Third Form Field Week (TFFW) is a 1-week residential outdoor pursuits and academic fieldwork trip for the entire Third Form. It takes place from Nethy Bridge in Aviemore and utilises the facilities and instructors from the Abernethy Centre. During the week there are a wide range of challenging physical and mental activities including:
- Mountain Day – a stunning walk into Coire an t-Sneachda exploring glacial features and aiming to summit Cairn Gorm
- Cycle Day – a chance to experience a mountain bike journey heading towards Boat of Garten for some increasingly exciting trails and jumps
- Climbing Day – a day spent climbing the stunning crags at Cummingston bouldering and abseiling in front of a postcard sea view
- Highland Wildlife Park - Fettes biology staff guide the students exploring Scottish wildlife and discussing methods of conservation - the pack of wolves was a highlight this year
- Water Day – grab a buoyancy aid, a paddle and head for the River Spey to take open canoe boats through some bouncy rapids. Luckily we had great weather as a number of Fettesians ended up in the water
- Gorge Walking – a new addition to this year’s programme. After the initial shock of very cold water the team building was impressive as students ascended small yet powerful waterfalls
- Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Assessment – a 2-day expedition planned and executed by the students. There was some river crossing and navigational uncertainty but all students passed and arrived in camp with smiles plus a few blisters.
The main activities for each day were fantastic but the real success story this year was being device free. Although the concept seemed terrifying at first it only took a few hours before the conversations were flowing, balls were being thrown around and there was a social buzz amongst the year group. During each evening, there was a variety of team building tasks from starting fires, obstacle courses, mental challenges and planning for the house prayers. Each night 2 groups would deliver a presentation on their expedition and take on the role of news presenters. Without devices, groups would read the newspapers and select articles to share with the audience, a few ‘fake news’ headlines kept everybody guessing and it was interesting to see what teenagers prioritise as current affairs!
Third Form Field Week was particularly brilliant this year helped by stunning weather and a very positive and enthusiastic year group. The goal of providing an opportunity to bond the Third Form was completely achieved. Look out for our Co-Curricula film that will be launched in October featuring many of the activities that took place at TFFW.
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