Thursday 14th March - Y6 Residential
Today we have woken up with the prospects of better weather and to a hearty breakfast. Cook excelled herself today by providing us with a mountain of sausages in a roll (100 sausages in total) as well as the standard cereal, toast and fruit that has been available daily. All fully loaded and with extra sausage rolls to keep us going through the day, the children went off to their daily briefing.
Unfortunately, whilst the weather looks reasonable outside, overnight there had been heavy rain. If you have been reading the blog you will know this means that the caves we explored yesterday are now underwater! So no caving today. Instead two groups went off to do climbing, two groups went off on a coastal adventure and the final group went off CANOEING. For those observant ones - yes I have been claiming we are kayaking when in fact we are canoeing!
For a short while we were a little concerned that the day was going to be very wet as we drove through driving rain to get to our location. Thankfully by the time we arrived the sun was winning the battle and we were back to a glorious day for adventuring and admiring stunning scenery, all be it through gusty winds! Through the day both teams met on several occasions to embrace their inner goats as they scrambled over rocks and caverns to get to our final destination. Worm's Head - a natural causeway with plentiful rock pools. Here we hunted for the local wildlife left by the receding sea. Unfortunately, the sea was rough and therefore taken much of it back out to sea. However, the children had great fun trying to find it all.
You will see form the plenty photos that the group went to the same location the previous four groups explored. Plenty of photos have been taken to show the exciting day the group had whilst they were out.
This is the first time this week's groups have been able to go out climbing, and whilst they may not have been able to go caving it sounds like the day was equally challenging. Apparently, they discovered, after abseiling down, that cliff faces were very slippery from the rain and high, surging tide. This made climbing back up extremely tricky and challenging and required placing a great deal of trust into your team. Whilst caving was not available, the children did explore some small, tight, deep crevices which they descended into. Some had to be pulled back out because the climb back was so challenging.
This evening cook has outdone herself again because tonight on our menu we had the delights of pizza, potato wedges, salad, sweetcorn and to follow chocolate cake and ice cream!
Sadly, our time is coming to an end so no exploring of the grounds tonight 😞 but packing is the order of the day. We hope you are all looking forward to the plentiful washing of damp, dirty clothes. We warned you!
Wednesday 13th March - Y6 Residential
It is hard to believe but the staff experienced another night of early settling and late rising. All children were settled in their rooms well before the 10pm expectation and first movement wasn't until nearly 7am this morning. Cook reports that we have children with good appetites. Thankfully she is more than pleased to cook extra toast and has said she will make spare sausages in a roll for those who want seconds tomorrow. So after a hearty breakfast the children were briefed about the planned activities for the day ahead.
Thankfully we have had a break in the weather which meant that 3 groups were sent off to enjoy a day in the caves. The other two groups enjoyed the day on the canal Kayaking.
After a journey of about 45 minutes the 3 caving groups arrived at their activity destination - Porth Yr Ogof
We found out today the reason we couldn't go caving during the heavy rain.
Porth Yr Ogof means lightening water. As you would expect by the name this means the cave water rises quickly when it rains. So we are glad today of the clear weather. If you look carefully at the photos before we enter the cave you will see the speed of the running river.
After getting kitted out in all of our appropriate gear, we descended into an area where the river enters the caving system. Careful wading allowed us to enter the area we were to spend our day. All 3 teams yet again took different paths. Some of us were posted through a 'letterbox', some of us were flushed down the toilet but all of us got the opportunity to explore a beautiful element of the natural world we are rarely given the opportunity to see. We explored the formation of rocks and fossils, investigated the creation of crevices, the development of stalagmites and stalactites but most importantly pushed our bodies and minds to their boundaries and concurred our fear and worries. Small spaces don't seem so frightening when you have friends to support and encourage you and most importantly approach all situations with a 'give it a try' attitude.
The other two groups embarked on their trip to the canal in the same location Tuesday's Kayaking groups visited. They of course enjoyed far better weather. However, their experiences and skill development were similar.
