Y6 Little Canada 2017-18
After an uneventful coach journey, we arrived in Portsmouth at the Historic Dockyard just as it was opening. We were lucky enough to have the whole of Action Stations to ourselves and the children quickly discovered the climbing wall and the simulator. A competition soon developed on the reaction challenge and great fun was had by all.
After an early lunch, we enjoyed looking around the Mary Rose and finding out lots of facts, especially about surgery on board ship. A quick photo shoot outside HMS Victory and then back on the coach to the ferry terminal.
After a slight delay, we started our voyage. Blessed by good weather, we spent the majority of the crossing out on deck appreciating the views of the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth.
A short coach journey when we got off the ferry and we arrived at our destination. With luggage safely in our chalets, we had a tour of the site before a hearty dinner. We then attempted to put duvet covers on our duvets – something of an ordeal for some!
Our evening activity was ‘Ambush’ and we were surprised by an unexpected rain shower. Undaunted by this, the children spent over an hour happily hiding and seeking in the undergrowth around the site, getting progressively wetter!
As we write, children are all settled and making the most of this opportunity. We are confident that when we say ‘lights out’ there will be silence!!! We are looking forward to the activities tomorrow, especially the Sensory Trail after all the rain!
After a surprisingly early night (well 10.30pm!), everyone woke to a beautiful, if chilly, sunrise. The children got ready quickly and had a good breakfast of bacon and spaghetti (plus cereal, toast etc.) before returning to chalets to tidy up (sort of!) and get ready for the day.
Today we have completed the Sensory Trail (apologies for the washing they are bringing back!) and the Challenge Course. All the children participated fully and there was an impressive amount of teamwork on display throughout the sessions. They relied on each other to successfully navigate the Sensory Trail as they were blindfolded and had to shout instructions to team mates. Then they found they needed to help each other to overcome obstacles such as a ‘car wash’ made of tyres and an eight foot wall on the Challenge Course. Our children came up with some unique ways of completing the tasks they were set and consequently impressed the instructors.
We have also all played aeroball (basically netball on a trampoline) and had a fencing lesson today. Everyone was excited to play aeroball, although quickly realised that it is actually a rather tiring activity – even the most athletic among us were starting to find it difficult to keep up the pace required after 90 minutes. Fencing was a gentler activity and the children enjoyed duelling with foils while wearing all the protective clothing, including the masks. We think we have some potential Olympic champions among us.
Dinner, being either chicken nuggets and chips or pasta, was well received and it is nice to see how many children are taking large portions of fruit and salad to eat without being prompted by adults. This evening the children are all singing round a campfire and as they are all quite tired, we anticipate another peaceful night (fingers crossed!).
Another peaceful night, again all the children were asleep by about 10.30pm. It was however, somewhat harder to wake them up this morning, although with some robust knocking on chalet doors, everyone managed to be up and ready in time for breakfast. Sausages and hash browns were on offer, with toast, cereal and porridge available to anyone who wanted it.
Activities for today were zip wire, orienteering, abseiling and archery. Zip wire proved very popular and the children enjoyed flying through the air on a wire in a range of poses. Everyone learned how to put on a safety harness and use ‘flip flops’ (not the footwear but a metal buckle) to attach themselves securely to the ropes. Teamwork was very much in evidence as encouragement was given to those who were slightly nervous about the heights involved. Map reading skills were developed during orienteering sessions and it was lovely to see the enthusiasm the children had as they raced around site. Again, this activity proved tiring and by the end of 90 minutes, many groups were walking instead of running (which bodes well for lights out tonight!).
Abseiling is always a challenge due to the nature of the activity, but the children rose to the occasion and everyone met (or surpassed) their personal targets. Some really surprised themselves, their pride very evident as they reached the ground. Again teamwork was evident as the children had to help each other get unhitched from the safety ropes. Archery was very popular with everyone and even the adults had a go; much to their embarrassment, some children managed a higher score than they did! Lots of bullseyes were scored and the children generally managed to remember to keep the arrows pointing down the range when loading the bows and not at their team mates!
Today’s evening activity is called ‘Passport to the World’ and the children are currently putting their orienteering skills to good use, rushing round the site trying to find flags and answer questions. We are looking forward to climbing and quad biking tomorrow, and then of course the ferry and coming home. Hopefully after all the exercise everyone has had today, we will all get a good night’s sleep.