic style BBQ in the Common Room Garden where a briefing for the week was given. The main events programme started off with a taste of filming, movie production and camera wizardry thank to the Young Film Academy who treated 50 of our pupils to the One Day Film School. The winning group was selected to attend a mini-Oscars awards later in the year. In the evening, we were treated to a pub quiz lead by our legendary quiz host, Richard Willmett, who forced the brain cogs to turn on multiple occasions.

The following day we welcomed Wise Up, a London based group activity company specialising in teambuilding events. Pupils continued to compete in groups, taking part in a “time-attack” challenge with a carousel of mental and physical skills challenges. We witnessed some excellent leadership during this event and all groups managed to complete every task. The highlight of the week came in the form of David Penn, a magician and illusionist, well known for his time on Britain’s Got Talent and winner of the close-up magician of the year award. Magicians buy tricks off him… that’s how good he is! David performed a mesmerising show, with sleight of hand tricks and illusions that left everyone speechless – although the next day nobody could stop talking about him!

Wise Up returned for a second day to test our groups on their fire making and shelter building skills in the bush-craft challenge. We also welcomed 23 of next year’s new Lower Sixth pupils for the day. The canapés and mocktails event at the Cricket Pavilion was certainly a memorable evening. Pupils were dressed to impress in black tie, and they all looked fantastic. The food was exceptional and the mocktails went down a treat. We couldn’t have asked for a better evening, with the weather, food and entertainment all working perfectly together.

The final day of Skill-Up Week consisted of a 100-foot inflatable assault course, total wipe-out inflatable balls, bungee inflatable obstacles and delicious pulled pork burgers and ice-creams: the perfect way to round off the end of the week and indeed the end of Lower School.

Marc-Antony Eysele
Head of Hundred

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