The grade 11 students, Mr Declan, Mr Love and Ms Audrey went to Garudmachi in the Western Ghats for the annual IB Retreat in August. This was a great opportunity to set the tone for the next two years as these fun and determined students embark on the IB Diploma Programme. The students participated in many team building activities and games where they had to embody characteristics of the IB Learner Profile and work together to achieve their goals. There was a lot of ‘risk taking’ as the students took part in various adventure sports such as rope climbs, rappelling and those very challenging treks through the monsoonal rains. These activities were punctuated with sessions in the conference hall where they were introduced to various concepts of the IB Diploma Programme, and we worked on important skill development to optimize academic outcomes and make the course enjoyable and enriching for all.
The students developed a great sense of togetherness as they bonded over the various activities and got to know each other. I was impressed by how all students approached the activities with such a positive attitude. I particularly admired Hrithik for his perseverance on the big trek, where he was clearly out of his comfort zone but he didn’t complain once and must have felt a great sense of achievement having finished it (relatively) unscathed. Ahaan positive attitude radiated through the group and he was especially fantastic on the team building games and activities - his natural leadership shone through as he embraced the true meaning of collaboration – getting the best out of everyone in the group so that together we are greater than the sum of our parts. I think Mara is also worthy of special mention as she joined the group from Switzerland, leaving her family behind. Everything was new to her and, whilst overcoming everything all the other students were encountering she was also clearly struck with homesickness – I admire her sense of adventure and how willing she was to embrace new things.
Overall it was a fantastic introduction to the course with a fun group of students. Lots of laughs, lots of fun, lots of rain and mud…not a lot of sleep. Big thank you to all the students and staff for making it such a successful trip.