After the 5-hour drive, the headmaster, staff and students welcomed us all with open arms. Our first impressions of the grounds were breathtaking. As a boarding school, it was amazing to see where the students lived and went to school. We started with a tour of the boarding building and settled into our rooms. It was a first-hand experience as to how the students lived with their school friends. You could call it having a huge sleepover, but all year round! The day we arrived, we settled in and explored the rest of the school. We visited the different astros and sport facilities. It was relaxing to walk around the 100s and 100s acres of grounds. We also saw a few of the students and talked to some members of staff, who were all so nice!
On our first full day, we started our morning activity to experience a day of learning and sailing on the sailboats owned by the school! It was an amazing experience as we got to learn about all the different parts of the boats and having a go at steering the boat to reach the Isle of Wight. The sailboats were again so relaxing and it was amazing to think that the students who attend HCS did this up to twice a week for their PE lessons! Once we reached the Isle of Wight, we were able to have a wander around the island, which was so beautiful! On the way back on the sailboats, we also had an amazing opportunity to drive and ride the speedboat. That was by far the most amazing experience and one that I will always remember!
The next day was also another day full of activities which was spectacular to experience and to think again that the students did these for their PE lessons. Our first activity was learning on how to play golf on HCS’ own golf course! The golf coach was such a good teacher and taught us how to hold the club. We did progress throughout playing, however not quite ready to turn pro yet though! Rifling was also one of the best experiences on our trip. We all had plenty of turns trying to shoot at the targets. Learning about the different rifles and positioning whilst linking them to how people in the army would use these was very interesting.
All in all, I had the most amazing experience of what life is like at a boarding school and it surpassed all my expectations. In only three days of staying at HCS, I was able to take part in many opportunities that I would have never had without the help of our teachers who took us and the staff at Hampshire Collegiate School. If in future another trip is organised, then I no doubt recommend it to everyone. I hope to also see the students from HCS visit us at Salford City Academy in Manchester! Thank you to everyone for this amazing opportunity that I will never forget.
Imane Boubendir Y10
Salford City Academy, Manchester