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St Thomas a Beckett Yr 9 January 2009
"Excellent opportunity for pupils (and staff) to have time to find out what else there is in life, through powerful activities, video clips and personal reflection. The pupils all had time to spend with those whom they do not normally mix and see them for who they really are." -Isabelle Rowe
"I personally feel that this experience has been invaluable. As a teacher we get to see the children in a different light. They are posed with questions and situations that are thought provoking and the children are able to reflect on their own lives and investigate the values they place on the world around them and their role(s) in society. Thank you for a wonderful retreat." -Rod Davidson
"The experience the students have is unique to Myddelton Grange. There is no way of delivering such a powerful message in the confines of the school environment." -Andy Brown
St John Fisher Dewsbury Yr 9 January 2009
Fantastic location, accommodation and resources on site and so readily available to use.
Always good to take ‘time out’ for reflection.
Helps young people to realise the teachings of local parishes, school and Retreat Centre have common purpose.
Helps young people to think through their place and responsibilities within the church and world.
Getting to know each other is a valuable exercise in developing Christian faith.
For teachers, retreat provides an opportunity to spend time with young people in a relaxed and informal environment away from the pressures and restrictions of timetable within school. -Ashley Boyd
To interact with other pupils they could not necessarily mix with in school. Have time to reflect on their thoughts, not influenced by their peers. See what life is like for a priest and youth workers. Enjoy the countryside and surroundings.
I think Myddelton Grange is an excellent opportunity for young people of all ages to educate and express themselves on all aspects of their faith in a well organised, thoughtful and highly educational environment. The staff are excellent and engage all young people in extremely enjoyable and worthwhile activities. -A. Saunders
St Thomas a Beckett Yr 10 2008
"Myddelton Grange is the perfect place to escape the outside world and reflect on how you want to re-engage with it." -Gregg Lyons
"Because it gives young people the opportunity to take some time out from the normal run-of-the-mill ‘boring’ way of life. Some of the feedback I have received has been extremely positive. They have enjoyed not having a television, computer, games console etc. and the opportunity to sit back, take stock and relax." -Glen West
"It is absolutely imperative that we offer our young people a chance of reflection, a chance to retreat from their everyday lives. We would be failing in our jobs as catechists and parents if we didn’t!" -Linda Wright
"Young people have a lot of pressure on them with exams, family problems and bombardment from the media. Coming away on retreat gives them the opportunity to take a step back and reflect. It also gives a chance for staff and students to get to know each other on a different level and in a different situation. I came to Myddelton Grange as a pupil and have fold memories of it. I hope it continues to provide retreats for young people for many years to come." -Katie Fallon
St Leonards Durham Yr 10
"“Retreating” is an important skill for life. We need to provide the opportunity for our young people so that they will know what a retreat is like in adulthood. To give them chances to grow in their relationship with God & each other, and also for them to learn and understand the need for personal space and silence, so this is something they can incorporate into their everyday lives and help them to become well balanced adults, grounded in faith & friendship. School today is such a high pressure environment that providing retreats is an essential part of our Chaplaincy provision – to look after the whole person, not just academic abilities." -Catherine Simcox
"It is important to take groups off site for a few days – away from the school environment. Often they are “different” children or at least I am able to see them in a different light. They are less embarrassed to talk about God, feelings and relationships in this type of setting. Myddelton Grange’s staff are obviously used to dealing with young people and worked well with them. I believe their expectations of the retreat were met – even the ones who only wanted to have fun!" -Bernadette Bowley
All Saints' York Yr's12 and 13 October 2008
To give them time away from school to reflect & see things from a different viewpoint.
To socialise in groups that are outside their usual social groups.
To challenge young people & deepen their understanding of God & faith
To offer them something different.
So that they hear all this stuff from someone other than their teachers.
Challenge their perceptions.
Prepare them for adulthood.
Etc, etc, etc.
"Shows pupils that school life is about more than just work. Gives time for an out of lesson even that isn’t typically extra-curricular – appropriate for all pupils and they feel comfortable & relaxed. Should have a positive effect on their life in general and at school, even if not heavily religious." -Peter Dallimore
"Religion, faith and a belief in God is not restricted to adults, but that teenagers can believe and indeed have a sense of faith.
Once people and the students are able to embrace that idea, it is then important to develop what to do with a sense/belief in God in our daily lives. To reflect on the type of person they are, and ultimately want to be.
To challenge yourself to indeed think outside the box and not simply, even blindly, conform to group mentality.
To allow them the time to retreat from life as a teenager – pressures from studies, peers, media, parents.
Able to communicate in a group, get to know people within their year group, develop and make friendships.
Explore their beliefs." -Dolores Smith
All Saints’ Huddersfield Yr 11 October 2008
"They get the chance to think about their faith and their expectations of life in a group that will not judge them. They feel safe and cared for. Teachers find friendships with pupils that we cannot develop in lessons. We come to understand the personal burdens that many bring with the into our classrooms and we better understand them."
"To have time to reflect and think more deeply about themselves and the views of others"-Andy Jackson
"To embrace a different experience that they wouldn’t normally have. To bring them out of themselves and for them to remember that they are still young and can lave their home/school pressures behind, to spend time with different people outside their circle of friends and also to be at peace with God." -Carolyn Butler
All Saints’ York Yr11 October 2008
"The overall experience is excellent. The main thing that has stuck in my mind was when Luke said “Aspire to be more, not to have more” and I think the retreat really helps them to do that. They also clearly have a lot of fun and really enjoy it." -Stephen Morrison
It’s a different experience from school or church (for the few who go to church). The quality of the experience is deep, not only because of the programme (which is always imaginative) but also because of the length of time, the lack of pressure to finish a module or complete a task.
