Harrow Beijing Leadership and Culture Week - Expedition Retreat

As part of the Enrichment Programme at Harrow Beijing the week of 19-22 June, all students from Years 6-10 and Year 12 enjoyed a Leadership and Cultural activity week. This involved students doing House activities in school from 19-20 June, and then going on overnight retreats from 21-22 June. The teachers and students jointly completed a variety of comprehensive adventure activities such as mountaineering, climbing, rock climbing, sailing, and camping, and fully experienced the traditional culture of the local villages.

The adventure for Year 6 was Yaoqiaoyu village. In Yaoqiaoyu Adventure, students challenged themselves and each other on the mountains that defended Beijing from the marauding hordes from the North, from Gubeikou to Jinshan Tower. All students stayed overnight in this beautiful courtyard, located inside an ancient Ming Dynasty walled village near Simatai, quiet and peaceful.

Year 7 hiking was added to with a bit of flavour from art and creativity activities. The adventure also started with Great Wall hiking at Huanghuacheng. Students experienced rural village life nestled in a valley in the shadow of Mutianyu Great Wall, Tianxianyu. With the opportunity to live and dine with locals and the peace and hospitality of the village, they enjoyed a wide range of activities, ranging from Art Classes, to Cooking Classes, to a wonderful reimagined version of The Amazing Race!

The Year 8 students' hiking challenge was upgraded again through the camping experience! After reaching the northern hills, students trekked along a stream through the beautiful Shuiquanguo Valley. Along the 3.5 hour trek students encountered interesting rock formations, waterfalls, boulders, and clear azure pools until they reached the final destination, our campsite on Little West Lake.

The Year 9 students' retreat was part of the International Award (IA) Expedition known as the 'Adventurous Journey'. It equips young people for life regardless of their background, culture, physical ability and interests; it pushes young people to their personal limits and recognises their achievements. The trip received students' positive feedback: "My favourite moment was when my group reached the top of the hill after a very steep hike up; we also had lunch there - it was a beautiful view!" (Safia B.)

Year 10 were visiting the Shi Men Shan Outdoor Base in the Northern Hills for their retreat. Throughout the day, students were challenged to participate in a number of fun and engaging team-building exercises with the outdoor challenges such as raft building, Water Obstacle Course, and especially the Via Ferrata (Iron Road), an exciting and safe climbing activity. Via Ferrata provides both a mental and physical challenge as students scaled mountain cliffs with breath-taking views beyond.

After a busy and stressful year, the Jiankou Retreat is the perfect get away for Year 12 students looking for a relaxing time in a beautiful setting - a traditional courtyard home in the shadow of the Great Wall with cozy outdoor spaces for sitting, cooking, and sharing. All students pushed themselves mentally and physically with a challenging hike along the Great Wall, taking in incredible vistas and supporting one another to reach new heights.