This year, our Year 6 children visited the Kingsway Outdoor Education Centre in Middleton-in-Teesdale for three slightly damp days of action-packed outdoors adventure. It has been fantastic to see the children really excel themselves throughout the week in so many ways! Their teamwork skills, bravery and determination has been put to the test and it has been fantastic to see so many children trying out new activities, learning new skills and conquering fears.
The children arrived early on their first day eager to begin and surprisingly took on their first challenge (making their beds and unpacking) with an unexpected enthusiasm even though it usually turns out to be one of the greatest challenges of the entire week! After a quick lunch, the children headed straight out on their first activities – the ever-entertaining crate stacking challenge. This activity involves great teamwork and communications skills to see how high each pair of children can build their tower of creates. The only down side being that they must remain standing on their tower without falling off, even as it is being built! After this, there was just time for few more team building games around the center. Once all the children have finished, there was a short break for their evening meal before they once again got kitted up for a late-night walk through the local woods. Once they reached the center of the woods, it was time to stop to explore the starry sky and investigate how our eyes adapt in complete darkness.
The next morning the children were up bright an early, with only a few tired faces, ready for another action-packed day of activities. Their first task was to get kitted up and head back into the woods for a busy day of bush craft. They began by learning different methods of building camouflaged woodland shelters using rope, tarpaulin and the natural resources around them. They discussed the benefits of each of the different types of shelter and attempted to create their own with varying success. After everyone’s shelters were made, the children headed further into the woods for one of the more nerve-jangling activities of the week, the zipwire across the river. Dangling many feet in the air, the children would leap from one side of the river gorge and pull themselves along the rope to the other side to check out some otherwise inaccessible cliffside caves. Luckily, all those who dared attempted the crossing made it to the other side without plunging into the watery depths below! After such an exciting day, the children certainly deserved a well-earned rest with their evening activity of toasting marshmallows around the camp fire. This, for some reason, always seems to be an exciting experience and gave the children some time to reflect on all they had achieved so far. They even had enough time to squeeze in the annual game of Kingsway Bingo and put their general knowledge to the test in the Kingsway Center Quiz!
On the final morning, it was time to gather up everyone’s belongings and pack up their bags in anticipation of their return to school. After a relatively short lie in, the children had their final breakfast before it was at last time to take on the centre’s infamous high ropes course. This put the children’s fear of heights to the test. However, it was lovely to see so many children working together to overcome their fears and yet again the children were superstars! Many children began with slightly concerned faces but by the end of the activity they were swinging through the trees without fear. There was just enough time for those who were feeling particularly brave to finish this task by abseiling back to the ground from one of the higher trees. Sadly, before long everyone was back at the center and marching once again through the main entrance back towards the waiting bus ready to take them home.
Mr Turnbull, Miss Jones and Mr Milburn would all like to say a huge well done to the children involved in the visit this year for being superstars throughout! It has been a pleasure to look after the children and we are all extremely proud of how all the children have behaved. They have worked well together, showed great determination and bravery and hopefully created memories that will never be forgotten!