KINGSWOOD RESIDENTIAL 2023
Twenty seven extremely excited and enthusiastic Year 4’s boarded the coach to set out on our residential adventure. Mrs Pine asked us to remember the school values, and the adults (Mrs Waite, Miss Brown, Mrs Purcell and Mrs Carter) were so proud to hear the children reply in unison ‘Respect, Responsibility and Working Together’.
After a relatively uneventful journey we arrived at 1:30pm in brilliant sunshine, unloaded our bags from the coach and sat on the diner veranda to enjoy our lunch. The children were then ‘dormed’ - shown where they are sleeping - and then proceeded to attempt to make their own beds….They seemed to be buried in duvets, pillows, pillowcases and sheets but with varying levels of success and bucketful’s of ‘Focussing Flick’, 27 beds were magically made!
Our afternoon activities included bushfire lighting and shelter building. The children have been split into two groups for all activities although they will complete exactly the same challenges, it will be at different times and may be on different days depending on our schedule.
Group A - After a demonstration of how to light a fire and a recap of the three components needed for fire; oxygen, heat and fuel, group A went in search of tinder (dried pine needles) and kindling (small twigs and leaves). They had great fun scavenging in the grounds for suitable ingredients. Many grubby hands and clothes later, the children were back at the bush fire camp having a go at building their own fires and using flint and steel to produce a spark. Using ‘Persevering Penny’, the children all successfully made a spark. It was wonderful to see Amie, who was a little reluctant to begin with, become confident producing a spark. She was especially encouraged and supported by Georgia. In fact Elsa, Eadie, Georgia and Amie showed some great teamwork.
Group B - they had loads of fun den building. They learnt how to make a ‘lean-to’ and ‘A’ frame using a variety of different sized logs. They made their chosen structure using the huge logs found on the forest floor - using the moto ‘if it’s taller than you, you need two’! Each group showed fabulous ‘Teamwork Tamwar’ skills, especially group 2, consisting of Ginny, Leah, George and Maddy’. The den designs were very creative with one even including a hot tub and a vase of flowers! Maybe we have a future Zha Hadid in our midst.
As we finished our bush craft activities, the rumbles of thunder and flashes of sheet lightening dominated the skyline. This turned into a spectacular downpour which meant our walk to dinner was wet, wet, wet! We all enjoyed a BBQ with burgers, sausages, wedges, onion rings and salad with ice cream and brownies for dessert. This was washed down with a vintage blackcurrant squash or Norfolk’s finest H2O. Typical Brits barbecuing in the rain. Keep barbecuing and carry on!
As we write this the children are currently taking part in a scrap heap challenge. The rain has stopped and the sun has peeped through again. Class story time and hopefully bed and sleep at a reasonable hour will commence shortly!
After a very late night and a very early wake up (with not much sleep in between!) the children enjoyed a breakfast of bacon, sausages, hash browns, baked beans, toast and cereal.
Group A’s first activity was den building. Imaginations went wild and amazing and unique dens were created. TV’s, chandeliers, a watch tower and even two toilets (with leaves for toilet paper - they really did thinking everything!) were brought to life using only what was available in the forest.
Dylan, Freddie, Itai, Seth and Tomas had a slow start to their build, but with a little encouragement and an abundance of ‘Teamwork Tamwar’, they created the most incredible structure. Seth was in charge of soft furnishings, Freddie created a watch tower, Itai and Dylan made sure the structure was secure and Tomas dug a moat to offer the security from enemies!
We were so impressed with how the whole group worked in their smaller groups, using their imaginations and all of natures offerings, to produce some thought provoking structures.
Despite the ground being damp from yesterdays magnificent downpour, all three groups managed to ignite their fires using a flint and steel.
Using their Focussing Flick and Teamwork Tamwar, Group B encouraged each other especially Amelia G when Maddy was feeling unsure about trying the flint and steel.
Owen was the first to get his groups fire lit independently. Not only did they have to keep it lit, they had to keep it alive using the thee elements needed for a successful fire; heat, oxygen and fuel. Lucas showed a natural flair for ensuring the fire was well oxygenated and not suffocated with kindling and tinder.
A great start to our action packed day!
Onto archery for group A.
After an in-depth safety briefing from our instructor. The children were encouraging and patient whilst they each had their first go with a full size bow and arrow! Being told they were holding weapons made the boys eyes light up! They were very sensible though and showed us the school values of being responsible and respectful.
After getting to grips with how to hold the bow and their confidence growing, groups of 3 took it in turns to shoot the targets. Itai showed us how it was done by scoring a bullseye on his first go! Elsa was a little unsure to begin with, but soon proved to be a natural, hit the target nearly ever time and even asked for extra arrows at the end! Amelia R, Dylan, Lucy and Isabella revealed a great talent and achieved some great scores.
Lunch was a variety of pasta or a cheese sandwich with variety of salad and fruit.
After refuelling, Group B headed over to the rock climbing wall where they got harnessed and helmeted. After some initial nerves, everyone was able to exceed their height goals on the wall. George was reluctant to put on his harness, but soon became Spider-Man and achieved climbing to the top of the wall - higher than anyone else in the group! We were so proud to see them all supporting the whole group. Eliah was so engaged in holding the rope to help others safely climb and descend the wall.
Group A started the afternoon with the zip wire. We all got into our harnesses and helmets and waited patiently to go to the top of the tower and make our decent back down on the zip wire.
We were so impressed to see the children overcome their worries and fears whilst encouraging and cheering others. Tomas told us he had a fear of heights, but we would have never have known when he came zooming down with a huge grin on his face! After initial reluctance and using Reflective Ron, Freya conquered her fears and without looking back made her way down the wire. As soon as she’d come off she straight away wanted to go again!
After a quick snack Group B headed straight over to the archery hall where we learnt how to shoot like Robin Hood! Zoe was initially reluctant but managed to shoot like a pro and get all arrows on the target! Jacob, Emily, Lily and Eve used their Focussing Flick to improve with each shot.
Group A’s next activity was problem solving. Groans were heard when they thought they would be doing maths problems for the whole session. They couldn’t have been more surprised ! The group were presented with four different challenges - including a giant seesaw they had to all stand on and work out how to balance with all of them standing on it.The children were so focused and it was wonderful to see how the children learned to improve their communication, planning and focussing on each team members strengths as the puzzles progressed.
Our after dinner activity was a camp fire with hot chocolate. It was wonderful to see everyone joining in with the funny repeat after me songs and actions. It was great way to end a busy and action packed day.
The children are certainly a lot more tired tonight and we are hoping to get a little more sleep!