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Finding New Limits: YKPS Week Without Walls 2015

April, 2015
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Again, it was time for YK Pao School students to take a break from the normal classroom routine and engage in learning off campus for an entire week. The Week Without Walls (WWW) program gives students the opportunity to experience ‘on location’ and travel with their year groups to places across China. Activities and discussions during WWW often link to the students’ curriculum.

Although the week was never intended to be a soft option from class, it allows students to try things they have never done before, push themselves to new limits and find out new things about themselves.

ykps-week-without-wall1Year 6 students travelled to Yaolin. Participation was overwhelming! The students did some climbing, hiking, camping and other activities that were challenging but very rewarding.

Year 7 students went to Yangshuo and participated in useful community service activities. At an elderly center they helped clean rooms, make lunch and entertain. Alongside a scenic spot, they spread out with tongs and bags to pick up garbage that has been carelessly tossed aside by tourists. The students also challenged themselves in a number of extension projects: they explored caves and quagmires, climbed rocks, challenged their physical limits, learned about tea, enjoyed outdoor camping, campfire and slept under the stars. 

Meanwhile, Year 8 students traveled to the peninsula of Sai Kung in the New Territories of Hong Kong. Students enjoyed an intense week of activities in an area well suited for outdoor pursuits as it is relatively unpopulated and has a great variety of terrain, from sheltered bays to highlands. Many students challenged themselves for the first time with kayaking, canyoning, and hiking with a full backpack, which tested their resilience and stamina. Stand-up-paddle boarding was great fun – especially when falling off, although most students quickly regained their balance. Students explored and learned about the mangroves on the margins of the sea. Much time was devoted to team-building games that tested students’ ingenuity and ability to be creative. Much of this happened simply through having to plan and cook their own meals and live communally, and all students rose to this challenge.

Year 9 students had a choice between going to the beaches of Sanya or travelling to Beijing. The Beijing trip ended up being a small but intimate group of 29 students. They stayed at a rural village and helped the local community with some farming. They went hiking on the Great Wall, visited the Forbidden City as well as a Beijing Opera school, and also explored the city of Beijing! Some 48 students had a great time in Sanya, doing geography experiments on the beach, learning to surf, hiking up the mountain and exploring the island of Hainan.

All in all, these trips were a truly meaningful learning experiences for YKPS students.

 

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