The Skiing Trip for Year 1 students is a traditional winter event organised by the PE Department. In the unique Krkonoše Smetánka chalet, students spend a week learning basic or advanced skiing or snowboarding skills. There are also many team building activities and students prepare performances for the final House competition evening. The Headmaster, who traditionally comes to visit students on this trip, chooses the winner.
Every ECP student experiences 8 different trips during their first 4 years at our school. Trips frame the school year – at the beginning of the school year, there are induction trips and at the end of the school year, trips are more educationally focused. But each trip is educational in some way and it helps to build healthy relationships through team-building activities.
During the first week of school, students in Years 1 – 4 set off for the induction trips to the Krkonoše mountains, to Western Bohemia, and to the Lužické and Jizerské mountains. The aim of each trip is not only to help new students adapt to a new school and make new friends, but they are also an opportunity for the whole year group to build a strong and friendly community.
Each trip has a different focus, therefore the activities are always different and sometimes challenging. This also applies to the trip for students in Year 4 who can choose, if they wish, to take a more physically demanding trip Cycling and History Adventure trip, which involves cycling and camping, or a more academic Exploring history trip where in the beautiful countryside of Czech Switzerland. On both trips, they explore the difficult history of the Sudetenland and meet witnesses of post-war times.
Students who are over 14 and want to try something new, see the world and get a prestigious certificate for their achievements have the opportunity to apply for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. It consists of three separate levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold, reflecting the increasing difficulty and dedication required.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is an exceptional opportunity for students to gain experience and develop skills in a wide range of extra-curricular areas. It promotes and develops the skills of independence, teamwork and leadership, allowing participants to structure and take charge of their own courses. The Award requires students to undertake a skill, a sport and a service for a set period of time depending on the level. This gives students the opportunity to take up new activities, as well as gain recognition for those that they already enjoy. The highlight of the Award, however, is the expedition, which requires students to plan and carry out a self-sufficient mission in the countryside. For this, students need to be trained in all the necessary survival skills, including first aid, map-reading, campsite construction and food preparation.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award in which students pick up experiences, friends and talents that will stay with them for the rest of their life. Within this programme, students can develop activities they are already doing, such as taking part in sports activities or playing a musical instrument. In addition, students can start something they have always dreamed of doing but haven’t yet had a reason to start.
What’s more, students set their own goals corresponding to their age, abilities and preferences and plan their own activities so that it is fun and a challenge for them. Step by step, they reach three levels of difficulty – Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Wellbeing is extremely important in the modern world.
At ECP we feel very strongly about the wellbeing of our students and teachers so there are many activities linked to wellbeing. Our tutors and teachers priortise the wellbeing of our students. When we have concerns about a students’ wellbeing, we will address this directly with families.
Students have a steady diet of assemblies and tutorial sessions that focus on wellbeing and stress management. In the Upper School, we start the year with workshops on breathing exercises and designing optimal study spaces in the first week of school. Students are always welcome to utilise the quiet room or speak to their tutors or any other member of the Upper School Team or Senior Pastoral Team if they need extra wellbeing support. During exam time we also have a “chill-out room” available for students who desire silence and relaxation.
Starting at a new school is always an unsettling time. Children are afraid that they will not make new friends and that everything will be difficult. But all these worries disappear if you have an older friend you can turn to and who gives you advice in any school situation. At the ECP, mentors – students from Year 6 – take care of Year 1 students. They meet them regularly, once a month, and at the Graduation Ball, they officially welcome them to the ECP. In order to prepare the Mentors for their role we prepare for them Child protection Course and several insets.
Clearly, it is a great opportunity for mentors to experience a new role; the Mentoring Programme helps them to become more responsible and to experience how important strong relationships are. And for year 1 students, the Mentoring programme makes a big difference in starting a new school – with joy and without fear.