Year 6 Residential School Journey
In2action School Residential Centre, Grittleton House Wiltshire
To find out more about Grittleton House, please click on the image below:
Monday 14th October 2019
As promised, Ms. Blewitt will be sending us all regular updates on how our Year 6 Pupils are enjoying their residential school journey. You can also find out what has been happening here through our website!
So after leaving school it was at least 5 minutes before the dreaded question “are we nearly there yet?” We managed to get through London without encountering too much traffic and were on our way leaving the city behind and “sheep, sheep, sheep- Miss there are so many sheeps” (there were about 10 in a field!) We stopped and had lunch on the way and then arrived at the centre around 12:45, in the rain. We settled in quite quickly and off to our first activities, one group on the climbing wall, another den building, a third on low ropes and the final group in the escape room.
The rain kept off and whilst it is muddy and damp we are keeping dryish and the indoor spaces here are amazing- there is a whole covered playground twice the size of the one at school.
Dinner was chicken, chips and more salad than you could poke a stick at- it was amazing (not my words!) the children have already offered the kitchen staff a job at school- she kindly refused but was very pleased to have been asked.
To the rooms and unpacking- this was fun. A definite gender difference here the girls rooms looked organised and the shelf ended up looking like one at boots, all of the the boys room was less organised but they seemed to know where all their things were.
Off to our evening adventure a night hike- all very scary- in fact it was so dark that the children didn't realise they just walked in a straight line down the path we had walked in the day time to the big covered playground, hilarious- some were scared by the dark others thought it was fun, the torches came in handy even if they were mainly used for blinding their teachers!
And so to bed – all showered, clean and the majority asleep by 9:30- quite a feat and a record I think. A couple of boys awake and chatting to me for longer- but it is the first night.
I did have to go and wake a couple of rooms up to listen to the owls outside the rooms calling to each other- made us all feel like we were in a Harry Potter movie.
There have been few arguments and lots of laughs.
Tuesday 15th October 2019
I have spoken to Ms. Blewitt today and she has informed me that the children have settled in and are enjoying themselves immensely. She will be updating us regularly in the evening of the day's events!
So this morning started with a song- I think I shall try Gloria Gaynors I will survive tomorrow!
Up and around at 7 out on the field around 7:30 a quick game of football, a hunt for the owls that were calling last night and then breakfast.
We started this morning with the escape room- we found ourselves in an empty room in the basement of the house. I still have no idea how, but the children managed to find 12 clues all hidden in clever places around the room. This lead to a new puzzle which then led us to a locked cupboard! What could be in there? Well there was only one way to find out- we needed the key. After trying 6 or 7 different keys we finally found one in with the logs for the fire. In the cupboard a safe- it needed a code? Could that have been the mysterious number code we worked out earlier- after solving a series of clues we discovered the passcode and escaped from the room. Quick break and on to the next activity- water rollers. This is a giant inflatable ‘sausage’. 2 at a time climb inside and run (a little like a hamster in a ball) This is one of my favourite activities to watch as all of the children, without fail, collapse in a heap with either the giggles or the biggest smiles across their faces. True old fashioned fun.
Lunch came (not soon enough for some!) and on the menu were hotdogs, soup and create your own baguettes.
After filling up and moving on we had some free time out in the sunshine on the field again- some of us made friends with the neighbours ( a herd of cattle) others hunted bunny rabbits, many played football and a couple searched for sticks in varying sizes!
On to the afternoon activities- Archery- a firm favourite with all of the children and most of the adults. Learning to use a bow and arrow properly and shooting at large straw targets. Safety talk over- arm guards on it was time to take our stances and aim for the gold. The professionals at the olympics make it look easy- it is definitely not and requires a lot of skill- push the bow with one arm, pull the string with the other, slot the arrow onto the knottings and all whilst aiming towards the target and not your fellow team mates.
Many hit the target, lots hit the black rings, some managed the blue, others through to the red and a select few managed to hit the gold at the centre of the target- quite impressive for anyone let alone first timers aged 10 and 11. The final activity of the day was the crate challenge- we had no idea what to expect, how much fun can a few milk crates be- Well we were soon to find out-LOADS.
