Windmill Hill - Year 4 Residential - March 13th - 15th 2017
What a great trip!
We’ve had a fantastic time! We’ve had some incredible activities, pushed ourselves to the limit and had the most glorious weather throughout. The bus journey down was positively buzzing as pupils and adults alike chatted excitedly about what was in store for us.
We arrived to be greeted by our PGL leader, Tom, who enthusiastically took us down to our cabins. There we had the opportunity to unpack in our rooms, have our lunch and play a few games in the sunshine. Then, it was time to begin. The activity leaders arrived and took us, singing and chanting, to our first activity – canoeing. There we learnt how to hold a paddle, where to sit in the boat and how to turn around before entering the water ourselves. We were able to paddle around on our own and played a few games (one of which involved us all being turned into zombies!).
Then, surprisingly dry still, we left for our next activity – the challenge course. This was a series of small exercises designed to test our balance, agility, strength and teamwork. We had to climb vertical walls, go over and under different-heighted logs, go through ‘laser-grids’ and more. Before we knew it everyone was fully involved and we all enjoyed it immensely. Afterwards it was time for dinner (and a very tasty one) before our final evening activity – campfire. This involved us singing at the top of our lungs and dancing with a good fire in the middle. We heard a couple of funny stories and rounded off with some toasted marshmallows.
After an amazingly smooth nights sleep it was onto our longest day.
We started with the giant swing, which was a firm favourite. We had to pull everyone up to a great height, attached to a metal bar, before releasing ourselves. It was terrifyingly great fun! We then had orienteering for the rest of the morning which was a surprise hit as well, leading many to continue looking for the markers for the remainder of the trip. After a good lunch we headed over to the precarious Jacobs ladder for a good scare. I'm proud to say that everyone gave it a good go despite being quite scared. We had to climb a series of logs attached by rope, all the while swinging from side to side, and see how high we could get. It was very difficult but everyone did very well. Then it was to aeroball - like a trampoline version of basketball. Once again great fun and very tiring – congratulations to team ‘We’ll smash them’ for indeed smashing all before them. Then dinner and a kick around before capture the flag in the evening. Fantastic in the dark and great fun had by pupils and teachers alike.
On our final morning we had possibly the best two activities of all, the abseiling and the zipline. The abseil was terrifying! I must say that each and every one should be proud of themselves, it took a lot of courage to get out on that ledge, never mind leaning over it to climb down. Then, of course, the zipline, we all loved it and we were lucky enough to have 6 goes each due to our small group size. This was followed by a hearty lunch, a few last-minute games and then the coach journey home.
It must be said that the food was great, everyone slept extremely well (indeed the best of any residential I’ve been on) and our behaviour was excellent and was complimented on by the PGL staff (who were also fantastic, getting involved in every game and singing alongside us every step of the way).
Well done to everyone involved in the trip, including parents, it was a very smooth trip and everyone should feel extremely proud of themselves for pushing their own limits.
The 'Smarden Six' did well at the Inter-School Running Meet at Friars School, Ashford on Friday.
The event was in aid of Abbie's Army which raises awareness and funds to fight Child Brian Cancer.
First up to the start line was Poppy & Sadhbh who ran hard and kept smiling all the way! Next was Ultan who looked determined from start to finish. Annabel and Jess ran a passionate but tenacious race. Jess showed great sportsmanship towards her fellow peer. Last race was Year 2 boys, George had a great fast start and ran with gusto, even with a stitch!
All in all a great afternoon!
The children were extremely well behaved and polite and they thoroughly deserved their donut and squash afterwards.
Growing and Learning Together
Pupils of Smarden Primary School received an unusual package through the post this week. The school was sent 30 saplings from the Woodland Trust, made up of five different species.
All the children were involved in planting the mystery trees. As part of their science investigations the children will be examining the twigs, leaves, fruit and flowers to determine which species have been planted. Over this year, and future years the children will have the opportunity to learn about the growth and development of different trees and how the seasons affect them.
“This has been a wonderful way to connect the children to their learning and environment. They all feel very proud of the tree their group planted and are interested to come back in both lessons and playtime to observe the changes. This was a super chance for outside learning and linking Science knowledge to real life scenarios”.
Mrs Kathy Wilson, HLTA
As part of the government’s ‘School Games Programme’ schools are being encouraged to establish a School Sports Organising Committee.
This committee will be made up of a number of our year 5 pupils who will work alongside Mrs Nesbit, to assist with the organisation and delivery of sports competitions and challenges within our school.
As well as being an organiser they can specialise in other areas e.g. school reporter and photographer.