School Officers’ Weekend

Published 20 June 2024

One of the most exciting aspects joining the student leadership team is the annual trip to St Cassian’s. It’s a chance for the School Officer team to get together and discuss plans for the school, as well as making new friends and learning key skills.

After we left school on Friday, we went to go and buy food for the night’s cooking challenge and made our way to St Cassian’s, a retreat in Kintbury. After we had all set up our tents, we gathered in the room for an icebreaker. We had to write our names and tell the story behind them, some more interesting than others! Every year the School Officers bid for funding from the St Bart’s Trust Fund for special projects so we had a group discussion about what it could be used for. It was interesting to hear a range of ideas and be a part of the process, which will hopefully have a lot of impact. We got to discuss ideas about the school even further when we separated off into the relevant groups, allowing us to get to know each other better.

And then finally, the pinnacle of the night – the ready, steady cook challenge! Lighting the disposable barbeques proved a challenge for some (including myself) but in the end we got there and all the groups produced a three-course meal. The winners were team 5 who made and assembled bruschetta, mini burgers and meringues. This was arguably the hardest bit of the evening, although it was fun to be cooking together and enjoying the nicest bit of weather all weekend! We finished the evening off with more discussion about specific areas of the school, including the student newspaper, integration, sustainability and campaigning. It’s important, that as student leaders, we can make positive change, and this weekend felt like the beginning of an exciting journey to achieve this.

The quality of the night’s sleep varied according to who you ask, but we all woke up early on Saturday morning and set off on a treasure hunt around Kintbury. The treasure hunt this year was in honour of former teacher, Mr King, who used to lead it each year, but sadly died a few months ago. Carrying on the tradition of the student leaders was a fitting end to the trip.

A huge thank you to all the teachers, and St Cassian’s, for organising the trip. Particular thanks to Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Lane, for supporting her 15th School Officers’ weekend! We all gained valuable skills that will help us lead change and make a difference to the school.

Jemima Kerr (12P1)