Year 9 Activities week started with the popular visit to the Souks of Marrakech and the mountains of the High Atlas. Thirty students successfully honed their bartering skills and trekked in the High Atlas, enduring the high altitude, challenging terrain and unpredictable climate. They were rewarded with unparalleled dramatic mountain scenery and a huge sense of achievement.

Marrakech is a vibrant city, full of interesting sights, sounds and smells. Walking round the Djemma El-Fina square (much like the ‘Piccadilly Circus’ of Marrakech, although much larger and more spectacular) with its snake charmers, street performers, story tellers, tarot card readers and stalls selling local food is a world away from Amersham, and it is easy to spend hours wondering round the souks where you can buy almost anything from the hundreds of shops and market stalls. From the flat lands around Marrakech the adventure really begins as you drive up into the High Atlas. Trekking in the heat, over mountain passes above 3000m and sleeping in remote Berber villages is physically and emotionally challenging, but offers spectacular rewards. The students met many local school children on their travels, offering games and other gifts and witnessing first-hand how the lives of two contrasting cultures compare.

This experience challenges the students in many ways, contributing hugely to their personal development and encouraging them to use key learning habits.