We all returned a little later to base today which meant a very quick turn around for showers. Some children clearly decided there wasn't enough time and that we adults wouldn't notice the sediment still under their fingernails and on their faces if they just put clean clothes on! BUSTED! Don't worry we will do some encouraging before bed after the evening activities.
On the food front, tonight's delight was cottage pie with carrots and broccoli, followed by apple strudel and custard. Cook makes great cottage pie and despite the very large quantities of food on offer there was very little left over and some children also had second helping of strudel.
The children have really enjoyed exploring the extensive grounds at Kilvrough and so were delighted to find they were completing an orienteering activity using their torches.
Tuesday 12th March - Y6 Residential
Well - the staff had a bit of a shock last night. The children were ready for bed early and the majority of them asleep before lights out at 10.30pm! In addition to that there was no movement until 6.40am! So a fantastic night for all.
Refreshed and ready for the day ahead the children sat down to a plentiful first breakfast - a wide range of cereals, bacon rolls and fruit. Unfortunately, the evening rain did continue in the typical welsh fashion - rain, wind and more rain. This meant that the timetable did have to be adjusted. So after our daily briefing, the collection of our appropriate clothing (our instructor kindly informed us there is no such thing as bad weather just incorrect kit) and lunch, 3 groups set of for a coastal exploration, whilst two departed for a day of kayaking.
The canal groups convened in the same location and worked together to unloaded 7 kayaks. Despite the driving rain this was done quickly and efficiently and we were soon on the canal for our daily adventure. Through the wind and rain we spent 40 minutes learning how to manoeuvre a kayak without crashing in to the banks or each other. We then returned to the minibus for a very much needed thaw and lunch break after which we were delighted to find the sun had come to pay us a visit. Wow what a difference a few rays of sunshine make to your spirit.
Back on the water we spent some time exercising our new skills before chasing some ducks (all be it plastic ones) and frisbees in several round of games. After much laughter and highly competitive fun we set off travelling again. This was not the end of our challenges! The instructor decided it would be good for us to experience paddling with a new partner. However, we weren't allowed to go to the bank to exchange so we had to do it whilst still on the water. We, of course, were experts and managed this without entering the water! This allowed us to continue our travels for some time and admire the amazing scenery. We did have to negotiate ducking under a fallen tree but by then we were confident with our skills and partners. Before turning back another challenge was set, 'wibble wobble fest'. This involves kneeling in your kayak with your partner whilst wobbling sided to side and not capsizing! All achieved, we were pushed to the next level and made to stand! All achieved again, we then learnt to how row whilst standing - gondola style. Most managed this and wanted to paddle back in this position which they did successfully without entering the canal. So a very rewarding day's adventure which was finished off perfectly with hot chocolate and cookies at the van once we had reloaded the kayaks.
The other three groups set off to Worm's Head for their coastal adventure. Whilst each group had the same destination they took very different routes. A brisk walk scrambling across rocks and diving into caves distracted the children from the adverse weather conditions. After their great adventure the children arrived at the causeway where they sat in the now glorious sun to eat their packed lunch. Refuelled and ready for more adventures the groups started their travels again. As they moved through the forming rock pools they explored all of the amazing wildlife left behind, which included crabs, mussels, starfish and many varieties of seaweed. To Mrs Latham's, Miss Hammond's and the children's delight they also found numerous fossils - linking in nicely to their present topic back at school. However, the highlight of the day for some of the children was seeing a seal as they climbed to the top of Worm's Head. The view of the Atlantic Ocean literally took the children's breath away as they performed their best Superman and Michelin man poses ready for the camera.
The return journey involved more opportunity for independent exploration and a crab hunting competition. Arriving back at the minibus the children were greeted with a hot chocolate and cookie, which was very much deserved and needed after completing this 7km adventure.
