In early March, 8 pupils and 4 staff members ventured to the French Alps resort of Les Gets for a week’s snowboarding. Leaving Headlands school on Friday the group travelled to Bristol airport to catch a flight to Geneva where they spent 1 night taking in the city sights before turning in after dinner, tired but very excited for the remainder of their journey the following day. A transfer shuttle collected the group the next morning and they were taken to their accommodation in Les Gets, a small family run hotel with friendly, helpful staff who welcomed new and some familiar faces. The hotel sits on the edge of the main slopes, minutes from the gondola and chair lifts to the ski region of Portes de Soleil.
On the slopes the instructor Marc was also happy to see some returning young people and met with them every day for lessons. Marc was very supportive and lessons were hard work, but exciting and lots of fun. He split the whole group into 3 smaller groups of similar abilities, and together the sessions were tailored to the needs and skill set of each young person. Marc showed our everyone lots of fun new runs, gently pushing them to try something new each day. By the end of the week everyone’s ability had improved and the 2 complete beginners were now taking the chair lifts along and tackling blue and red slopes with ease.
Evenings were spent around the hotel having dinner, listening to music, playing board games. Some evenings the group took the toboggans onto the slopes for races which was great fun and young people often ventured out to the small parade of shops in the village for souvenirs and gifts.
On the last day, Marc congratulated each young person on their personal achievements. Well done team 2019, we are all very proud of you and your amazing progress.
Our snowboarding trips provide our young people with unique learning opportunities, where they are encouraged to engage with new people, peers, places and activities. We find these experiences develop our young people’s life skills, build on social skills, improving confidence and self-esteem. The more experienced of our young snowboarders are encouraged to support their peers in preparation each day for lessons which enhances team working and communication skills. Our hope is that trips of this nature increase personal aspirations and motivation for our young people and we aim to visit Les Gets on an annual basis.