Venturing beyond the comfort zoneJohn Blois
After two years of COVID disruptions and setbacks, the first cohort of Trinity boys has experienced the revamped Field Studies Programme, being challenged and supported as they spend a term away from home and family.
Head of the Field Studies Centre, Tim Knowles, has had some time to reflect on the new programme.
“It’s been an incredibly powerful experience for the boys,” he says. The first term went very smoothly and we’re really pleased with the outcomes. The programme has extended the students more than ever, making them more independent and, more importantly, interdependent, relying on and working with each other.
“We’ve always had a sense that after four weeks in the programme, the boys are just getting started. This extended programme has confirmed that sense. By week three or four, they’re hitting their stride and they can implement that momentum in the rest of the programme, growing in confidence, growing in their skills.”
While the Field Studies Programme has undergone many changes, for the most part students are tackling the challenge with the same amount of nerves, excitement and uncertainty.
One student from the first cohort commented that he didn’t want to come on the programme but that his attitude had changed during his time on site.
“I’ve learnt that it’s best if I just accept it and make the best of it, because in the future I’m going to look back on this and remember it as a good experience. The staff members here, they’re not going to send you home, so you’ve just gotta make the best of it. The activities are fun when you put your mind to it – you should just enjoy it.”
This kind of apprehension is not uncommon, but by the end of the programme, the feedback is overwhelmingly positive, with students realising how much they’ve grown throughout.
Time after time, students and parents alike remark on the facilities at the Field Studies Centre, the staff efforts, and the opportunities that are available to every student as they get out of their comfort zone, get to know each other better, and grow in maturity.
“We reckon that character is formed in communities and as these boys are taking part in this community, as they’re contributing and shaping this community, they’re in turn being shaped by it and we’re delighted by the adults we have leading that process,” Head Master, Mr Tim Bowden says.
The breadth of the Field Studies Programme is its strength. Far more than just an Outdoor Programme or an Academic Programme away from home, it brings these two together alongside socio-emotional learning to give students a transformative experience that challenges and supports them in equal measure.
As we continue into the second half of 2022, it’s exciting to see how student feedback and new approaches will continue to shape the future of the Field Studies Programme to increase impact and remain one of the most talked about experiences Trinity has to offer.
Want to know more about our Field Studies Programme?
Read here about the experiences of one of our academic team
or visit our Field Studies Centre page