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Students heading to the slopes!

Twenty-seven of our eager students set off for the slopes during the Easter break. After twenty-three hours travelling through rural England into France, a quick run through Belgium to Luxembourg, then into Germany and finally Austria, all by coach, the students retired to the bedrooms of the FelserAlm exhausted, but not so exhausted that they could hide their excitement for the day's skiing ahead. 

Skiing resort
At Obertauern skiing resort

The next morning, doused in the latest ski attire and sun screen, we headed to the mountains of Obertauern. The snow for skiing this year was the best the resort representative, Sean, had ever seen and with clear skies, cool wind and clear visibility, it was perfect for learning, or for just pure enjoyment.

Cross country route
Cross country route on the penultimate day

The four groups: two beginners, one intermediate and one advanced, were introduced to their respective instructors and off we went.  On the first two days all groups stayed close the nursery learning the ropes enjoying the scenery but by the end of week all groups had shown massive progress and were skiing and exploring the whole resort. The top group led by their instructor Vito, even tackled some of the steeper red runs. Every daily visit to the beginner groups was a surprise as their progress was brilliant.  By the third day, they were all taken off to the mountain slopes and despite a few falls, all survived the experience and are now competent skiers.

Cable car
Cable car fun

Après ski was fantastic as well, including visits to town to stock up on fridge magnets and sweets, the disco, quiz and our firm favourite, bowling.

My reflection on the week is one of great pride in the students who made the trip so successful and looked out for each other.  It was wonderful to see their expressions of joy each day as new skills and achievements were accomplished.

We have some very talented students here at The Harefield Academy, many kind and thoughtful individuals. We were delighted to take many of these on the fantastic learning experience to Austria.

A huge thank you to staff who support the trip in Austria and those back at school; the students who made it so much fun; and the parents for supporting us to offer this wonderful cultural, academic, sporting, and for some, life changing experience.

Ryan Bourne