Young people from across Witherslack Group schools are preparing to take part in the latest challenge organised by Engage, who are a national organisation dedicated to improving the life chances for children experiencing social, emotional and mental health difficulties.


Taking place at Maes Y Lade in Wales, the Darkest Classroom will involve a two-night stay (in tents) and include a programme of evening and daytime activities, including, of course, an adventure underground in the local caves.

All activities will encourage group participation, team work and personal challenge. But for those that show an aptitude for caving, there will be the opportunity to participate in the additional ‘cave-challenge’.  Though there will be no expectation to take part if they don’t want to, those students selected will have the chance to take part in an amazing experience that they’ll remember for the rest of their life!

Kevinue, a pupil at Westmorland School, is eagerly awaiting the expedition saying, “I’m excited about the camping trip for the Darkest Classroom. I used to go to Cubs so I’ve got an idea of what it will be like.”

A second pupil joining the expedition is Jake, a Year 8 pupil from Cumberland School, who since joining the school has made fantastic progress.  Jake is very fond of Outdoor Education and excels in all areas.  He recently took part in a fell race at Oversands School and came 9th, which was an impressive result considering he had no training beforehand and was competing against older pupils

Jake is ‘really looking forward’ to the challenge and his parents are thrilled that he is doing this.  Mr Tanton, Jake’s Outdoor Education Instructor, commented, “Jake never gives up, he listens and gets involved in all aspects of Outdoor Education, including the preparation, the action and the tidying away.  He is a role model to other pupils and is always eager to help those struggling around him.  These are all qualities which will help him to succeed on this challenge.”

Another Witherslack Group pupil, Liam from Oakwood Learning Centre, is equally looking forward to the trip.  He is certainly well prepared – bags are packed and torches charged for the trip to the darkest corner of Wales. Before leaving, he stated, “I’m pretty excited now, just hope our tents are as up to the challenge as I am.”

For all the young people taking part in the challenge we would like to wish them all the very best of luck from the whole of Witherslack Group.  We know you will have a great time and do us proud.