NCBIS Secondary students representing Years 9, 10 and 11, explored the exotic and varied delights of Cambodia for Challenges Week, 2019. In Phnom Penh, the 22 students braved the humidity to undertake a 20km bike ride along some scenic rural pathways, and in Siem Reap, came close to eating fried tarantulas as well as seeing one of the seven man-made wonders of the world, the Buddhist temple of Angkor Wat. The students also pushed themselves by taking part in a circus workshop and enjoyed some serenity when visiting a floating village to see how some locals have adapted to their landscape. The students watched a Khmer traditional dance performance while they had a buffet dinner. Furthermore, they participated in a Khmer cooking lesson and actually enjoyed eating the delicious food they made. The students were a credit to the school and to Cairo, truly embracing the spirit and ethos of Challenges Week.
In February 50 students of varying abilities traveled to Italy for 6 days of thrilling alpine skiing. The week started off with all students being assessed by their instructors. The advanced ski group were quick to head up the mountain more or less straight away and then spent the whole week exploring the resort. The remaining two intermediate groups worked really hard to progress, and their confidence has grown each day. The beginner groups concentrated on mastering being able to stop and turn and before long were up the mountain to try the challenging blue back into the resort.
When not on the slopes we were entertained by a full après-ski programme where the kids enjoyed movie nights, quizzes, and sledding with their friends.
As the week progressed, all the students developed and improved their technique on the wide blue runs and steeper reds and before long it was time to return home.
On the 1st March 2019, NCBIS took 71 students on a scuba diving trip to the Marsa Nakari dive village, located 20km south of the beautiful area of Marsa Alam on the Red Sea. The students on the trip were all looking to either get certified as Openwater (Beginner) or Advanced divers. The students who were already advanced then joined the trip as recreational divers who were taken on more technical dives outside the house reef to further their skills. Almost every student who went on the trip achieved the aim of becoming certified to their appropriate level, making it a huge success. It was the biggest trip we have ever run as a school and we are immensely proud of all the students who showed great resilience in overcoming the many challenges they faced during the week. They will have these qualifications for the rest of their lives meaning that their scuba diving journeys have only just begun!
During Challenges Week 31 students and 5 members of staff took a very long flight from Cairo to JFK airport in New York City! After arriving a little later than planned we headed straight out the dinner and to absorb the sights and sounds of Times Square. We were lucky enough to experience snow in New York and it was certainly very chilly. We explored what New York had to offer by foot and subway and saw the spectacular city from the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rockafella Centre. We had a snowball fight in Central Park and took a riverboat to Ellis and Liberty Island. The highlight for many of us on the trip was seeing the 5 spectacular Broadway shows and taking part in the West End workshop led by professional actors. We watched Aladin, Frozen, Chicago, Kinky Boots & Phantom of the Opera. This amazing opportunity challenged the students as performers and allowed them to work with a range of students from different year groups.
For our Silver International Award Adventurous Journey, we once again returned to the wonderful island of Cyprus. After two days of intensive preparation and training, our team was ready to face the wilds of the Akamas Peninsula. The challenges were intense, but they passed with flying colours, hugely impressing the assessor with their teamwork, resilience and navigational skills. In his final session, he said he believed that they were one of the best groups he had worked with in his 20 years of outdoor education. So, congratulations to all for such a highly successful event!