Students at St John’s will be reaching new heights from today with the official opening of the Climbing Wall in the St John’s Sports Hall. The wall has been funded by the St John’s Foundation Trust and by the school, and will make a significant addition to PE and sport provision within the academy.
The wall is big enough to allow groups of ten students to climb at the same time, so climbing will become a routine part of the school’s PE curriculum. St John’s will also offer after-school and lunchtime clubs in January, to enable any interested students to train in a smaller setting.
The climbing wall, which has been designed and built by top climbing wall company Entre-prises, has 10 ‘lines’ or roped climbs, with a maximum height of 7.5m. The wall also has a separate bouldering-traversing section which can be used without the need for ropes and harnesses, and each line has numerous different routes which can change the difficulty of the climb to suit all abilities.
Kit Dillon, Head of PE at St John’s Marlborough said:
“We will be using the wall in lessons as part of an ‘Outdoor Adventurous Activities’ scheme of work for all year groups, students will be taught to safely belay each other, as well as the key climbing skills. Climbing not only builds students muscular strength and endurance, it is also an excellent way to develop problem solving skills, resilience and team work.”
St John’s is currently working with the Youth Sport Trust and Excalibur Teaching School, in a Sport England funded programme. The programme aims to help PE teachers to build positive attitudes to PE and physical exercise among students. St John’s PE staff will be investigating if the use of the climbing wall can improve students’ confidence and resilience to help them manage the increased workload during their GCSE years.
The investment in the climbing wall comes as St John’s celebrates ten years in the current buildings.