Blog 2017

Good morning from Gatwick... 

Day 1

After about 10 hours of Traveling with little sleep we touched down at Keflavik Airport at 8.45 UK Time with no time to waste we went straight out into the field firstly visiting the Reykjanes peninsular where we stood between the Eurasian and north American plate as pictured above.

Events which followed including a tour of the capital and surrounding towns, a fish and chip lunch and finished the day with an enjoyable and well deserved relaxing visit to geo-thermal heated swimming pool.

Thanks for Reading and we look forward to updating you on day 2 kind regards Declan Smith, Year 12 Geographer.

Day 2 

Friends, followers, family,

Today has been wet. This morn we travelled far to Seljalandsfoss to see the incredible waterfalls. Rhian, Liam and Lilly unintentionally took a shower beneath a waterfall, which they completely regretted for the entirety of the day.

Afterwards we ventured to a beach of darkness where we watched some waves crash on the rock (compressed ash) in an artistic way. We also saw some nivation hollows which brightened Dominiques day.

On the journey home with our great drivers we stopped off at some laki lava which actually looked like those cool singing rocks from frozen.

Some strong bonds were formed today, both velcro and emotional.

We wrote​ a haiku to commemorate the day:

Today in Iceland,

We went to the waterfalls,

It was beautiful.

By Rhian Greenaway et al - Y12 Scientist


Day 3 
Sun, Seals, and Failing Lungs

Perhaps a question we've all asked ourselves at one point in life is, ‘why haven't I heard a collection of badly composed Icelandic literature written by a group of young adults?’ Perhaps today will be the last day you ask yourself that question.


I walked amongst the ice

Caressed by the soft blue lake

Everyone watching me in my stride

Begging to look as baked by the sun

Even as I was taken by the tide




As the water fell

With a consequential rainbow

There was a sulfur smell

In the backdrop there was snow

It collected in a well

So we looked deep below

At this point we began to dwell

We were walking slow

Could Binjimin tell?

His face began to glow

About how we karaoked to Adele

The mood was far from low

Omar did the driving

Arete did the rhyming

Written by: Ignatius De Pedro et al Y12 Mathematician  (India, Rhian, James, Adam, Shaun, Jack, Ashwin, Cesca, Mevin, Alex)

Day 4

Glanter and Hot Chocolate

The sun rose, casting it's rays upon the misty mountains of Iceland. Some woke up, others had 3 alarms sound before they rolled from their pits. (Dominique, Adam, and Alex) We began our day with a continental breakfast with cereals and an array of squared meats.

We went to Eyjafjallajokull and watched a video about the 2010 eruption. It was educational and informative. We trekked up a hill with an above average waterfall called Skogarfoss. Laura momentarily forgot that she was scared of heights but was consoled by Mr Curnock, the extremely qualified first aider. Strolling down, we plodded to the cafe where they attempted to make us pay for toilets, but in this Brexit economy we were not down for that.

Next stop.

Soheimajikull Glacier walk, with our guides, Orri, Thor and Dave. Lily courageously volunteered to be harnessed up first. All cramponed up we began our excursion to the Heavens. Many a sight was to be seen, including ash, ice, moulins, and crevasses of many depths. As the group gathered for an artistic pic, Dominique and her sturdy crampons stood on Lily’s innocent finger. Next, Liam decided to quicken the effects of global warming by hacking at the ice with his axe. The glacier ice quenched our thirst and cooled our beverages.

Things took a turn for the worst for Binjimin. After countless advice on how to walk in the crampons, Bin tripped and tripped​. Whilst reaching to save his camera his knees bore the wrath of the till as he hit the ground with a slight crunch. No one helped.

After our treacherous yet invigorating stroll we clambered on to the bus. We shut our eyes and dreamt of the quality experienced thus far. On arrival, the boys; who are sleeping in sheds in an exposed fields have not yet made it to dinner, we have eaten without them. The girls, however, get a lovely guesthouse, Miss Chennells managed to bag the penthouse suite, due to her severe interest in Harry Potter’s under stairs crib.

Peace and love from Arête xoxo

Be the best you can be!

India Gay et al Y13 Historian (Lily, Cesca)

 Day 5  

Omar days

Throwback to last night when there was a tasteful karaoke party thanks to Omar who showed us the book of classy firey songs. We began nice and slow with a few Adele tributes thanks to Jack and Wilson's voices. Ending with a collective sing song of Bohemian Rhapsody, it was great. Shout out to the Portuguese family who joined in singing the one and only “wonderwall” and “just the way you are”. Also special thanks to the Tom Jones tribute act who joined with a beautiful rendition of “Delilah”.

Fast forward to the start of day, all party members had managed to escape Azkerban. After an uplifting breakfast of a variety of cereals and circular meats. We boarded Omar's peace wagon and travelled many kilometers to the destination of the vaterfalls of Gullfoss which according to Pete was top 10 in the World. We took some gnarly shots of the falls.

