Monday 30th October Update 1 1:40pm
I am pleased to let you know that the Y6 pupils and staff all arrived safely and have already begun their afternoon activities. A huge thank you for ensuring the children were in school early today and for preparing all of their bags etc. They were all very excited and I know they are going to have a fantastic time! I do hope you manage to relax a little this week – the time will go so quickly and the children will be back with you before you know it.
I will write another little update later today for you all.
Monday 30th October Update 2 5:50pm
Here is a little report of things so far…
The children, staff and driver all had a good journey with nobody being travel sick – this was much to the driver’s delight especially as it was such a nice coach! The children managed to save the bus singing right until the end of the journey when the sea came into sight and excitement built to a crescendo with everyone joining in to ‘Living on a Prayer’. Mr McEwen was amazed that most members of the class seemed to know the words to a song from his early childhood until it was pointed out by Miss Mullane that they had been practising this in music lessons!
The centre is fantastic and everyone was thrilled to be out of the coach and standing in the sun in such a beautiful location overlooking the sea. On arrival everyone was introduced to some of the instructors and given room allocations. Mr McEwen was delighted that everyone cheered when told who they were sharing with and no one burst into tears! Almost everyone was thrilled to have a room with a sea view (how lovely!).
After this, everyone enjoyed lunch sitting at picnic benches appreciating the view of the bay. A number of boys had to be coaxed from their rooms to come and eat lunch… they had taken it upon themselves to start their bed making – impressive earnestness!
After lunch everyone joined in a spontaneous game of football while waiting for the afternoon activities to start. Harry, Ava and Adam showed off their hill body-rolling skills on the steep banks of the gardens.
Next the pupils got in to two teams and started an afternoon of team building activities. This included balancing 12 of us on a giant see-saw (Oscar excelled at being the pivot pilot); electrified rope (not dangerous!), blindfolded obstacle challenges and negotiating a giant lava mushroom field using portable bridge ramps to transport the whole group from one side to the other.
Everyone is now looking forward to an evening meal (5:30pm) followed by the last activity of the day which is entitled ‘Super teams!’ Tomorrow’s activities include: abseiling, body boarding and archery followed by a coastal walk in the evening. Everyone is happy and joining in all the games brilliantly and looking forward to a fun packed week!
Dear Parents, I do hope this puts your mind at rest a little… Everyone is fine and I know they will all have a brilliant time. I will write another update for you tomorrow evening. Please do relax, enjoy yourselves and sleep well.
Tuesday 31st October 5:50pm
It was lovely to see some of you this morning and for your feedback on the updates. You will be delighted (and relieved) to know that all is going well! Here is the update for today…
Everyone is well and thoroughly enjoying themselves.
Last night’s evening meal was our first catered meal at the centre; baked potatoes with a super array of fillings, salads, etc. with chocolate profiteroles for pudding. Year 6 demonstrated some spectacularly healthy appetites and the dining staff are very kind, working hard to make sure that everyone was happy and had what they wanted. The evening activity comprised a series of amusing team building challenges such as: building the tallest tower with each others’ shoes; a challenge called ‘Traffic Lights’; and a race to see who could get their team through a bicycle inner tube (this required more skill and ingenuity than at first met the eye). Lights were out by 9:30, however Mr McEwen and Miss Mullane did hear a few voices some time after this!
Today’s breakfast was at 8:30 with a selection of cereals, orange juice, toast, bacon, scrambled eggs and hash browns. While munching their chocolate crispies, some pupils questioned why the sea was so much further away than last night. A proper explanation of tides will probably have to wait until the children are back in the class room with the benefit of a whiteboard. Fortunately, the weather has again been bright and clear for this morning’s events; abseiling down a 80 foot slope for team A and body boarding in the surf of Widemouth Bay beach for team A. Safi was the clear master of this sport and showed off her ‘superwoman’,’ barrel’ and ‘ironman’ poses. Oli lost his trainer in the surf, but luckily it floated and its luminous green colour meant we managed to retrieve it a few minutes later.
Team A have had a fantastic morning learning to abseil. They are now experts at harnessing themselves up and walking like lemmings to the edge of the cliff! A confident effort all round with great team skills and encouragement. On first sight many thought they could not make the descent but after excellent instruction they mastered the slope with expertise! Daniel was the first to go and made the descent with ease. Oliver M was an ‘abseiling ninja’ coming down with speed and agility. Once all on the beach they had fun exploring rock pools.
This afternoon team A went body-boarding while team B spent the afternoon learning archery. Amy discovered she was a natural at this, hitting several bull’s eyes, one of which was her very first shot!
Everyone is happy, safe and enjoying the different learning experiences. We are all proud of you Y6 – have a really happy time this evening!
Parents – you have a lovely evening too. One night already gone and tomorrow the children will be half way through…
Goodnight to you all,
Wednesday 1st November 5:30pm
It’s been another lovely day in Cornwall! This is today’s update…
After our afternoon activities yesterday, Year Six tucked into mountainous helpings of spaghetti bolognese, grated cheese and garlic bread followed by chocolate brownies with ice cream and then set out on a moonlit walk along the coastal path and cliff tops. This climaxed in a fantastic torchlit rock-pooling session in which we found a mussel bed, fascinating rock formations and a large starfish!
