The first day on the residential is always a busy one as we try to cram in as much as possible. After a smooth journey into Northamptonshire, the coach arrived at Frontier Centre with the children very keen to see their accommodation. Oak Lodge is located at the highest point of the site with a wonderful view across the valley.
After a welcome meeting from the staff we enjoyed our packed lunch and then got settled into the bedrooms. A tour of the site showed the children many of the activities and finished with the traditional team photo.
The class were divided into two groups, who then completed different tasks. The group with Mrs Sparkes had a go at archery first which was a lot of fun! We learnt the basics first and then played ‘Pizza’, ‘Where’s Wally?’ and ‘Archery’s Got Talent’! Our instructors, Colin and Nate, were really enthusiastic and supportive.
We then went to the new activity for the trip that has never been completed by Church Langton students or staff before called King Swing! This involved pairs of children being winched up to the top of a pole and then dropped from a great height at some speed! The children not being dropped were required to wind up the mechanism wheel and then took great delight in watching the faces of their friends as they swung past screaming! Mrs Sparkes loved this activity; Mr Williams did not love it quite as much!
Mr Roddy led his group down to the tower to take on the challenge of abseiling. The instructors went through a detailed safety talk as all of the children got prepared. This was followed by each child deciding on a target they wanted to achieve from the experience. These varied depending on the level of confidence and prior experience the children had with some very pleased to have climbed the five ladders to reach the summit and wave at their friends while other completed the abseiling wall down to the bottom.
The next task was entitled “Above and Beyond” and involved the children leaving all about Mission A F. This charity is involved in delivering medical aid and support to remote locations all around the world and this led to the children reflecting in prayer on how lucky we are to have the level of care available to us in this country. As a team, the children then had to imagine what it would be like to deliver this aid by completing an assault course carrying various items. The reward for completing this was to pretend to fly in the plane which had previously used for that kind of mission.
The children were keen to share stories of their day as we met together for a delicious dinner served by a volunteer from Brazil. We therefore learnt to safe Obrigado after the meal before heading back to the lodge. Many children commented on making their own beds to be the hardest task so far but we eventually completed the challenge ready for the evening activities.
At Church Langton we have been developing new methods for encouraging our pupils to try out new authors and developing their enthusiasm for reading. Book week was held at the beginning of March with activities held throughout the week. Each class had lessons planned linked to their focus authors for this term. Each class in our school will study six focus authors over the course the year. We have been lucky enough to have some authors visit the school while other classes have made contact using twitter.
The whole school read was a highlight for many children as they were able to choose to hear a stories read from various members of staff around the building. It was particularly enjoyable to see children from four plus and year six being able to enjoy a story together.
The book swap involved children bringing in a book from home to exchange for another they have not tried, some parents and staff got involved as well.
We marked World Book Day with the children being invited to dress up as a book character from one of the texts they have studied this year. To celebrate the wonderful costumes we held a parade in the hall. As always we received great support from parents, grandparents and toddlers who clapped each class as they paraded through the hall.
The finale to our week was for all the classes to enjoy a visit from the West End in Schools Theatre company who performed “Back to Before”. The play involved many well known stories and was a great way to end was what a very special week at Church Langton.