This year many of our Year 6 children visited the Kingsway Outdoor Education Centre in Middleton-in-Teesdale in the Autumn Term for the very first time. They have had a full five-day, action-packed outdoors adventure and have really excelled themselves throughout in so many ways! The children’s team work skills and bravery have been put to the test and it has been fantastic to see so many children trying out new activities and conquering fears.
They arrived early on Monday morning eager to begin and took on their first challenge (making their beds and unpacking) with an unexpected enthusiasm as this task 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 – Raft Building. The children had the opportunity to demonstrate their building skills before heading out on the open water to put their creations to the test. Unfortunatly for most, their rope tying wasn’t quite up to scratch and most the children ended up going for a swim. Once everyone was back at the centre warm and dry, everyone got kitted up for a Late-Night Walk through the local woods. They stopped to explore the starry sky and even managed to spot some star constellations and even various satellites (initially mistaken for shooting stars!).
The next day the children were up bright an early for another action-packed day of activities. Their first task was the ever-entertaining Crate Stacking Challenge which involved great teamwork skills to see how high they could build their crate tower. The only down side being they had to stay standing on their tower at all times without falling off, even as it was being built! Later on, the children were back out for a Hill Walk to the nearby Kirk Carrion, an ancient burial site on top of a nearby hill. The children’s stamina was put to the test during this activity and for some reason, they seemed to find the way back down much easier than the way there. The day wasn’t finished there though as the children then quickly headed off to the local primary school for a friendly Football Match against the local children there. As expected our away support was particularly vigorous and all the children had great fun cheering on those playing. The day wasn’t quite over there though as after the children had returned to the centre and settled in for the night, there was just enough time for the infamous Kingsway Quiz where the children (and teachers) could demonstrate their general knowledge skills.
Again, the children were kept very busy with another action-packed day of activities. Everyone had great fun taking part in the Archery Competition that Robin Hood would have been proud of. Who knew the children could be such good shots when it involved eating any sweets they could hit on the target! After lunch, the children headed out to undertake on of the more nerve jangling activities of the week, the Gorge Walk. The children had a short walk to the local river where they were thrust into action straight away with a backwards ‘leap of faith’ into the water. They then made their way down river taking on various obstacles, slides and floats until they reached their final challenge, a 15ft waterfall! After such a positive start to the week, the children’s determination was put to the test. However, they passed with flying colours, quickly overcoming this obstacle by sliding down through the water or, if they were feeling particularly brave, a much shorter cliff jump into the plunge pool 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 before bed. 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.
It was finally 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 the 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 like naturals up in the canopy. There was just enough time to finish this task by Abseiling back to the ground from the final tree. At lunchtime we paused for a very special activity as we had our very first Kingsway Birthday Brunch. The children were excellent friends and helped to set up the table with birthday goodies and made cards for the birthday girl. After lunch, the children were back out to take part in a range of Bush Craft activities. The children had great fun learning various ways to light fires in the wild and even got to try out some bush grub such as crickets and buffalo worms. Possibly one of the most entertaining activities of the week (for the staff anyway). That evening, the children headed off to the local award-winning Fish and Chip Shop for tea and once back at the centre, the children held their very own Kingsway’s Got Talent Show with surprise appearances from Simon, Amanda, Alesha, and David as judges. As it was a final night, and because the children had been such superstars all week, it was only fitting that they ended their final night with a Pyjama Party Disco. They had great fun playing party games and dancing the night away, even the staff couldn’t help but get involved and show off their superb dancing skills!
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 a quick walk for a Local Park Visit to play on the equipment there and take advantage of another sunny day. Before long, they were back at the centre and marching single file towards the bus waiting to take them home.
Mr Turnbull, Miss Jones, Mrs Randell and Mr Milburn would all like to say a huge well done to all the children involved for being true superstars this week! It has been a pleasure to look after the children and we are all extremely proud of how the children have behaved throughout. They have worked together, showed great determination and bravery and hopefully created memories that will never be forgotten! Take a look at the many pictures below to check out just what the children got up to and see everyone in action…