After a hearty breakfast Team ‘A’ headed out early this morning. All togged up with hats, coats and extra layers we were ready for the first activity of the day….climbing! We arrived at Millook Bay, the sun shining; we carried all the kit …. ropes, pegs and hooks and traversed across the rocks to our climbing destination. We all took on different roles, acting as ‘The rock’, ‘The sub rock’, ‘The coach’ and ‘The bell ringers’, in order to enable the climber a safe ascent. Adam and Ollie M said, “Being a rock is a very pulley and pushy job!”
Great team work all round, another successful morning! Jess was incredible and didn’t give up even when the going got tough. Ellie A persevered and made it to the top. Ellie E fought her fears and with the team’s encouragement succeeded!! (Well done Ellie – top job!). All pulled together with great listening skills. To our delight a seal popped its head out of the water to congratulate us. We are all very proud of our climbing achievement’s today. We made our way back to the bus and ate lots of warm pasties (Yum! Proper Cornish pasties!).
Team B meanwhile, went abseiling down an eighty foot cliff face. Amazing bravery was shown by all in this daunting activity (probably similar in scale to lowering oneself off the top of the cliff by Old Harry in Studland.) Team B then had a glorious afternoon learning to surf on full size boards in perfect conditions with decent waves and warm sunshine while team A enjoyed canoeing in the canal.
Everyone is still in high spirits and having lots of fun!
All of the pupils are doing brilliantly. They are learning to push themselves, trust others, lead, take risks and show great friendship. You are all a credit to yourselves, to your parents and to the school… Amazing you!
Parents, thank you for reading the update (half way through now!). Do enjoy your evening and relax in the knowledge that the children are being very well looked after.
Thursday 2nd November 5:30pm
Well it’s hard to believe this is going to be the final blog so I do hope you enjoy this!
The centre has a seemingly endless contingent of instructors and last night we were led by two more in team building challenges. The egg drop involved designing a free standing structure from a limited range of materials that would catch an egg dropped from the balcony. Sharissa, Oscar and Ellie E, Yasmin, Ruby won this challenge with their clever use of an inflated bin bag. However this was a case where the losers had much more fun as they witnessed their eggs exploding!
Hats off to William, our healthiest class member, who always turns down sweets and puddings and prefers to eat fruit. This morning he was handsomely rewarded with the highlight of today’s breakfast; a delicious freshly prepared fruit salad.
Team A: What a fun morning! We spent our time clambering over rocks and shimming through narrow gaps, entering coastal caves. The weather was glorious and we sunbathed looking out to sea with the tide coming in. We learnt about how barnacles were in a constant battle, jostling for position on the rocks. Izzy, Ollie M, Finlay, Max and Caitlyn slithered like snakes through the narrowest of gaps. A superb coastal adventure had by all.
Team B: Taking armfuls of harnesses, ropes and helmets we clambered aboard the minibuses and drove the stunning coastal lane (up and down a 30% hill) to Millook Haven. This rocky beach resembles a lunar landscape with its exotic geology and crumpled strata that makes Stair Hole at Lulworth Cove look unremarkable in comparison. We spent the morning learning to climb a large slab of rock, taking it in turns to take roles as anchors, or to provide technical advice to our team mates. A fantastic and brave effort from everyone who all succeeded in negotiating several different routes to the top before abseiling back to the base again. Then, another impromptu and fascinating rock-pooling session with several of us slipping in and soaking our shoes! Each of the pebbles on the beach look as if they have been lovingly decorated by Jackson Pollock with crazy stripes of white and yellow.
After lunch, it was another mass wetsuit-donning operation; team A drove back to Widemouth Bay while team B departed for Bude to go canoeing. We have been incredibly lucky with the weather, and staff at the centre have told us that indeed we have fared better than many of the summer groups who had to put up with rain or storms. The afternoon for both groups was thus spent messing about in the water in glorious sunshine. The canoeing session was held on a beautiful canal, with two large Canadian canoes strapped together into a ‘dragon-raft’ with planks and ropes, providing a great platform for wet games involving balls, rubber ducks, diving and swimming. Team A also enjoyed a glorious afternoon with brilliant waves and many succeeding with proper standing-surfing!
Our last night promises to be fun with a BBQ supper, a visit to the tuck shop, a disco and hot-chocolate before bed.
Before we depart tomorrow, each group has one more activity; either coastal traversing or archery. We plan to leave shortly after lunch and will keep Miss Corbin updated on our progress in the bus. I expect the children will be thoroughly exhausted but they should all also be very proud of themselves for the positive, energetic and enthusiastic way they have approached the week’s challenges. We are enormously proud of them!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Mr McEwen and Miss Mullane and all the staff at the centre for looking after the children so brilliantly. Y6 – you have all been amazing as we knew you would be and are totally proud of everything you have personally and collectively achieved this week. You will always remember this special time with you friends and hopefully you have learned something about yourselves too.
Finally, I would like to personally thank all you parents for entrusting us with your children for a whole week – I know this cannot have been easy. Your comments have been great to read too. Thank you.
Mr McEwen will contact me when they are leaving the centre and I will then be able to let you know of an approximate time of arrival. If this changes during the journey I will keep updating the banner on the homepage of the website so please just keep checking. I am hoping the children will be back for 4:30/5pm but will let you know tomorrow.
Thank you all again and have a happy evening!