30th March 2001 at 01:00
A week in the life of Kingsbridge community college,

Every year, new pupils at this 1,100-strong secondary school go away for a "getting to know you" session at a nearby residential centre. They take part in games, quizzes and outdoor activities to build co-operation and trust between each other, staff and sixth-formers who help run the course. Head of Year 7 Wendy Ohlson says:"We're in a rural area with a number of feeder primaries, so children don't know each other when they come. There are 200 in the year. They are divided into seven tutor groups and each group goes to the centre for 24 hours. For some of the children, it's the first time they've stayed away from home. Since we started this we've had far fewer problems about friendships." The evening of their arrival is taken up with songs and qizzes. The next day, one of the favourite activities is the egg drop. Pupils are given an egg and have to find whatever cushioning materials they can so it can be dropped 30ft without breaking: one group used a cow pat for this! Then there is crossing a raging shark-infested torrent - in reality a rivulet - with only a plank and a crate. The day finishes with beach art - making imaginative designs on the sand with pebbles and flotsam.

Snaps by Wendy Ohlson

Trust me: group members are guided blindfold round an obstacle course

Above and left: groups find natural padding for the egg drop

Sun, sea and sand: on the beach

Having a wonderful time: James Griffin

Picnic at Huccombe rock: much more fun than school

Ready for bed: or perhaps not

Feeding frenzy: pizza and beans again and pints of jelly

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