The day began early (some might say a little too early!) as the children were very excited about the activities ahead. Room inspections took place at 7.30, some passing with flying colours, others needed a bit more work. A special mention for Joel and Kai and to Freya, Isabelle and Grace, who had done a wonderful job in keeping their rooms tidy. The walk to breakfast brought the first rain of the trip but that was soon forgotten as the class undertook the challenge of eating as much toast, cereal, fruit and yoghurt as possible. The staff took on the challenge as well but could not keep up!
With full bellies and smiles on their faces, the whole class travelled down to the river where they met up with our team of instructors. The centre is run by a Christian charity and each session involves an element of prayer which is led by one of the instructors. After this, the children were kitted out in buoyancy aids, helmets and paddles before being put into groups. All of the staff also took part although it remains unclear whether those boats had an advantage or disadvantage.
Once on the river, we played a selection of games as well as learning all about brussel sprouts and ice cream! Some canoes found it easier than others to steer with some interesting collisions but fortunately nobody fell in. The session ended with a very entertaining game of canoe-ball with the red team defeating the greens. At the end of the session the importance of working as a team was reflected upon and reinforced as the children had to carry the canoes and equipment back to the base.
Mrs Sparkes’ group then went to the maze which they thoroughly enjoyed. Various challenges were set for them and they demonstrated some great problem solving skills. The second group took part in ‘Above and Beyond’ an activity that highlights the work of MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) who help to deliver medical support to people in remote locations around the world. Why not visit their website to find out more http://www.maf.org/ The children had to overcome various obstacles to discover what it would be like to travel great distances to gain medical attention and then got to sit in a real MAF plane.
After a very busy morning the whole group were ready for lunch which consisted of pizza, potato wedges, pasta and salad. Many of the children had looked forward to different elements of the trip but one reoccurring conversation had between staff and pupils (on some occasions very early in the morning!) was “when are we going to the ROCK shop?”. This was finally answered after lunch with a varied selection of items purchased for the film night to come later.
The afternoon comprised Bush skills for my group, all of whom learnt about different types of trees and how to make a den from items in the wood. The camp fire was also a highlight for some of the children. The other group took on the challenge of abseiling. There were some great individual achievements, which were celebrated by the group as a whole.
Mrs Sparkes’ group enjoyed Above and Beyond, particularly impressing with their teamwork in overcoming the obstacles. A couple of budding pilots also demonstrated their skills while the group all understood the link made to the Good Samaritan.
My group finished the afternoon with a visit to the Adventure Pit. The overall outcome was a lot of muddy children with big smiles on their faces.
As with every other meal, dinner was greatly appreciated and the children then went back to Oak Lodge to prepare for the movie night.
Photos will be uploaded later this evening.
The children have been thinking about their favourite part of day one of the residential.
Kai said “I really liked the archery because it was very fun and competitive”. Harris agreed, “I like the part when the instructor said ‘loss’ and all the arrows flew through the air”.
Fergus stated, “the abseiling was the best part of day one because the feeling of jumping off the top was exciting”.
Isabelle also enjoyed the abseiling and was proud of her achievement of completing the challenge.
Charlie W thought that bush craft was his favourite as “your could fetch things from the forest and made some shelters”. Simon, the instructor, poured water over the shelters. “Ours was the best” claims Charlie W, “it was big enough for three people”.
Grace described dinner to be “delicious, I even had seconds” and the children really enjoyed meeting the staff who were from Italy and South Korea.
After an exciting first day the children are ready for more challenges today, canoeing is up first with both groups going out on the river together.
After months of anticipation, year four have started their residential adventure at Rock UK in Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire. The coach left school in glorious sunshine and before we knew we it, we had arrived at the centre. After a welcome meeting and lunch, we had a tour of the wonderful grounds and saw some of the activities that await us in the week.
The class have been split into two groups, led by Mrs Sparkes and myself.
Mrs Sparkes’ group took part in archery for their first activity, with Jamie T demonstrating some impressive skills and all of the teachers and pupils enjoying the experience. They then had a go at Bush Craft with some interesting creations emerging.
The second group started with the challenge of abseiling. I was delighted that everyone climbed to the top of the tower to see the wonderful view of the surrounding area. Most then had a go at abseiling down the wall. Freya certainly showed no fear as she bounced her way down while Alex and Oliver were delighted with their achievements. We then moved onto fencing, something many of the children had never tried before. The instructors, Tim and Steve, gave us a great beginner’s guide although Laurence and Cooper looked like old pros as they defeated many opponents, including Mrs Hudson and myself.
Following the return journey up the hill to Oak Lodge, the children unpacked their bags and made their beds (some with more help than others). Dinner was devoured with lasagne, carbonara, macaroni cheese and cake putting plenty of smiles on the faces of pupils and staff alike.
The evening brought a chance to reflect on day one by writing in diaries. The children all took part in the Nightline activity which involved working as a team to overcome obstacles along a course, using only torches to light the way. Some quiet reflection time and prayer then followed before a happy but tired group of children went to bed for the night. Photos will be uploaded later this evening.