There is an expectation that everyone enjoys a cleansing, warm shower before sitting down to the evening meal. This is usually an opportunity to enjoy some downtime and a cup of team for the staff. Not tonight! Despite having burnt bags of energy and enjoying all the weather Wales has had to offer, the majority of the children wanted another opportunity to explore the grounds. How could we deny them - the sun was shining and it wasn't pitch black.
At 5.45pm we sat down for a very much needed and deserved evening meal of chicken curry, rice and vegetable. It is amazing how good food tastes when you are hungry. Sophia, our cook, did an excellent job and always provides us with very substantial portions. So much so that some children would continue to eat until bedtime. However, pudding is always a good incentiviser for clearing your plates away and this evening we had the special treat of vanilla cheesecake.
After clearing the dinner hall and a quick rush back to their dorms to collect more warm clothing and torches, the children embarked on their evening activity of Den Building. They all worked well together in their teams to produce 5 dens although none were willing to test them out for the evening.
Dressed and ready for bed, another cup of hot chocolate was enjoyed whilst the children shared all they had achieved and enjoyed throughout the day. I am sure that exhaustion will have settled in and all will have a very peaceful sleep.
Monday 11th March - Y6 Residential
We delighted to say that the travel down was truly uneventful - no traffic jams - No Sickness! The children were, of course, delighted to arrive after a very long 4 1/2 hour journey. After depositing their bags into their bedrooms the children sat down to a delicious hot lunch of tomato soup and a baguette followed by fruit. This set the children up beautifully for their afternoon activity of a hill climb. We would like to report that the sun was shining but we are in Wales! So, after a short mini-bus ride all 53 children set of on a hike through wind, rain and a little hail. Whilst some of you may think 'yuk', the children had a fabulous time, jumping through muddy puddles, hunting for toads and admiring the amazing scenery.
We arrived back at base at 5.00 pm for a very swift turn around before the evening dinner at 5.45 pm. Our first set of children did an admiral job of serving tonight's delight of pasta with bolognese sauce, garlic bread and salad, followed by banana angel delight. With clearing and sweeping out of the way, the children were given a small amount of free time to get their beds ready. I have to say I haven't ventured in to the rooms to see how that went.
Evening activities started promptly at 7 pm. After wrapping up warm and then adding waterproofs and wellies, the children have gone outside to explore the amazing grounds through an orienteering quiz. In order to help them wind down before the first evening sleep they will be having a special treat of hot chocolate - shhhhhhhh it's a surprise.
Y6 Residential Final Day
Please enjoy the last set of photographs from Kilvrough Manor. Some caving pictures and others from the final day.
Y6 Residential Day 4
Well, exhaustion has set in for all. Mrs Latham had to wake most of the children this morning at 7.30am. I am sure that is a lie in for most. The bleary eyed breakfast this morning consisted of bacon rolls, toast, cereal and plenty of fruit. It was certainly one of our quietest meal times so far.
Energy replenished we went off for our daily briefing. Today's activities are to be climbing for two groups and caving for two.
Getting ready for this activity is so much quicker! A pair of boots, a harness and a helmet is the required equipment for the day. Oh, and strong muscles. Mrs Grist's group set off for climbing and swimming in Three Cliff Bay. A change of scenery again today for Mr Hiley and Mrs Peet, as their group headed off to the cliff face on Brandy Bay for climbing. After arriving, an exploration of the crooks and crevasses was in order whilst our instructor set up the ropes for climbing. This beach contained a mass of rock pools teaming with wildlife - shrimp, miniature fish, crabs, snails, a variety of seaweed... of course our favourite part was the sea. After our exploration, we had a quick picnic on the beach whilst our instructor gave us our instructions. All harnessed up we were ready for the climb. At total of three locations were put up - The aim to challenge yourself and get as far as possible.
