It was misty and cool as the final full day of activities started for Year 6, but by afternoon the sun had reappeared
After today, everyone will have taken part in the following: canoeing or kayaking, bouldering on the climbing wall, climbing the Old Man of Coniston, ghyll scrambling, Blast Off and other on site activities such as orienteering and mapping skills.
Following tea this evening, pupils had time to fill in their Thurston log books, and staff members also spoke to them about their experiences here. Filling in a group questionnaire on their behalf, it has been interesting to hear many say that they've learned to face their fears, or that they were proud of having climbed a mountain. Others mentioned confidence and building trust with team mates as the skills that they have gained in the last few days. Surprisingly no one mentioned learning how to make a bed...
Our instructor, Richard, organised a fantastic game of cops and robbers for the evening's activity. This was played out on the field in front of the education centre. Playing the game (basically tag in the dark in a space the size of a football pitch) was brilliant entertainment and both staff and pupils had a great time hiding, searching and trying to free their team from a den.
Next up was our nightly visit to the barn where souvenirs were bought, pool was played and the tuck-shop was emptied! Miss Burn captured much of the fun with her camera as you can see in today's pictures.
Tomorrow morning begins with stripping beds and a final room inspection, before we tidy equipment, try to match children to the jumpers and t-shirts in the drying room, and finally pack our bags.
Hopefully we'll all be ready and on-time for the bus leaving at 11am.
All parents and guardians will be glad to know that today Year6 really showed they were getting the hang of their domestic duties (It’s not all fun and games here!). Sitting in tables of around 10, at each meal a different pupil takes their turn to be ‘server’. This involves collecting dishes after each course, scraping away any leftovers and making sure that the table is clean and tidy. Despite a few spillages, everyone is getting stuck in to these jobs and is helping to make sure that meal-time is quick and hassle free.
Duties also have to be carried out after breakfast; this can be anything from setting the table for the next meal, to sweeping the floor of the mini-buses. Every pupil has a role and completing these well means more time in the barn at the end of a hard day to play pool, have a bit of a dance or sit and relax.
Staff and pupils from both schools have been mixed up in four teams: Langdale, Yewdale, Eskdale and Grizedale. Each morning, after breakfast we have team meetings where we discuss the day ahead; for instance where we are going, how we’ll get there and most importantly, how many pairs of socks we have to wear… . things like that become very important at Thurston.
Many of the activities we carry out need to be done so with care and attention and the staff here have been great at making sure we have all remained safe, while having great fun at the same time. Who would have thought we’d be playing ‘head, shoulders, knees and jump’ while standing in a canoe on the lake or making our way out of a cave, in the pitch dark, by feeling our way along the walls.
The selection of photos from today show that everyone in each group is having fun, making new friends and learning new skills.
Year 6 have had a fantastic day on Tuesday. The sun was shining brightly as mini-buses left for the foot of the Old Man of Coniston, to a great spot for ghyll climbing while others stayed behind to canoe on Coniston water.
The two groups on the Old Man set off in different directions. The climbers had to stop quite early to apply sun cream as it was extremely sunny and warm. Andy, one of the instructors, informed us all that this was the best weather so far this year. The steep climb was enjoyed by all (eventually), especially a visit to a slate mine half way up.
At the summit, both groups met briefly and after photos and chocolate, they set off on the descent which involved crossing over snow and bog jumping trials.
On Coniston Water children had great fun learning how to manoeuvre their canoes and investigating the banks of the lake. Following this they spent time taking part in Blast Off in the tree tops, on the climbing wall and planting trees around Thurston
Grizedale group drove 20 minutes from the centre dressed in their wetsuits, waterproof trousers and coats, lifejackes and plastic dungarees. Safety helmets were added before they attempted to climb, scramble and pull themselves up a rocky waterfall. Everyone loved the challenge and only wished it was deeper!
After eating tea, carrying out duties and filling in workbooks, the children were really looking forward to the evening activity- Hide and Seek in the dark! They had great fun working in teams taking a turn each to search for the rest of the children. In the final round the staff took charge of looking for the pupils who were hiding in some quite ingenious places!
Tomorrow it all begins again….