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Residential adventure thrills Year Four pupils

Year Four Residential 2022 - team talk in the tent

For the three days running up to the summer half-term, Year Four children ventured to the Woodland Adventure Centre in the West Midlands for their residential.

The centre, nestled in a small forest, focuses on ‘back-to-basics’, rustic camping and outdoor activities. Upon arrival the pupils were shown to their tipis and given time to unpack.

They then had the opportunity to explore the two large coppices where their tipis were set. Den building, hide and seek, tig, tree climbing and general good old-fashioned fun was enjoyed by all for the next hour or so.

Following lunch, sat around the camp fire, the girls and boys went into their four groups and took part in one of the activities: axe throwing, bushcraft, orienteering and night-line.

Axe throwing was fantastic fun and the children soon got the hang of it. They used small metal axes, about 30cm long and aimed a target similar to one used in archery. Bush craft included the challenge of creating a weather-proof shelter using a tarpaulin, a few pegs and any natural items they could locate nearby, such as sticks and rocks. The shelters were then ‘tested’ with a good shake (for the wind) and a canister of water (for the rain).

Following this, the children were then shown how to build a fire using tiny twigs, a small ball of cotton wool and a flint and steel. They all persevered and did a fantastic job.

Orienteering was set around the immediate vicinity of the campsite and allowed the children to explore the woodland nearby, looking for clues and set points.

Night-line is an activity where the children are all connected by ropes, harnesses and carabiners and blindfolded with black-out goggles. Their task was to work as a team and navigate around a course.

On the second day, the group visited the West Midland Safari Park, which was just across the road from the centre. The children spent 45 minutes exploring the penguins’ enclosure, Ice Age exhibition, reptile house, Rainbow Lorikeets and bats’ house.

Next they enjoyed a half-hour workshop where the children were shown a corn snake, chinchilla, cockroaches, ferrets and snails and given the opportunity to hold or stroke some of the animals.

Lastly, they finished off the visit with an hour in the theme park where they enjoyed numerous rides on the log flume, pirate ship, mini-roller coaster, merry-go-round and spinning tops. Some of the staff may have partaken in a ride or two as well!

The travelling party then returned to camp for the evening meal, followed by marshmallows and songs around the campfire.

Speaking about their time away, Junior School Deputy Head Mr Simon Milnes said: “For many of the children this has been their first time away from home, especially taking into account the past two years’ disruption to normal life.

“They had a fantastic time and, suffice to say, all of our five School Values were well and truly displayed on numerous occasions throughout the three days. We were incredibly proud of each and every one of them.”