Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Residential Trip to Brighouse

Last week, we had the opportunity to take half of the year group on an overnight residential visit to a remote location near Atherstone, Tamworth. It is an excellent location as we were about half a mile away from Legion Wood, a place where we could go, play with our friends and enjoy each others company without bumping into anybody else. Brighouse itself is filled with all the necessities needed to facilitate a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

When we arrived at Brighouse, the children had to choose, then make, their beds. This in itself was a challenge as fitting sheets inside the sleeping bag was a new task for some of them. We encouraged independence from adults and teamwork throughout the trip and this was the first opportunity to do so.

Once we were settled, sorted out beds and had eaten our lunch, it was time to go for a walk through Legion Wood. This presented many challenges for the children as they were given the freedom to explore different directions (so long as they stayed as one group). Some of their directions led us through deep, soggy mud, leading to quite a few squeals and a couple of shoes coming right off. Overall, the journey to the centre of the wood was very enjoyable.

After we made it to the middle of the woor, we could start with our team building games. We started with a scavenger hunt where the children had to work in teams to find some of the most interesting things that they could. Then we set out a course for the children to navigate in pairs. Only issue being one partner was blindfolded and the other could only guide them with their mouths. This promoted teamwork and communication skills, as well as being really amusing for those watching.   

When we had finished playing we made our way back to our home for the night. The children cleaned themselves up and were given free time to play with each other. One of the joys of this residential is the absence of electronic equipment the children are so used to having. This causes them to make their own games up and encourages them to play with each other. The children also went around the site, finding all of the points on the orienteering map.

For dinner, the children had to cut up and add toppings to a pizza. This was joined with chips and beans once cooked (the adults handled all of the hot equipment).

After we had had dinner and pudding, it was time for our night walk. The children wrapped up warm, grabbed their torches and set off into the night. Once more, we went for a walk around Legion Wood, although, this time, were led around. It was a new experience for many of the children as they are unlikely to have experienced darkness like it before. The children were very brave and none were particularly worried about the darkness.

Back at Brighouse, we cleaned ourselves up, had a hot chocolate and settled into bed for the night ready for more walking the next day.

The next morning after breakfast, we got dressed up in warm clothes ready for a walk across a muddy field to Merevale Abbey. We had a look around the graveyard of the Abbey, answering quiz questions to find information about who was buried there. Again, the children had to work in groups giving the children some independence away from the adults. We finished off our activities with a look at some ruins of an old castle which were very interesting.

We made our way back to Brighouse where the clean up operation commenced. We packed up our beds, our suitcases and tidied the dormitories until they were spotless. We had our lunch and tidied up the shared area so that it looked like we were never there. Finally, we packed ourselves into the mini buses and waved goodbye to a brilliant couple of days as we were on our way back to school.

We are very proud of all of the children who came on the residential. They worked well in teams, developed independence, showed resilience and had a fantastic time. We hope they learnt skills that they can use throughout their days while enjoying themselves.


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