This morning was the teachers’ chance to get their own back and wake the children up with a knock on their door bright and early! We were greeted by lots of bleary eyed children, unlike yesterday morning! Once we had all packed and had eaten our second full English breakfast of the trip, we were on our way to our first activity …
Circus Skills – This was a great hands-on activity where the children got to experiment with a variety of different circus items, including juggling balls, plate spinning, flower sticks and diablos. It was met with bags of laughter and enthusiasm as children learnt new tricks from the instructors and from each other. The plate spinning was definitely a challenge outside on top of a hill…in the wind! Miss Lewis mastered the art in the end and was having great fun spinning plates and juggling like a clown – maybe she could join the circus?
Fencing – On guard! Dressed head to toe in white, the children were given an hour and a half crash course in the art of fencing. They learnt how to attack safely, and how to protect themselves as well. They also learnt how to great their opponent before a duel and how to score points in a match. The session ended with a duelling competition, where the children’s competitive sides came out and their quick footwork was put to the test!
After lunch, we loaded all of our luggage back onto the coach and the instructors held a ceremony where they presented each child with a certificate. This was a really nice touch and reinforced how proud we all were of all of the children for what they had achieved. Although exhausting, it was a pleasure to take away a group of children who were all so sensible, well-behaved and mature. The staff at JCA were full of compliments about how well-mannered our children were; they did themselves and Beechwood proud –well done Year 4 and thank you for a fantastic 3 days. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
Today was another fabulous day. We were all up bright and early (some awake before 5am!) and the children enjoyed filling their bellies with a full English breakfast – the hash browns were a definite highlight for Mrs Reece!
Sensory trail – This crazy activity involved the children navigating their way through a wet, muddy and uneven forest whilst blindfolded and holding onto a guide rope (easy right?). The children thoroughly enjoyed this excuse to slide along the ground on their bellies through the mud as they climbed through giant tyres and other obstacles that were put in their way…and the teachers took great pleasure in adding to the mud with extra buckets of water! Great fun was had by all…. apart from the children’s clothes!
Abseiling – This one was definitely not one for the feint hearted! Again, we were incredibly impressed by the children’s determination to conquer their nerves and complete their abseil, in spite of the dizzying heights of the tower. So many of the children were up and down the wall like Spiderman, it was great to see how fearless they were. We are really proud of them all for cheering each other on and for giving it a shot. Even if they didn’t manage to complete their abseil, the children should all be extremely proud of themselves for trying!
Katacanoeing – This was a leisurely afternoon trip down the river for the teachers…not so leisurely for the children though, who definitely worked up an appetite rowing up and down the river against strong winds! (There were certainly a few sore arms the next morning!) Great team work skills were seen in this activity and the children kept in good spirits singing rowing songs….even when Miss Lewis’s canoe ended up rowing into the reeds along the side of the river – oops!
After another hearty dinner on day on Thursday evening, we were back outside wrapped up warm ready for some songs and marshmallow toasting around the campfire. The children showcased some impressive talents in the campfire talent show (Lights, camera, action!)….but we all agree the highlight had to be Mr Pownall’s passionate but somewhat out of tune rendition of Robbie Williams’ ‘Angels’ – I don’t think the children have ever laughed so much! After a very full on day and evening, the children certainly slept well!
The first day was a great success. The children loved exploring their rooms and knocking on their neighbours door. The competition for tidiest room had already begun with the girls unpacking and ensuring their clothes were in neat piles and the boys unpacking with their clothes in …… bundles. Once we had all enjoyed our special lunches that had been made for us by are anxious parents we were fuelled and ready to go.
The children were soon back outside being introduced to the JCA instructors who would be with them for the next 3 days. In no time at all, the ice was broken and the children had learnt a number of different ‘Repeat after me’ songs (which they could recite word for word by the end of the trip!) and had found their voices in true JCA style – Roars of “Are you ready?”… “WE WERE BORN READY!”…. and ”Get it?” “ GOT IT!” filled the air! Group names sorted and team chants perfected, they were ready to tackle their first activity…
Our first activity was the climbing wall and the children were already impressing us with their fearless, ‘can do’ attitude. Every child should be very proud of what they achieved during this activity as they all went further than they thought they would, with a large number reaching the summit. Even the teachers did a great job of overcoming their fears and racing up the wall – Mrs Baskerville and Miss Lewis were treated by a rendition of “Let it Go” as they climbed – charming!
After all that climbing we were ready for our dinner, and had certainly earned it. The children’s (and Mr Pownall’s) eyes lit up when they saw the selection on offer, along with the vast amount of food they were served up and this was before pudding was revealed to them.
With a warm dinner in our tummies we ready to head out into the cold to play ‘egg protector’ which consisted of the children having to use a range of materials to protect their egg from breaking. Once they were all having fun and had completed this the children had a range of challenges to complete but the losing teams’ egg would be kicked around in its protector. Chaos ensued! It is quite incredible how long a group of children will happily play games and try to destroy each other’s eggs on a cold evening. As predicted, the game ended with egg flying everywhere and sadly no eggs were still intact.