In March 2018 a group of our intrepid Y5 and Y6 children headed off to Kilvrough Manor, in South Wales, for a week of outdoor and adventurous activities - along with Miss Barton, Miss Fellows and Mr Moore. Here's the blog of their week in Wales...
Today was a fantastic day of coastal exploration and caving!
After another good night’s sleep, the day began with a big breakfast of cereal, toast and bacon baps.
Today group A went caving with Sam and Mr Moore (who was heading underground for the second time this week!). They had a chilly picnic in the car park before donning our caving gear and descending to the entrance of the cave. Fortunately, it was much warmer underground and they were soon exploring the smaller passages. In “Mud Hall” the children turned off their caving lights and listened carefully to the sounds around them. It wasn’t quite pitch black as Aeron had a luminous pattern on his hoodie. Everyone managed “The Letterbox” and most managed to smile at the camera as they slithered through. The braver explorers, led by Charlie B and Arjun, then took on the ice-cold waters of “The Toilet” which involved crawling through knee-deep water and ascending through a pipe. After getting out of wet wellies and into dry spare clothes they all enjoyed a sweet hot chocolate before returning to the centre.
In 'Mud Hall' children turned off their caving lights and listened carefully to the sounds around them.
Group B and C spent the day walking along the coast and playing on the beach. They travelled to Bracelet Bay by minibus and began the long walk to Langland Bay. The views were beautiful, if not a little cloudy. When they reached the beach, the children enjoyed a delicious lunch looking out to sea. After this they had the chance to explore the area a little. Some children took the opportunity to play in the sea and try and jump some of the smaller waves. Tyrae, Summer and Jamie particularly enjoyed getting very, very wet while Niranjana, Rend and Erona collected some very heavy rocks to carry around for the rest of the day! Aidan and Joel had a great time clambering over some rocks and even discovered a few hidden caves. After this they took another short walk and spent some time creating some amazing beach art. Joel, Adam and Logan really impressed Miss Fellows, Jamie and Alex with their very detailed design. Before heading off again, they all enjoyed a warm hot chocolate and then began another walk along the sea front to Caswell. Maddie and Hannah gave themselves an extra challenge by carrying a very large branch along with them! To end their wonderful day some of the children enjoyed looking at some rock pools and learning about some of the creatures they found. They then returned back to the centre after a wonderful day exploring the coast.
Everyone enjoyed pizza, salad and wedges for dinner before embarking on the mammoth task of tidying the centre and packing all the bags. Souvenirs were purchased at the Tuck shop before the finished the final instalment of “The Princess Bride”, some children were very excited by the surprise ending. Tomorrow, group A will head out for a day at the coast, group B will end the week canoeing on the canal and group C will be challenging themselves with some rock climbing. All before jumping on the coach and heading back to Oxford.
Another great day today with all groups really challenging themselves and supporting each other.
It began with most children needing to be woken up after a good night’s sleep - for adults as well as children! We had a lovely breakfast of fresh croissants and then headed out on activities.
Today group C headed off to the caves. It was a beautiful journey with lots of animals to spot en route, and some excellent singing by Maddie, Thea, Charlie and Erona to entertain us! When we arrived, we ate lunch part one and got into our cave suits. Everyone had to help each other get sorted, and there was some great team work going on. We headed into the cave after that, and were led through each section by a different child. Thea took a leading role right away, encouraging and giving really clear advice which helped everyone succeed! Jayden was a very cool and confident caver, not letting anything phase him and taking on every challenge. Joel was superbly confident, leading the team in a race against the clock, speaking clearly and confidently and throwing himself into every challenge. Issy loved every minute – even going down the toilet twice and trying to slip down a third time! Erona became quietly confident throughout the day, often choosing to go last to check everyone was okay. She was very proud of herself at the end for going through every challenge with a smile!
