Interview: Simone Hopkins, Head teacher of yearly visitors, New Horizons School

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Trying new experiences can be rewarding but also nerve-wracking, especially if you’re in a new environment, so Newquay Activity Centre teams up with inner-city schools to introduce kids to Cornwall’s spectacular coastlines and the fun there is to be had.

Kids get to push personal boundaries whilst under the guidance of our fully qualified, professional instructors and take part in adrenaline-fuelled activities around the water. Surfing, bodyboarding, coasteering and Super stand up paddle boarding are fantastic for all ages to develop individual confidence and group dynamics.

We spoke to Simone Hopkins, Head teacher of New Horizons School in East Sussex, to find out why they visit Newquay Activity Centre every year.

Why do you return to NAC year after year?

Newquay Activity Centre knows us well; you understand the kind of school we are, the needs of our kids and you cater to that specifically. The team are really upbeat, motivational and quickly responsive to dealing with any issues that arise with the kids, as they’re familiar with the strategies we use. 

Tell me a bit about your school and the kids you work with?

Our school is for social, emotional and mental health students. All have been permanently excluded at least twice, they struggle with social norms and conformities, have been excluded and pushed away from various adults and establishments and part of their behaviour is symptomatic of all that exclusion. So our business is about giving them real experiences, memories, opportunities to build on and enable them to believe in themselves and invest in their relationship with themselves and give them confidence and build themselves a better future.

How do outside activities like surfing help with your kids’ learning?

What it allows us to do is form some mutual ground, so that we build the foundation of our relationships with the students on this trip. What happens is the students move up a group and they actually come away with the teachers they’re going to have the following year. Our business is to imbed relationships to make the dynamic work and give the kids opportunities to experience different things, things they have never had the opportunity of doing back in Hastings.

CALL NOW to find out more about what Newquay Activity Centre can do for your school groups, 01637 877722

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