Hiking season at Chatteris

Secondary CNET and avid hiker Dominic Moore takes a look at the return of hiking season at Chatteris.

With the weather cooling, November saw a trio of Chatteris hikes taking place over three consecutive weeks. This gave CNETs ample opportunity to get out of the concrete jungle, bond with their students and take in some of the world’s finest scenery.

Students and CNETs tackling a hill along Jardine's lookout

The hiking started with a trip to Violet Hill and The Twins with Chatteris Hiking Club; a hiking club organised by CNETs for CNETs that runs regular hiking trips throughout the year. This was in essence two hikes in one with CNETs either splitting off after climbing Violet Hill or carrying on to take on The Twins. The CNETS who decided to split off after Violet Hill took a quick path down to the beautiful Repulse Bay, resting their feet at one of Hong Kong’s finest beaches. Meanwhile, those who fancied more of a challenge stayed on for The Twins, before ending up in the iconic tourist hotspot that is Stanley. CNET groups enjoyed tackling both options and the hiking club is a nice way to meet up with friends you haven’t seen in a while and burn off all the late night McDonald's.

One of many of the stunning views on Violet Hill

Next up, the “Chatteris Impossible To Possible” (Ci2P) hiking club took on Jardine’s lookout over consecutive weeks. These free hikes are especially for the CNETs and students of Chatteris’ secondary and post-secondary programmes and aim to boost their English outside of the classroom. The hikes also give underprivileged students the opportunity to explore their city. Assistant Programme Director for Secondary and Ci2P leader, Harriet, believes that “Ci2P is a fantastic programme that gives students the opportunity to explore a greener side of Hong Kong and to meet students and CNETs from other schools. The relaxed environment means students enjoy chatting in English to CNETs, whilst racing them up the hills!”.

View of the Quarry along Jardine's lookout

A week later, Harriet was back at Jardine’s Lookout with a new group of students and CNETs from schools involved in Chatteris’ “One For One - Adopt a School Programme”. This programme is specially designed for schools who have a high intake of less privileged students. In this programme, an external donor generously matches the commitment made by the school to fund a second CNET, meaning that the students who need it the most, end up with a really enriched learning environment and two CNETs around school!

A special One For One (OFO) hike targeted some of the least advantaged students and took them on a fun day out. It was surprising to hear that despite there being a plethora of hikes on their doorsteps, many students had never been hiking. Students from four of Chatteris’ partner schools took part and it was a resounding success, with one student scoring it a perfect 10/10 day and another saying that it was a “really interesting, healthy activity and also really funny”

Students and CNETs stop for a photo along Jardine's lookout

For me personally, the Ci2P programme epitomises Chatteris’ commitment to improving the language ability of students both inside and outside of the classroom. The hikes are a relaxed day out, with the primary focus being on the students enjoying themselves. However, at the same time, they have a perfect opportunity to practise their English through communicating with the CNETs in an informal and stress-free setting. Small things like asking us if they could have some of our OREO’s or oranges and telling us how beautiful the view was were communicated through English. This casual submersion in the English language is undoubtedly beneficial for the students and hopefully, after being introduced to the joys of hiking, some of these students will be encouraged to head out on their own hikes! The hiking opportunities mentioned here are just one of the many ways that Chatteris gives back to the local community and gives CNETs the chance to get involved. Keep your eyes peeled for more posts about our community programmes.

A group photo of everyone on the One-For-One Chatteris hike

Dominic with four of his students at Jardine's lookout


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