This activity was challenging. The climb requires a great deal of concentration from all. The climber has to plan their route and find the natural foot and hand holes (It is not like a climbing wall they are not spaced out in order to help you achieve your goal) nature has created these. Then there are your three other team members who are in control of keeping you safe. They all need to make sure that the rope is kept tight just in case someone loses their footing and of course they need to spot for you. To make the day even more challenging the sun decided to make an appearance and beat down on us all day. The cove was secluded and provided no respite from the sun. However, I know that both groups did incredibly well. There was great team spirit, encouragement and not a single moan or refusal to have ago. After over two hours of climbing, the group came back to decide on how they would like to conclude their visit. Can you believe that they still had enough energy and opted for scrambling and rock pooling going back towards the lighthouse we had visited the day before. This was a physically demanding option but did provide them with some absolutely stunning views. Good choice.
All groups had an amazing day, not only with the quality of the activity but in the way they have conducted themselves and supported one another.
Mrs Latham's and Mrs Thomas' group headed off caving. Unfortunately for them, they did have to collect some of those pesky items that slow down departure i.e. caving suits. However, their instructors were kind today and allowed them to get fitted out at the location rather than having to wear them in the mini-bus in the blazing heat. It is reported by Mrs Latham that the location chosen today was the most challenging caving course she has ever visited! All I can say is that they are far braver than I am. Bending at a right angle, crawling commando style through these cavities in the dark and cold does not equal fun for me. However, again all the children completed the challenge some having to overcome their fears and concerns.
Returning wearily from the days activities, the children went up to their rooms to have their final shower of the week before dinner - A grand buffet of salad, wedges and pizza, followed by chocolate brownie and ice-cream.
I am not sure the children were so keen on this evening's activity - cleaning and packing! This did bring its own set of challenges. For some it was because they had to hunt down all their gear and get it back in the bags. For others it is because it marks the end of a fabulous week. However, once it was successfully completed they did enjoy relaxing in the Manor grounds.
This comes to the conclusion of our blog for this week. We hope you have enjoyed the wide range of photos we have tried to upload (believe it or not their are more to follow when we return) and the daily accounts. I am sure your children will give you a far more detailed account when you see them. However, I wouldn't rely on it tonight - I feel the coach journey home will be a much quieter affair. We have another whole day of activities before that happens.
Y6 Residential Day 3
The morning started with everyone replacing some much required energy for the day. The breakfast options were croissants , a range of cereal, toast and loads of fruit. Then children had their first briefing of the day. Two groups went off to participate in sea kayaking and two went off to complete climbing activities.
Today has seen a swap round of groups for some. Mrs Latham is happier with land under foot and Mr Hiley and Mrs Peet are happier on the open sea. So we were delighted to find that today's excursion was to a new area of the Gower Peninsula - The Mumbles. This new location also benefited them as we set off from a jetty today which meant the boats only had a short distance to be carried. Somehow we didn't end up on the water any earlier (those pesky wetsuits!)
So by 11.45am we were all on the water learning the art of direction change. By 12.30pm we had made it 20m up the bay to the next jetty where we got out and had our lunch. Surprisingly, the children seem more interested in testing their wetsuits out than getting back in their boats, so our lunch break also consisted of a brief swim. After that we continued up the bay, passing two lifeboat jettisons and going under a pier on the way to the lighthouse where again we exited our boats. A steep climb across rocks and pools was then required to reach the summit (the lighthouse). Some of us found our inner ninja/goat, some of us settled for our inner crab. However, the climb was well worth the effort which you will see from the stunning photos. By the time we were ready to return the tide was on its way back in so the children were delighted to find that they were required to test out those wetsuits again in order to get back (The rock pools had now become part of the sea).
As we headed back to the original bay we were able to enjoy some of the local wildlife again - however, we only saw two types of jellyfish and lots of seagulls - although the other group report they saw a seal. The weather hasn't been so bright today but actually it is a welcome relief when you are in a wetsuit all day. In fact we did even experience a brief rain shower which the children cheered at. Is it that long since we have seen rain? Finally before heading back to the ranch the children had enough time for yet another swim. They are going to enjoy that evening meal.
