Saas Fee

Year groups in the Senior School spend the last week of school year in a range of outdoor activities or field trips.

The “Late Summer Programme” is a well-established and popular feature of the Summer Term at St Christopher.

All year groups in the Senior School (with the exception of examination years) spend the last week of the School Year off campus. Students take part in a range of outdoor activities or field trips. The traditional destination for Year 9 students is Saas Fee in Switzerland.

The basic principle of this expedition is to set young people achievable challenges through outdoor activities, working together in groups and learning about their environment. After a term’s work in Geography on the topics of sustainable tourism and the Alpine environment (including hydroelectric power, climate, vegetation zones, glaciation etc) the visit is an ideal opportunity to see in reality what has been learnt in the classroom.

Activities take place in groups according to participants’ choices. Activities are available at different levels, appropriate to students’ experience, confidence and aptitude. Art and photography-based activities are available on lower-level walks, for example. During the week a small team of pupils prepares the documentation of the trip (still and moving images) for a film show on the last night.

The trip usually ends with a “Hut Walk”, an overnight stay in an Alpine Hut, which gives the possibility of an ascent to a peak of about 3.400 meters the next day.

Taking part in one of those peak ascents is also a pre-requisite for qualifying for the School’s expedition to Ladakh.

This is a hugely popular expedition, as it gives participants the chance to succeed physically at their own level, based on the challenge of the activity they selected. The week introduces them to a totally new environment and is also a lot of fun, particularly when the group gets to snow level.

However, it is also one of the best ways of teaching young people about the fragility of natural habitats and environments and this learning is usually eagerly absorbed.