This week, our Year 2 classes visited Cliffe House in Shepley, West Yorkshire for their first school (one night) residential.
From the outset the children were kept busy, with activities such as bushcraft skills, where they made their own fires using a flint and steel. This was challenging, but of course, they then got to feast on delicious roasted marshmallows and reap the rewards of their hard work!
Year 2 soaked up the sun as they went pond-dipping, discovering the wonderful array of wildlife in our local ponds. Using magnifying glasses and a key of common British wildlife, they identified all the different animals they had caught in their net. Once they had finished making notes on what they had discovered, the children carefully poured their pond water tubs back into the pond so the animals could return to their natural habitat, ensuring a happy, balanced ecosystem.
Other activities included archery, scavenger hunts, and climbing the 15 metre climbing wall! It was an opportunity for the children to try activities they had never done before and really push themselves.
A highlight for the teachers was watching the children make their beds, and then remove their sheets at the end of their stay. It was a challenge for most, especially pulling the mattress cover to each corner of the bed – but it was a great learning experience, which we hope they remember and continue to do at home!
The aim of the residential was to help our children build confidence and self-esteem, by completing challenges and pushing themselves out of their comfort zone. Similarly, the group problem-solving activities helped to develop the children’s teamwork skills.
For most of our children this was their first experience of staying away from home, without their parents or a family member, hence it was a great opportunity to develop the children’s independence, as they leaned on the support of their friends and teachers if they felt unsettled or homesick.
At the end of their two day trip, as the children got on the bus to return to Wakefield, we stopped off at Yummy Yorkshire and enjoyed a scoop of ice-cream to celebrate the end of a great few days away.
Well done to Sebastian W, George, Joella, Lexi and Leo B for this recount of the trip:
‘On Monday morning we all gathered in the hall with our suitcases and bags. We were so EXCITED! It was the Year 2 residential to Cliffe House. We travelled by coach to Shepley, we all chatted to our friends and it felt like we got there in two minutes. When we arrived we met Matt and he showed us where to put our bags. It was a posh room.
On the front lawn we got into groups to play a frog game, balancing on a plank of wood and racing round finding pictures all around the grounds of Cliffe House. We had to work together as a team and communicate.
Our second activity was rock climbing. I was a bit scared of it but I tried, tried and tried and on my last climb I went really high.
The next activity was pond dipping and it was fun. I was careful not to fall in! We caught lots of tadpoles and a ramshorn snail, we were the only group to catch one. The best activity was archery. I nearly never missed the target and the arrow never hit the floor and I got a bullseye.
We went to our bedrooms to make our beds and unpack. I mastered how to put on the duvet cover and helped my friends. For dinner we had pasta and cake. It was very good. We watched Sing 2 and chilled together. Back in the rooms there was a lot of chatting and I did not get much sleep!
The next morning we were up early and downstairs to eat our breakfast at 8.00am. I did fire making which was really hard but when we eventually lit the fire we toasted marshmallows on it. We also made bread and dipped it in garlic butter. It was delicious.
On the way home we stopped off at Yummy Yorkshire and I had cookies and cream ice cream. It was so yummy! We got back to school really tired but we had all had a brilliant residential.’