The chapel is very beautiful and the liturgies are really special. You can feel the atmosphere change as everyone reflects more deeply. It’s a rare, almost a unique experience for most young people in the society we live in.
It’s also very important that the setting of Myddelton Grange is so beautiful and links are made throughout retreats between creation and the work being done.
Mount St Mary’s Leeds Yr11 October 2008
"It’s important for the young people to have time out from the stresses of school and look at real life issues. Comments from participants – “got to really know myself” - “got under my skin” - “meditation was so relaxing, could do with it again” – “I would stay here”.
It was the best retreat I have accompanied young people on. There was a wonderful energy and interaction and a very mature response from them. Every year group would benefit from it. It is a must" -Breda McStay
"Gives young people the opportunity, outside school but with peers, to mingle, share time and experiences.
Opportunity to experience a range of opinions/ides offered by adults and, as I have seen this week, their peers.
Opportunity for pupils to re-affirm their contact with their faith, or indeed a chance for them to commence said relationship." -Pete Burn
"It allows pupils to “shine” outside of the school environment. It allows them to reflect on themselves and their lives without feeling embarrassed or afraid to express themselves. It shows pupils a different side to “Religion” and “God”. They can explore avenues they wouldn’t necessarily think about during their average day, also to express their own opinions. Most importantly it allows the pupils to come away from home with their friends and have fun." -Julie Donnelly
St. Mary's Catholic Secondary School Menston, July 2008
"To reflect on their faith & beliefs which can often be neglected during the busy school year. To remind pupils of the things many take for granted in life & the need to do good in life for others." -Mel Carlin
Young people need to carry on coming to Myddelton Grange, as it gives them chance to look at their inner self and have time out from every day things. People in today’s society need time out, as lives today are all about rushing from one thing to another. -Sue Hope
"I believe it is very important for the year group to have the opportunity to spend time together away from the distractions and pressures of school life. With students living in a wide area around Leeds they might not otherwise see each other outside of school. They are also all Catholic, attending a Catholic school and so should have the opportunity of practising their religion. Some important moral issues/global concerns raised during the retreat. It should now be up to the young people to make their own decisions based on what they have learnt." -Graham Priestley
St. Wilfird's Catholic High School Featherstone, June 2008
'I believe Myddelton Grange offers the opportunity for reflection and thought – which students don’t enable or allow themselves to have, or even understand why this is. Allowing and introducing a period of reflection – the opportunity to ask themselves “Why? Who? What?” which children don’t always felt they can do. Challenging their beliefs at an age where religion may have been something they just ‘go along with’ for reasons such as parents are Catholic/Christian or not. It enables kids to make informed decisions around faith, friendship, family, without the influence of media and peer pressure in a ‘safe’ and non-judgemental way. Thank you for a very rewarding experience for me and the students." -Ashley Hunter
It is an invaluable experience for young people as not only do they learn social and communication skills, but a spiritual sense of learning. Students can learn a lot about themselves but also about members in their peer group. Once students come to Myddelton Grange, most of them come back year after year to discover new experiences. A lot of them learn how to pray and appreciate the world they live in. Would definitely recommend it to anyone. Thanks a lot! -Gareth
"It gives staff and students time out to reflect and think about themselves and what is happening to both themselves and the world around them. It provides the opportunities for people to shine who perhaps shy away in the traditional learning environment. Last but not least, to see people so enthused by the presence of chickens!" -Gemma Sanderson
"It allows children to develop in areas that are difficult or even impossible in a school environment. They get a rare and valuable opportunity to develop social skills and moral & ethical aspects of themselves that may not exist elsewhere in their lives. This is especially effective, and the effects are clearly tangible, under the expert approach adopted by the staff. Every activity, from waking to lights out, provides anew opportunity for them to grow and develop in some small but significant way. I have no doubt that the experience will remain in their memories for a life time, and that many seeds are planted that will grow and bear fruit in the fullness of time." -Chris Cottam
"Great for teacher-pupil relationships
It was wonderful to see the pupils rally round and support one another.
Thaken out of a school context seems to get important moral and social issues across a lot more successfully!
Gives some pupils the opportunity to experience the countryside and appreciate their surroundings." -Laura Fincham
The students have gained an awful lot from this experience. It’s not often they are asked to really think about their actions and the effect they can have on others and the world around them. This has given them the opportunity to really reflect on this, and this is evident by the way they have responded to the retreat; Calm, respectful of others and happy. - Sarah Webb
Many reasons, including:
Creates a positive, safe environment for students to learn about themselves and each other, providing ‘time-out’ from the busy school environment to reflect.
Ideal opportunity for staff to get to know the students better and see a new side to them – many found the chapel a peaceful place to reflect, which they might not normally be able to do at school or home.
Provides a different environment for them/break from routine, and I think it will have a positive impact on them when they return to school. -Kate Henderson
"The retreat has given the students time to reflect, which is something they have little time for at school. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the time I’ve had to talk to the pupils in a different and relaxed setting, it’s been the best experience I’ve had with them!" -Rachel Hansbro
"Myddelton Grange is a fantastic spiritual, moral and life-changing journey. It changes the pupils’ outlook on life without them actually realising. An excellent, enjoyable experience." -Jessica Beevers
"It’s important to enrich pupils’ experience outside of the classroom, especially in a spiritual way. Myddelton Grange does this effectively, in a fun, inspirational way that pupils will find relevant. The amount of time spent on spiritual, philosophical development is far more powerful than short bursts of PSE or teaching of any other subject (even RE) in the classroom. We can make a difference to things in the world. The inspirational speakers and activities at Myddelton Grange are one of the most effective ways to get this message through to pupils." -Kate Midgley