A different child led us through each section of the caves
Group B went climbing on the Mumbles headland and watched the tide go out and reveal the causeway to the small islands. While Jamie the instructor set up the climbing equipment they explored the rockpools and had a picnic lunch on the beach. The group worked in teams of 4 to climb the cliff face with one climbing, one belaying and two others anchoring and feeding the rope. Great trust was developed as the children worked together. Marmalay gave a great demonstration to the rest of the group and soon the others were showing their skills. Rio was a speedy climber and Adam improved with each go. Even Mr Moore managed to reach the top! Everyone worked hard to overcome their fear of heights. While ropes were being taken down the group walked down the beach and enjoyed running away from the incoming waves. We finished the day by clambering around the headland and making our way back to the minibus.
We finished with hot chocolate, before heading back to the centre
Group A headed of the canal for a day of canoeing. They started off the day really well learning some of the key skills to help them move confidently on the water. Haider used his experience well to support others and was a great teacher. After a relaxing lunch break, they set off on a journey down the canal. There were lots of challenges to face along the way, with people having to be rescued from the bushes. Arjun was such a supportive partner for a number of different people and even took on the challenge of moving across the canoes to swap for a new partner. Raidas had a great day and really enjoyed learning the new skills and improving throughout the day as he gained more confidence. Morgan had a big challenge today as she had to be Miss Fellows’ canoe partner, she was a great partner and made sure that Miss Fellows was safe. Lots of children took on the challenge of jumping into the canal at the end of the day, despite the water being very cold, they really enjoyed it – Aaliyah definitely won the award for the best jump! After enjoying some delicious hot chocolate they headed back to the centre to warm up.
We then had a tasty dinner of chicken, mashed potato and vegetables, which everyone ate quickly after such a busy day! Then we headed out for some map reading and orienteering. Everyone really impressed our leader Jamie with their enthusiasm and skills and we spotted some excellent navigators – the quickest team was Maddie, Marmaley and Evie!
Photos to follow...
Another great day for all the teams at Kilvrough!
Everyone slept really well and we had some very early risers ready for the exciting day ahead! We had a delicious breakfast of cereal, fruit and then veggie or pork sausage baps, which filled us all with lots of energy for the day ahead.
Then was the first opportunity to impress Mr Moore during his room inspection! Caswell particularly impressed– Logan, Haider, Arjun and Joel are showing great tidiness and organisation skills, as well as treating Mr Moore to a song and rap scoring a perfect 10!
Then we all met together and checked out the weather forecast, helped by Izzy’s excellent weather reading skills, then gathered in our groups to find out about the day ahead. Everyone picked up their packed lunch and equipment and then got into their outdoor clothes.
Group A put on their climbing hats and carried some huge ropes to the bus, before heading to the coast for some climbing. It was a beautiful sunny day on the beach, though quite chilly, but everyone was kept very busy. They started off with the abseil challenge. Charlie B was exceptionally brave in his abseil, pushing himself to overcome his fears. Then they tackled some climbing. Kirsty was an expert from the start, volunteering to go first and showing everyone how it was done. Lidia also impressed everyone by reaching the top of the cliff – she was so fast, Miss Fellows blinked and missed her, and was amazed to see her at the top already!
Group B had a beautiful drive, through snow tipped hills, on the way to the caves
Group B headed to Porth yr Ogof caves in the Brecon Beacons. They had a beautiful drive through the snow tipped hills, and saw some amazing snow drifts. When they got there, they had an early picnic lunch, before getting into their caving onesies! They went through lots of challenges – squeezing through the letterbox, finding their way in the dark and finding out about how the cave was formed 330 million years ago! Evie really impressed everyone by not only braving the challenges, but leading the group through ‘mud hall’. She really stepped up to the challenge and went for it, which was fantastic to see. After getting covered in mud, everyone then washed their suits off by floating down an underground stream… definitely some shrieks as the water trickled down their backs and into their wellies! Everyone then had a chance to dry off and change, followed by some hot Ribena to warm them up. Aidan absolutely loved every minute of his caving adventure, throwing himself into all the challenges, and being amazed by everything he saw. Harry also loved squeezing through even the smallest spaces and made Mr Moore and Jamie very proud.