We then went to see a geyser which splashed on the whole group after traveling 30 meters in the air. We then boarded Omar's friendship bus and headed to the spa where we swam in a very cold lake, and chilled in the warmth of the thermal baths. Darius appears not to be human, possibly a reptile, after he swam in a sub zero lake for at least 10 minutes. Lily ignored every visible sign (again) and decided to run by the pool causing her to fall and bleed and bleed.

We jumped back onto Omar's party truck and drove to the local supermarket where Binjimin bought overpriced chocolate which he gave to the ice king and queen, James and Laura.

Our second to last stop was to the “wall” from Game of Thrones, and a subsequent vaterfall where Pete informed us that people had been executed but not since 1804. We tried to stop this streak by layering Cesca with thick outer garments due to suspected hypothermia, very much resembling the Michelin man.

A tasteful accolade to the main man followed. The hymn we chose was “bless the lord my soul”.

Making our way down town to the pizza party on Omar's famous off road monster, we sang many emotional songs to get in the A level vibe. Once at Icelands version of pizza hut Omar pumped his truck full of 265 litres of pure Icelandic diesel which took him a good while and coming to the total of 45,868kr. As we chugged down the road we sang yet more emotional music until we saw the promised land of the Icelandic pizzaria. There was plenty of pizza to choose from, Lily being the Pumba of the group ate 10 slices of the finest Icelandic Italian cuisine. We then celebrated the two individuals that made the trip enjoyable, and presented our  most favourite over 21’s, Petur and Omar with chocolate and postcards.

Thanks Bin et al for the sweet trip. Despite it costing a ton of pennies, we've enjoyed every moment. We would recommend it as 10/10 on TripAdvisor. Thanks also to Vinnie and Chinells who also contributed to the banter.

Goodnight and see you when we touch down in the good old U of K, and after the long drive back from London.

By Ice King, James Saunders - Y12 Economist and Ice Queen Laura Scott - Y12 Geographer.


Best wishes to our Humanities friend, Bede the bear, who seems to be having a cracking time with the Y11s in Berlin. See you all in Arete and in Iceland next year! Bede the bear, have you put your application into Mr Colbourne yet?

Arête Xxx

Day 6

The last supper

At 5am our hearts and minds were awoken to the sound of alarms. Our breakfast tables were a scene of sadness, tiredness, and reflection. We consumed questionable cylindrical objects we assume were Icelandic sausages, and drank various juices.

At 7am we commenced our 10 metre trek to the airport as Omar and his luxury bus abandoned us. Bin had his 4th tumble of his Icelandic adventure en route.

We experienced queue jumpers and broken handles which led to an oversized baggage incident.

At present, we are in a queue waiting to board our flying vehicle. Bin fed us with some chocolate spherical objects, they tasted gammy. Everyone is on top firm and ready to rumble. #turbulence

Cesca O'Brien - Y12 Geographer and queue

Iceland 2017 - by Mr Osborne

I'm not sure I can keep up with the level of 'ganter’ that we have been treated to over the last few days by our creative Arete students, but here is my summary of the trip.

It has been great spending time with a brilliant bunch of students, everyone has contributed in a positive way and I hope you go away with memories that you will keep forever and that have sparked your love for exploring the world around you. The Geography students have benefited from seeing many of the features we have learnt about in class, and coupled with your hard work and revision this should benefit you going into your A Level examinations, good luck!

A few of my highlights. I have particularly enjoyed listening to the Arete choir performing a variety of genres throughout the trip, I never knew we had such a talented group of singers in Arete. I think you will agree the food has been excellent all week. I have also been well fed with a daily supply of white KitKat Chunkies by Dec Smith, you know me too well. I will definitely be attending staff fitness when we return to school. The thaw of the winter snow and ice has allowed us to see many waterfalls in their full glory, and the size of that gushing geyser, what a sight. The glacier walk was an interesting experience, particularly having seen the amount of glacial retreat since we were here in 2015; start cycling to work and stop eating tofu, readers. To be honest all of the Geography was a highlight.

We have learnt a lot about you all. James has a budding career as a TV host. Liam is so loyal to his part time employer that he has worn the uniform all week. Reanna has a full time personal assistant. Shaun McNamee travels light. Apparently the modern teenager cannot last any more than 12hrs being away from WiFi, or a phone charging point, they turn into gremlins. You all have the ability to be punctual, you were all early on the bus every morning, excited for the Geogger’s no doubt.

Also, congratulations to Liam and Natalie who have conquered flying for the first time. You did a great job!

That's enough in flight rambling, thank you all for coming on the trip and making it a great experience for each other. Keep exploring the world, and good luck in the forthcoming exams, make sure you get some revision done next week.

Mr Osborne