A change of scenery completely for Mrs Latham today as she headed off to the climbing activity with Mrs Thomas. They managed this far faster than the kayaking team (no wetsuits were required) and were heading off camp by 10.15am for a short drive down the coastline. You will see from the photos that this task is a challenging activity. A full rock face climb was required before having to abseil back down. Mrs Latham and Mrs Thomas report that this was challenging for all the group. Many fears were faced and conquered but a good day was had by all.
After another very active day the children were more than ready for their evening meal. The daily shower concluded, the children enjoyed a meal of chicken, Yorkshire puddings, mash potato and vegetables. Followed by pineapple upside-down cake with lashings of custard.
Evening activity - Castle Walk
Can you believe it? Yes we did continue with our planned evening activity even though the football was on. We would like to say thank you to England for playing into extra-time which we were back for. That being said, the children did have a marvellous time walking up to Pennard Castle. Well the ruins of it. Our instructor then suggested a climb down to the meander via the STEEP sand banks. This in itself was a challenge however, what the adults had failed to comprehend was the return route - all of us expected a meandering path back up. NO! We had to climb that shifting, steep sand bank. That was one cardio workout and apparently our leg work for the day! All adults and children, completely exhausted, we returned to the manor to have a well earned sit down whilst we watched the final 30 minutes of the game.
Y6 Residential Day 2
After a hearty breakfast (sausages in a roll, a range of cereal, toast and loads of fruit) the children had their first briefing of the day. Two groups went off to participate in sea kayaking and two went off to complete the caving activity.
After each child was fitted with a wetsuit, life jacket, rash vest and had collected their lunch we were ready to depart for the day ahead (It took us over an hour to achieve this. Those wetsuits are tricky to get on). We were taken to a small bay 10 minutes down the road. The sea was blue and inviting but it was also low tide. This meant that unfortunately we had to carry the boats some distance down the beach. The trolleys only take 2 boats and there were 16 boats and equipment to move. However, that was our first task achieved and at 11.45am we finally got on the open water. Going the right direction and moving forward was mastered quickly by some and some support was needed for others - thankfully we all ended up paddling up the coastline in the same direction. At about 12.45pm we stopped in a small secluded bay to have lunch, go rock pooling and warm back up under the sun. By the time we had finished the tide was coming back in. This allowed us to paddle in to some caves, nooks and crannies; jump in to the sea off rocks for a swim or just float (life jackets are great). This was tricky because the tide pushed you in but you can't turn round so you have to learn to paddle backwards!
As we headed back to the original bay we were able to enjoy some of the local wildlife - we saw three types of jellyfish (some bigger than the children), a sea bass (or a shark to some of the children) and a seal. Thankfully, after an exhausting afternoon we landed back at base at hide tide. That meant we didn't have to carry the boats too far.
After each child was fitted with a caving suit, wellies and had collected their lunch we were ready to depart for the day ahead (It took us over an hour to achieve this. Those cave suits are also tricky to get on!) This report however, will be brief (Mrs Peet did not go caving, she was on the open sea). These children were well protected from the sun today, in fact they needed their jumpers and trousers in the caves - It was cold. Through the day they negotiated several challenges which included going through the washing machine, thigh deep pools of water (one pupil assures me the water was pleasantly warm) and crawling through small spaces. All came back having had a fantastic time.
After a very active day the children were more than ready for their evening meal. However, they had to have a shower beforehand! All dressed and clean the children enjoyed a plentiful meal of rice, vegetables and chicken curry. This was followed by vanilla cheesecake.
After cleaning up and collecting our leavers' hoodies the children met Ed (one of the instructors) outside. The task was simple - get into teams and create a watertight den that the whole team can fit in! You will see from the photos that this was a challenge! This ended our jam packed day. The children happily went indoors for the evening milkshake, sweets and daily debrief where they shared the best moment of the day and who they were proudest of. Then it was off to bed so that we are ready for another busy day - More Sea Kayaking today (Wednesday) and Climbing.
Y6 Residential Day 2
Everyone slept well. All have enjoyed their breakfast. We are now getting ready for the day ahead.
