In May, over fifty Year 4 pupils took part in a two day outdoor residential at Hawse end, near Keswick. Excited and maybe a little nervous to stay away from home for the night, the first task that faced the children was to make their beds and unpack their clothes in the shared dormitories.
Kayaking on Derwent Water was a particularly popular activity. Keeping the boat balanced and learning to paddle was great fun. The pupils enjoyed playing games in the water: they had to paddle to collect the most balls, and reach a certain base. Everyone got wet and most pupils volunteered to capsize their boat or just finish the session with a swim in the lake!
The weather was glorious and we made the most of the sunshine by having a picnic lunch on the second day and enjoying rock climbing on a local crag. The pupils learned to belay each other. This was a great experience in team building and developing trust amongst their peers. Many pupils overcame their fear of heights and climbed to the top of the rock face, before abseiling down. Pupils also took part in problem solving tasks and developed their understanding of the need to collaborate. Working together and listening to and considering everybody’s idea was necessary to solve the fun, challenging tasks that were set.
In the evening we learned how to build a fire and light it using a flint and steel. This was tricky but with great perseverance and patience every team managed to light their own fire. We also developed our map reading skills to orienteer around the site and find the clicker points. A really special, spontaneous moment that we all enjoyed, as dusk fell was lying still on the grass outside the centre, watching and listening to the bats flying overhead. It was a moment we will always remember! After the two days and an overnight stay, all of the Year 4 pupils returned to school feeling proud of something they had achieved and a little bit more mature and independent than when we had been when we set off. It was great to see so many grow in confidence and enjoy the outdoors!
By Mrs Smith