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25 Jun Y6 Residential – Kingswood

Monday

Having travelled on perhaps the best coach they’ve experienced thus far, the children arrived full of energy and questions! We received a full, guided tour and eagerly waited for our first activity: Archery and Laser! Targets were hit (Katniss Everdeen eat your heart out!) and MVPs were protected with only a few casualties (including some zombies!).

We were met with more food than we could handle at dinner followed by lots of yummy brownies. After dinner, we were finally able to check into our dorms and the fun process of making our beds and figuring out what on Earth was packed into our cases began! Later the showers did not deter us as we battled it out during Bottle Rockets and ultimately got wet anyway! Our science and maths skills definitely came handy when identifying the best angle to achieve the desired trajectory (‘pacifics’ aka specifics according to some).

Some excited chatter at night but ultimately a restful night was had: we’re ready for round 2 (and for breakfast at 7.35 am!)

 

Tuesday

What a glorious day! After an exciting night of thunderstorms, we woke up to blue skies and promptly dunked ourselves into the lake! All of the teams worked brilliantly together to build their rafts and learnt many useful skills along the way such as how to tie different knots securely and how to strategise to ensure their rafts were lake-worthy. Some children selflessly sacrificed themselves by jumping in and attempting to act as propellers (albeit not that successfully!). Apparently the paddles just weren’t cutting it… Belly flops were also perfected it would seem.

Having made it back in one piece (miraculously no shoes were eaten by the mud), the fights for the showers began. After a carb-refuelling lunch, the teams tackled the climbing walls – it was delightful to see children working together again to support and encourage each other. Even a few metres off the ground was an accomplishment for many and some spider monkeys were revealed along the way.

The day ended with us altogether battling a pile of scrap and attempting to turn it into a piece of art! Hot chocolate sent us all off to bed. Let’s hope we recover quickly from the sunburn: pink cheeks all around!

 

Wednesday

Overcast and very windy today – helped with cooling off those pink cheeks! We had a very restful night and the children all enjoyed their early morning wake up call. Fuelled with yet another Full English, we tackled the 3G Swing, Catapults & Chariots, Environmental Art and Nightline. Facing our fears, we dared and encouraged each other to aim for the sky on the swing and soar through the air – this one required constant group effort which all achieved brilliantly! We rewound the clock to the time of the Romans for Catapults & Chariots (where somehow Ikea still existed!) and used our flat pack furniture skills to build each contraption. It was hard to decide what was more fun: building it or playing with it subsequently. There are some budding engineers for sure!

Of course the children didn’t believe us when we said they would get dirty on Nightline! However, I guess what we can’t see won’t hurt us which was handy as they were all blindfolded! With senses heightened, the children made their way carefully through obstacles and learnt to really listen to and trust each other. Environmental Art was a lovely way to take a break from all the excitement, look around and just appreciate the surroundings. Artists of all kind shone and produced some beautiful pieces that represented either themselves or their surroundings. Poetic and philosophical!

It’s been a jam packed trip so far but we still found time to have hot chocolate before bed and to wind down peacefully before heading off to bed thoroughly exhausted. Roll on Thursday (Disco)

 

Thursday

Final full day! After dragging our tired bodies from our beds (wake up is getting later and later…), we prepped ourselves for Problem Solving, Fencing, Jungle Vines and Orienteering. As has been the case all week, the children excelled when it came to working collaboratively to solve a range of logistical and rather physical problems requiring dexterity and lots of hugs for support (the floor is lava!). Fencing thankfully included a very large protective helmet – we survived with eyes in tact and another skill to add to our repertoire! On guard, thrust, foils, parry and parry riposte might be some words you’ll hear them utter in their sleep!

Jungle Vines had them suspended mid-air and climbing for the skies. Orienteering relied a little too heavily on map reading skills/ having a general sense of direction! The children certainly got their steps in and some even had time for an impromptu scavenger hunt. A quick shower followed by the long awaited disco finished off the day! Moves were thrown on the dance floor and chickens were befriended (don’t ask!).

Hot chocolate was again squeezed in to the children’s delight especially as we promptly returned to our dorms to pack! Thankfully the children have been improving their organisational skills and many packed/tidied things away throughout the days. Not the sweets of course: necessary bedtime companions apparently…

We’ll be home before we know it – please be ready to welcome your tanned, exhausted and possibly a little smelly children! Nevertheless big hugs all around as we are throughly impressed by their collaborative, compassionate and initiative skills – we couldn’t have asked for an lovelier group of children whom have represented Thornhill with pride! An adventure indeed!

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