New Life Skills Award for CHS Students

CHS students will have the opportunity to be rewarded with a course in personal development as part of new annual School prize; The Bianco-Gibson Award.

Students in Year 11 or the Lower Sixth, who the School feels would benefit from personal development through an outdoor learning programme, will be selected for the prize. Winners will take part in either The Outward Bound Trust‘s 7-day Summer Adventure programme or 19-day Skills for Life Award course according to the student’s individual needs.

Deputy Head (Pupil Progress & Welfare), Mrs Caroline Dunn will select students during the spring term and those chosen will begin their courses at the end of the summer term.

Named after, and donated by Old Waconian, Anthony Bianco (Class of 1958) and his late friend Alistair Gibson (Class of 1959), the award has been set up to give students a bit of extra help.

Anthony said: “The purpose is to complement the excellent academic and sporting skills CHS continues to develop, to reinforce the learning in School and aim to help build teamwork and leadership skills through outdoor pursuits beyond the classroom.”

Friends ever since they were 14-years-old, Foundationer Anthony and day student Alistair met at CHS before enjoying outdoor pursuits of their own as students at The Outward Bound School and remained firm friends until Alistair passed away in 2014. “Alistair played rugby so he was alright in my eyes, an ‘acceptable day scholar’ and a good sportsman,” Anthony smiles, recalling their friendly rivalry.

“We were both athletes so that kind of [outdoor] learning really suited us. We were always outside, from running on grass tracks to playing rugby even taking our fishing rods down to the river, we’d come home filthy!”

He said: “They will take part in activities that help with management skills and help them face the many other challenges 21st century life and modern day living brings, whatever their chosen career path. Hopefully it will give the young people an opportunity.”

“I’m always impressed by the brain power and skills of young people, it’s not just about physical strength but things like peer-to-peer teaching and having the humility to lead, and learning when to switch off and on is all part of it. The aim is to give students the best start they can have and help develop all these capabilities.”

climbers scale a mountain rock face in climbing gear and red hats during an Outward Bound activity summer camp