Hot Air Ballooning Experience

Hot Air Ballooning Experience

CLP children were ‘Up’ for the challenge!

On Friday 11th March, children from 4 CLP schools took to the skies in a hot air balloon experience from the Forest Recreation Ground on Gregory Boulevard, all in the name of character building.

The activity was organised as part of the Central Learning Partnership’s Character Curriculum project, a local schools-led initiative designed by member schools within the partnership.  The idea is to give children and young people in the city the chance to take part in opportunities, experience different things and step outside their comfort zones with the aim of developing their personal and social skills.

240 young people from St Mary’s Catholic Academy, Radford Academy, Scotholme, Forest Fields and Claremont primary schools attended the event at the ‘Rec’ and took turns to go up in the hot air balloon to a tummy churning height of 70 feet above the ground.  

One of the children taking part said: “I am really looking forward to seeing what the view will look like from up in the balloon – it’s going to be really exciting and awesome and I can’t wait to tell all my friends about it afterwards”.  Another pupil was heard to shout to her group from the ‘flight’ – “Tell Miss I’m having the time of my life!”.

Thanks to Claremont Primary School Headteacher Andrew Gallagher, the hot air ballooning experience is the first of a series of character building events that the Central Learning Partnership has planned for next year. Andrew has been working with the Forest Recreation Ground team to develop a programme of events that the partnership schools will be able to access free of charge.

Andrew said: “This is a great opportunity to work in partnership with the Rec and other schools in the area to give our students experiences that they would not otherwise be able to have. The hot air ballooning activity is the first of many that we are planning as part of our Character Curriculum project and we will also be developing how these experiences have had beneficial results back in the classroom as part of a much wider piece of work looking at how students are, amongst other things, developing their courage, bravery and resilience.”  

Sue Hoyland (Headteacher at Forest Fields Primary School and Chairperson of the Central Learning Partnership) said: “I am very excited about the programme we have developed for 2016, especially the hot air ballooning experience and I look forward to hearing all about what it was like from staff and the children who took part. The event provides a brilliant opportunity for children and young people to build their skills and I especially wanted those children who do not normally have these types of opportunities available to them to be involved. Organisers say there was no need to be worried as the balloon was tethered to the ground but it still gave everyone a brilliant experience nonetheless.  I am sure everybody was brave and really enjoyed it.”


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