8th Oct 2017
Year 6 have returned from an amazing five days away on a residential full of challenge, adventure, excitement, triumph and the overcoming of fear. This was our first time at Mount Cook Adventure Centre on the edge of the Peak District. The countryside was breathtaking and the activities all utilised the natural hills and rocks around us. We hiked, climbed, scrambled, crawled, canoed and abseiled through the most incredible landscape, learning as we went about the area's lead mining history. Joining the children were Mr Hartwell, Mrs Ell, Miss Stringer, Mrs Johnson and both Mrs Gibsons.
Every child challenged themselves to do more than they thought they could – whether that be climbing a little higher than they were comfortable with, trusting a rope to hold them despite the nerves, stepping over a cliff edge, relying on a classmate for help, packing a suitcase for themselves, being away home for the first time or continuing to be a team player at the end of an extremely long and tiring day.
Many of the children had their proudest moments during the All-day Adventure. We were off-site from 9am to 5.30pm hiking to Black Rocks to climb, take in the magnificent panoramic view from the top and then practicing our abseiling skills from a low height. We then continued walking for miles with the children taking turns using the orienteering map to direct the group. We lunched in an idyllic setting by the canalside and then began our epic hill walk to an abandoned quarry for the 80ft cliff abseil – an awe-inspiring setting and a personal highlight for most of the children and the staff members who did it too! Our hike continued up hill and down dale ending in a stream which the children threw themselves in to with gusto, crawling under logs, scrambling over rocks, exploring the mini waterfall and generally being very brave and outdoorsy!
As a staff we were very proud of the behavior of the children and their willingness to throw themselves into every activity. We had very positive feedback from the activity leaders who said it was a real pleasure to work with our young people. It was also wonderful to see so many supporting and encouraging one another in the activities, being polite and considerate at mealtimes and dealing with the practicalities and sometimes difficulties of sharing rooms and bathrooms. One of the aims of this week is to build strong bonds amongst the children and between the children and their teaching staff so that they are able to work closely and supportively together in this important academic year ahead. They are certainly off to a good start.
Here are some individual highlights from some of the children:
Going in the stream. You have little log things and the water's quite cold… The man said there were prizes for the most wettest, smelliest, and muddiest. I won the wettest! Also, Jacob's ladder. I never thought I would get so high. I got to number five. James and me worked as a team and helped each other with the rope. (Sara)
Buggy building where I fell off. It was best 'cos we worked as a team. (Callum)
The fencing. It was really fun and exciting and was a good experience. It was fun where we were at attention and had to have one arm behind your back. I loved the masks. They were like bee masks. I loved being on the roof. It was just amazing! (Cameron)
The huge abseil. I was nervous at the start then when I started going down I got more and more confident. I was proud of myself when I got to the bottom. (Ellie)
I think the gladiator wall was the hardest. I felt good that I had a go. (Shaun)
The trapeze. When you actually go up there it feels so far away, like you can't get it even when you stretch. The harness tugs at you and you have to jump. It's really fun, even if you miss it. (Owen)