Group C had an amazing day canoeing. Everyone worked brilliantly well as a team, helping each other take all of the boats off the trailer, then working together to master the skills they needed for their journey down the canal. The journey began by crossing an aquaduct over the river (tricky as it was rather narrow!) and then they were immediately faced with another obstacle – a fallen tree which they had to paddle under. It took a few people a couple of run ups, but everyone got through eventually!
A few people took a couple of run ups, but everyone got through eventually!
Hannah was an absolute star canoeist! She was a natural at canoeing and took on every challenge. She even gave Miss Barton a chauffeur paddle down one stretch to give her a rest! We eventually reached a lock and learnt how these work, before heading back. Logan also really enjoyed the canoe paddle. He worked so hard to master the skills, even towards the end when his arms were getting very tired. At the end, when the children were asked what score they would give themselves and their day out of ten, Logan said ten for both! Dragos was another one to give himself a high score, though decided he’d give himself a 9 due to his decision to jump in at the end. He certainly enjoyed the jump in though, even if it was pretty cold and he was a fantastic canoeist throughout the journey.
When we got home, everyone showered and had some free time before a delicious dinner of pasta, sauce and garlic bread. Then we quickly got wrapped up warm again and headed out for a night walk. It was such an amazing evening, and the stars were shining brightly. Everyone was so sensible and enthusiastic as we walked up to the golf course and to a ruined castle on the hillside. The moon was so bright we could see down to the bay beneath, and even hear the waves breaking on the beach below. After some amusing torch light photos (as you might see on Twitter!) we headed back down to the centre. We were so impressed by how sensible everyone was and how supportive people were of each other. There were definitely some tired children by the time we got home, and everyone settled to bed and slept very quickly this evening!
Tomorrow will be another busy and exciting day – Group A are off canoeing, Group B are heading to the cliffs for some climbing, and Group C are braving the caves!
What a great start to our week! After a very long journey (it took 2 hours to even get out of Oxford!) we finally arrived at the manor at 1:45. Everyone was very excited to see the sun shining and everything around the centre looking beautiful.
We had a delicious lunch of freshly made bread and home made soup, then went to our rooms to unpack and make beds. We were very impressed by the bed making skills shown by the children- though the girls beat the boys!
We met our instructors: Sam, Jamie and Alex, who are all really nice and impressed at how positive the Wood Farm group are! Next we got our equipment for the week- waterproof jackets and trousers and our all-important wellies- and headed out for some team building and problem solving in the manor grounds.
Group C took the challenge of an obstacle course which involved boosting each other over a 3 metre high wall! Everyone worked together so well helping and encouraging each other. Charlie S and Maddie were excellent leaders, making a plan, explaining it clearly then supporting everyone to achieve it. Maisie also really impressed Ms Barton and instructor Alex by really challenging herself and overcoming her fears, despite being worried to start with. By the end she had the biggest smile of all! Tomorrow we are going to work on helping each other out even more, which will be even more important when we head to the canal canoeing tomorrow!
The week started with team-building activities in the grounds of the manor
Group B made an excellent start with their instructor Jamie. They did several cooperative team exercises and worked hard at supporting each other. Rend came up with an ingenious way to rearrange her team on a narrow pole and demonstrated it to the team! Tyrae kept everyone entertained by making jokes and showing off his dance skills and was a very positive member of the team. Marmalay was very enthusiastic and and came up with lots of great suggestions for her team. A great start for the team!
Tomorrow when they head off to the caves they are going to be working on listening to each other’s ideas and working as a team.
Group A had a great afternoon on the ropes course with instructor Sam. They worked really hard on supporting each other and working as a team, especially when people were feeling nervous. Summer really impressed Miss Fellows by taking on every challenge, and Aeron and Max showed great resilience, persevering and helping each other and were extremely proud of themselves when they completed the course!
We had a lovely dinner of rice and curry, which everyone enjoyed and ate lots of! The duty team did a great job serving everyone their food.
Now everyone is running around outside, wrapped up warm and shining their torches about while doing some orienteering around the site. So far, Tyrae, Rio, Arjun and Aidan’s team are in the lead, but it’s still a close race! Everyone is having lots of fun!
We will be heading inside in a while to get settled ready for a bedtime story and sleep! Hopefully everyone will sleep well!