What on earth did we need harnesses and hard hats for? Well the idea was for the team to build a tower of crates as tall as possible- the added bit being that 2 of your team mates had to be on top of the structure as you built it. This is where the harness came in- the children climbing were attached to ropes so if the towers collapsed they could not fall. So 10 high was the record for my group and I cannot lie it was lots of fun watching them work together and seeing some taking leadership who had never had those opportunities before.
It has been amazing watching the children go through the teamwork stages and see them begin to listen to others- follow instructions, devise their own ways of solving tasks and really looking like a team. The bickering subsides, the smiles take over and the fun seems to last for a long time.
Dinner tonight was good old spag bol- there is always a huge salad bar and fruit available- the children are eating well and have been going up for seconds too.
Tonight we were all looking tired, the fresh air has that effect. We all showered , changed and then took advantage of a couple of the other rooms here. Many chose the ‘games room’ and others the ‘quiet room’. The use fo the full size table tennis kit was a hit- pardon the pun. Winner stayed on- and there are definitly some talented players, the football table too was busy, then of course the pool table- Some new Ronnie Sulivans on the horizon I think. Even managed an impromptu maths lesson on angles!
In the quiet room a particularly intense game of scrabble was in progress and much to my surprise the board contained all real words! It was a close run thing but there was a winner and very little cheating took place!
Then to bed- all safely ensconced in their dreams by 9:00- a record I think for school journeys everywhere.
Wednesday 16th October 2019
I have spoken to Ms. Blewitt today and she told me the children are continuing to have a great time and it looks as though they have taken some of the good weather with them! Ms. Blewitt has asked if I can remind parents to e-mail her if you would like her to send some individual photos to you. Children will also be able to upload photos from the week on to a memory stick once they come back after half term. I will also ensure there are is a copy of some of the photos available on this page too for those parents and families who have provided signed consent to do so.
I look forward to reading Ms. Blewitt's next update and sharing it with you all!
So after a great nights sleep, it seemed almost too mean to wake them up this morning- obviously I had to and I did it with care compassion and of course a rousing chorus of "do do do come on and do the conga!”
Just so you are aware of some of the relations to the alarm call- apparently its not “normal” to wake children like this and "Miss B really” and just a general “uhhhhh” and duvets pulled up over heads?
Dressed- filed- breakfast seems to be the general routine for the mornings.
Our first activity this morning was Archery adventure- this involved using all of the skills learned in archery yesterday. They had to shoot balls off cones, played a kind of archery golf and shot arrows through targets. The children showed great determination and resilience throughout the exercise and some of them have real talent. Snack time and off to activity 2!
This was a long awaited fencing session. After putting on all of the safety equipment- glove, jacket and face guard they were ready to learn how to lunge, parry and assume the en guard position. Moving forward and back with their pointy fingers raised they progressed to using the actual foil. They challenged each other to duels and showed great skill and respect for each other exhibiting true sportsmanship.
Lunch- Jacket potatoes, tuna, beans, cheese, salad fruit.
After lunch it was football, puddle jumping, tree swinging and hedge hunting then off to activity 3- Body Zorbs.
How can this be explained- wriggle in to a giant inflatable donut, stand up (easier said than done) and run towards each other! It was hectic, hilarious and exhausting and that was just for the spectators.
The day was quickly running away we were off to our last activity session- aeroball.
Jumping up and down on a trampoline whilst trying to throw a ball over the dividing net and aim for a target.
The children really enjoyed both playing the games and cheering on their friends. They really are showing an increased awareness of others and an appreciation for the variety of skills they all possess.
Dinner came and it was chicken curry and rice or pasta bake, naan breads, popadoms and mango chutney all on offer. huge platefuls devoured in minutes. The fresh air and exercise really does heighten the appetite.
After dinner they played out in the fields until it started to get dark and there was a glow on the horizon- either something was terribly wrong or in fact the campfire was lit.Lit it was and we all gathered around to sing songs, tell stories and roast marshmallows. As this drew to a close, it was time for showers and bed- all out like lights with huge smiles on their faces and all in record time.
As well as the activities the children are participating in, they have been getting close to nature- the team here found a newt today to show them, there are many varieties of ladybirds, numerous birds including the tawny owls we hear at night and some children were lucky enough to encounter a hedgehog running around the site.
