Last week the majority of Year 5 headed on the Train to Plymouth for a three day residential; not content with the one mode of transport we then headed across Plymouth Sound on a ferry. The Mount Batten Centre is a Water-sports centre based right on the water front. Here we spent the week orienteering, bell boating, giant SUPing, climbing and abseiling.
The children set off in their white water rafts on to the calm waters of Plymouth Sound where they had to work together in teams to paddle and steer around the buoys to race each other in a friendly race. They then had the opportunity to jump in, a real challenge for some but one in which the children accepted.
We had the opportunity to take advantage of the onsite climbing and bouldering wall. Again an activity that required strength, flexibility and teamwork as the children were responsible for ‘spotting’ and belaying their friends and class mates.
The bell boating was quite leisurely. That was until we payed a game where you had to drop your paddle between the two boats and crawl to the back to catch it before we paddled off without it!
It was on the abseiling and ladder that many children felt uncomfortable but many a fear was conquered. The still images of the ladder do not show how violently it wobbles as you try to climb it! The sheer nature of the ladder meant that every run the children climbed was a huge step in conquering the fear of heights some possess. The abseiling was not only fun and exciting but provided the opportunity to look over over the sound to Barbican and beyond. The abseiling was the firm fan favourite amongst the children.
The giant stand up paddle boards should be renamed to ‘ the giant sit on paddle boards’ as standing and balancing with 7 to 8 other people was neigh on impossible but boy did the children give it go! The paddle boards again required a huge amount of team work as well are core strength.
One evening we went for a wander and stumbled upon a small beach; here the children decided to perform a beach clean. This was particularly pleasing as in class we have been studying the topic of conservation and the dangers of plastic pollution. We found lots of different things which we disposed of safely as well as some shells and sea glass to bring home with us.
After the extensive work we have undertaken learning how to orienteer at school, this was a walk in/near the park. The children needed to use their map reading skills to find some clues. These clues were then work different amounts of ‘Mount Batten Money’ which the children exchanged for different materials to protect and safely bring an egg down to land from the balcony- here we had differing levels of success.
School residential are a wonderful way for the children to show a slightly different, more relaxed side to themselves. The provide a wonderful opportunity to spend a night or two away from family, some for the first time and try lots of different things they would maybe never have done before. Residentials are brilliant and this one was no different.