New students at Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy learnt what makes a good friend during a stay at a residential youth centre.

The Year 7 students spent two days at The Briars, in Crich, where they gathered to work on their personal and spiritual development.

One of the activities which students took part in was to discuss what makes a good friend and the attributes a good friend has. They talked about kindness, trust and being honest and loving.

Grace Nash, 11, said she enjoyed her trip to The Briars, which is run by The Nottingham Diocesan Catholic Youth Service.

She said: “It was good to have fun but we were also learning as well. It was nice to get to know our form tutors who were there as we’ve just started at the school.”

Students also enjoyed playing games and music, went on a walk and held a disco.

Olivia Curzon-Manners, 11, said: “I found the trip really fun and enjoyable and I’d love to do it again. It was great to bond with other students and get to know them better.”

Rachel Rose, chaplain at Saint John Houghton CVA, said the Year 7 students had a great time.

She said: “It was lovely to see the new Year 7 students making friends and finding out more about each other while thinking about how they can be a good friend.”

Joan McCarthy, head teacher at Saint John Houghton CVA, in Kirk Hallam, said students always enjoyed their trips to The Briars.

She said: “We send students in every year group to The Briars and it’s great for Year 7, who have just started on their journey with us, to have the opportunity to get to know staff and each other.

“They can reflect on their own spirituality in a different setting and come back to school feeling inspired and refreshed.”

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