Another successful day draws to a close and we are one step closer to being back home with you. Until then sleep soundly and God Bless.
Year 6, Miss B, Mr Barker, Miss Samborsky and Mr Taggart
Thursday 17th October 2019
I was very fortunate to spend some time with our children today and after a very long drive, I was lucky to get the chance to see them totally engrossed in a number of activities, including den-making and street dance! The children really are enjoying themselves and Ms. Blewitt, Ms. Samborsky, Mr. Barker and Mr. Taggart are doing a superb job in looking after everyone. After lots of hugs and hand shakes, it was lovely to get to have lunch with everyone and I was heartened to see the children smiling and enjoying each other's company. I am hopeful that the children will come home having developed their friendships and relationships, as well as building bridges with one another. Unfortunately, I was unable to stay for the disco, but I know they will make the most of their evening when they showcase their talents on the dance floor. The children are amazing and it was an absolute pleasure to get to spend some quality time with them.
I will update you again once Ms. Blewitt shares the day's events with us all!
So the last full day has come and gone, good news though I am at last getting requests for the wake up songs!!! Feel free to carry on the tradition when they get home I can recommend anything with a rousing chorus!
The routine is the same each morning, rudely awoken from their slumbers, running around the field and then breakfast.
After breakfast this morning we started with streetdance- the children put all of their newly learned skills into creating their own dance for the disco and they were also taught a couple of ‘party’ dances- one being the koukou move. Brilliant- the children are so creative and enthusiastic when coming up with moves- there are some future choreographers amongst them for sure.
A quick break and on to activity 2- Field zorbing.
Body zorbing was like being wrapped in bubblewrap and running at each other, field zorbing is like being put in to a giant inflatable hamster ball and trying to escape. They really helped each other out in this activity- it is tiring moving a giant ball around an enormous field and when you have friends who will help you out and roll you back up the slope when you legs just cant do anymore- life is good.
We had a surprise visitor- Mr LeCuriot came to see us. He was directed towrds the field and the children spotted him first- there was a huge rush towards him and multiple offers of guided tours. He certainly knows not only how to make an entrance but also when- it wasn't long before lunch was ready! Little did he know he had to work for it by running around playing ‘it’. It is a good job that he has long legs and lots of stamina.
After lunch it was more impromptu games on the fields in the sunshine then on to activity 3- the much talked about hoverboarding. After spending time listening to the saftey briefing and putting on knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards and a helmet, the buttons were pressed, the lights lit up and feet were placed in the correct positions ready to board and go. No one had to be asked twice, partners supported each other until the person on the board was confident and competent enough to go it alone. The practice area was widened and in no time at all they were all on their own boards zooming up and down in the enormous sports dome.
A quick break and on to the final activity of the day, Den building. We walked through the fields and in to the woods, there were some many logs, long branches and tarpaulins lying around just perfect to create own den with. Anyone would think they had been put there especially for this reason!
The designs were all very different- teepee style sides and tarpaulin roof, tarpaulin sides and a tent type roof and of course a tarpaulin as the floor and no roof!!!!!
Dinner - fish and chips- a firm favourite.
Back to the house and time to change for THE event of the week- the D….I….S….C….O.
Uptown funk, old town road, cha-cha slide and of course….baby shark!!! Good job that wasn't annoying! The children watched each others street dance creations and showed their appreciation appropriately after each act- I couldn't believe the talent shown. The children really do shine in events like this. A few children have become class celebrities.
A few more songs and then the last song- “when I see you again”- a few emotional tears and a group of children who have learned to live with each other and appreciate the differences they have and celebrate the similarities. It has been a pleasure to bring them away for the week and the number of complements they have been given by the members of staff here has been astounding. They have made me very proud and I know they are also proud of the young people they are developing into. Thank you again for letting us have the privilege of taking your children from you for the week and getting to spend quality time with them away from the bright lights and big city.
All that is left to say is that we will see you tomorrow- muddy and exhausted but happy.
PS- please stock up on throat sweets (sore throats from singing and talking) and washing powder (very little rain but very big puddles!)
Friday 18th October 2019
We look forward to welcoming the children home today. We are now expecting the coach between 4:30-5 pm. However, we will keep you updated through text.