Y4 Residential Trip - Day 2
Tuesday 15th May, 8am
All up and ready for breakfast after a good night's sleep.
Most of us were asleep by 10.30pm last night.
Looking forward to a fun filled day
Tuesday 15th May, post morning catch-up
Wow! What a morning! The sun has continued to shine upon us, which is probably a good job as we all have water wars today. This morning the children have been hover boarding, karting, climbing, fencing and water wars amongst others. Everyone is having a brilliant time and we are looking forward to this afternoon’s mayhem and the dressing up for the disco tonight.
PS: Mrs Morris, Mrs Langford and Mrs Nightingale may have got a little wet!
Year 4 team
Tuesday 15th May, evening update
A fab afternoon! We’ve continued to have a brilliant time. After four activities the children are exhausted but funnily enough they have enough energy for the disco. I’m sure they will all sleep soundly tonight.
Year 4 team
Y4 Residential Trip - Day 1
Monday 14th May, 4pm
It has been a gloriously sunny day! The children have enjoyed a tour of the site and have settled into their rooms. After lunch they completed their first activity and are currently on their second. All good so far, no tears! They are looking forward to dinner and the camp fire tonight. We haven't had a chance to download any photos yet. We will do this when we can.
This evening’s update
We have had a fantastic first day at our residential site. The children have enjoyed a range of activities including fencing, archery, body zorbing and hover boarding in glorious sunshine. They enjoyed their first evening meal and tucked into pasta, enchiladas, salads and more. We have just experienced a great camp fire before heading to bed (hopefully for a good night’s sleep) in preparation for a jam packed day tomorrow.
More updates to follow.
Year 4 team
"On Tuesday 14th March, we went to Tescos. There we tried to spot Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade logos. One of the things we found was the Happy Monkey smoothies. We worked in groups for this, so it was easier for us to spot them. Later we got to taste chocolate. I enjoyed trying to guess how much milk was in each of the chocolates we tried. They were milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate. The white chocolate had the most milk in. Then we went to the back of the store and explored the fridges and freezers. The freezers were freezing! At the end we got a goodie bag to take home. We really enjoyed the trip to Tescos."
By Shannon W 4LM
As part of our Stargazers learning project this term, Year 5 visited the National Space Centre. We learnt about the history of space travel and enjoyed exploring the model of the ISS! We learnt about how hard it is to be an astronaut by watching a film in the Planetarium and practised being real life astronauts in the Space Race!
St.Peter’s church was full to capacity as friend and family joined the children and staff in worship at our Annual Christmas Carol Service. The children created a wonderful spiritual atmosphere with candle light, carols, readings and prayer as they retold the story of the nativity. They sang a mix of traditional and new carols, accompanied by the school orchestra. Thank you to the children, staff and the St.Peter’s ministry team for helping us all to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
On Tuesday 4th October, Years 3 and 6 excitedly headed off to Cadbury World to learn all about the cocoa bean. Year 3 listened to a talk on Cadbury’s chocolate and how it is made as part of their topic, Scrumdiddlyumptious. Year 6’s presentation encompassed their ¡Hola Mexico! topic and they spent time learning about the Maya people, their customs, legends and lifestyles. They were shocked to learn that you could buy a slave for measly 100 cocoa beans but a turkey would set you back a whopping 200 beans! They were also confronted with tricky Mayan maths problems complete with their numerical symbols which turned out to be more fiendish than pesky Roman numerals! During the trip we also got to take a tour around the factory, find out about the Cadbury family and learn about chocolate throughout the ages. You can see the Year 3s learning about the Georgian chocolate houses in the photos. The 4D experience was a hit with everyone with many whoops, cheers and screams being heard as we dove head-first into a big vat of chocolate and took a trip on the chocolate rollercoaster from the Crunchie advert. We were also treated to a pot of melted chocolate which, by the amount that was smeared around the children’s faces, was very much enjoyed!
Year 4 had a fantastic time at Grendon, as you can see from the photos!
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