In the first week of the summer term, forty-seven Year 4 pupils went on a two-day residential visit to Dukeshouse Wood in Hexham. Despite the fact that, for some, this may have been their first time away from home, the children were amazing. Both their attitude and behaviour was impeccable during our stay and they proved themselves be a credit to the school. All of the group leaders were very complimentary and our children were described as ‘a breath of fresh air.’
During our stay, the children faced many challenges, the first of which was simply making their own bed! For some this was the hardest thing that we did but they all had a good go! After briefly settling into the dormitories the real activities began! These ranged from problem solving in the woods, to climbing and archery. All the children tried their best with each activity and some proved themselves to be completely fearless. This was particularly true when climbing the pole for the ‘Leap of Faith,’ which all groups did at some point during our stay. It involved climbing up something that resembled a telegraph pole and scrambling onto a small platform at the top before leaping off to grab a trapeze. Even though they were harnessed up and it was completely safe, I will admit that after seeing the way that the pole wobbled as they climbed, I was very relieved when my group ran out of time before I could have my turn. Another of the most popular activities was the zip line. One Year 4 pupil (William 4K) described it as, ‘The most exciting thing I have ever done. It was fast and furious.” This time the children had to climb to the highest point on the site, a challenge in itself, before being clipped to the zip line and then simply stepping off the edge! Again they proved just how brave they were! We couldn’t have been more proud of them.
Each day was as action packed as the last. For some it began as early as 6am and didn’t end until 9pm – well the activities didn’t end until 9pm! For most of this time we were outside, going from one activity to the next with very little time in between. The children were always enthusiastic, even when literally stuck in the mud! The only real breaks we got were meal times where our children, once again, excelled themselves. They were polite, well-mannered and most really enjoyed the food! They even managed to tidy up after themselves at the end of our meals, which definitely impressed Mrs Hutchinson! Ella (4K) said that the food was, ‘amazing, especially the chips!’
Overall, everyone on the visit, the staff included, had an excellent time. Hopefully, it will have created some lasting memories that the children will never forget.