The Class 12 ‘Convergence’ – blog by Arthur Sawyer

The class 12 ‘Convergence’ with Edinburgh Steiner School at Embercombe, was a brilliant way to finish off the school year, presenting us with thoughts of leadership, the environment and our futures in the coming years.

The trip consisted of a 5 day residential course which involved a range of activities such as debating, discussion, and manual labour, which resulted in the creation of a huge wooden sculpture of a dragons head, and a beautiful fire pit, decorated with stones salvaged from the Embercombe landscape its self.

During the course, we stayed in yurts (sturdy canvas tents held up by a wooden frame) each containing three beds and a wood-burning stove. Despite us being given these beautiful homes to stay in during our time there, most of the socialising between the Kings Langley School and Edinburgh School took place outside in the warm sunshine, or around a wood fire at night talking and watching the flames and sparks rise into the night’s sky.

The course had its ups and downs as any trip does. The third day was the most difficult day for some, due to some degree of heightened emotions and rebelliousness. However, once the third day had passed over us, we all, as a whole, felt as if we were all one group of close friends, as opposed to two different classes that had only met four days earlier. On the second last night we were given the opportunity to sleep under the starts in small groups or alone. Many did sleep out, and many of those who did, took a great deal form the experience being surrounded by nature and staring at stars in the sky, some of which took millions of light years to reach us at that moment.

On our last day of the course, we were put in change of the days events and could run the day as we wished. We spent the morning planning and hosting a large debate about many topics such as, ‘What education system would suit the world best?’ and the question of ‘What part alcohol plays in our society today?’. Everyone at Embercombe was invited to the debate including volunteers, and it turned out to be a greatly successful activity. The evening of our last full day was spent celebrating our new found friendship with the Edinburgh class 12 and all that we had achieved over the five days. A party was held, at the heart of which was the huge sculpture of the dragons head, which, when set alight, appeared for some time, to be actually breathing fire from its gigantic mouth. The celebrations went on late into the evening and many fond memories were forged.

Finally the day to leave the wonderful place and truly amazing and inspiring people (from both the Edinburgh Class 12 and the course facilitators and volunteers) had arrived. Our last morning was spent hugging one another, thanking each other for the experiences they had shared, and many promises to visit each other in the future were hatched. I’m sure I can speak for all of Kings Langley class 12, when I say that everyone we met over the five days will be greatly missed and we all wish to see them again.

The whole course was very enjoyable and I would encourage all classes (if they attend the course) to approach the experience with open minds and arms to get the most from this truly life-changing experience.

Arthur Sawyer
Class 12, Kings Langley Steiner School