After some truly horrendous weather, Friday 21st June dawned bright and clear for our Year 3 Activity Day and Sleepover. Since the introduction of this activity last year, the School Forest area has developed further and the children were able to make use of the newly erected outdoor hexagonal classroom, kindly sponsored by The Friends.

After arriving at the Houses in the morning, stowing their overnight gear and heading down to the Forest, the Year 3 children were given a safety briefing and an outline of the day. The focus of the whole day was teamwork and cooperation.

The first activity was to design a tribe (class) flag and erect it beside their tribal wigwam adjacent to the outdoor classroom.

There were five main activities planned over the course of the day –

  • The night rope walk and rope swing. This entailed the class being blindfolded and walking through the forest area following a guide rope. The leader relayed instructions back down the line. This was to encourage cooperation.
  • A bridge building activity where the entire class had to cross a series of ten milk crates using only 3 planks of wood. Again cooperation and communication skills were tested.
  • Forest craft activities took place in the outdoor classroom. Bunting, peg people, friendship bands and tribe wigwam decoration were all undertaken.
  • An assault course was completed by each class. Pairs of children undertook the course and worked together to complete simple challenges along the way.
  • Fire lighting was demonstrated and practiced. The children all learned how to use a flint and steel to set light to a cotton wool ball. Those that managed this challenge were set the task of keeping a small fire going for ten minutes.
  • Other challenges included moving a bucket of ‘toxic waste’ only using ropes. More cooperation and communication needed.
  • The helium stick challenge, where a long bamboo cane is placed across each child’s index finger. The challenge is to place the stick on the ground as quickly as possible. It is harder than it sounds!
  • Tin-can alley was a simple but satisfying task involving throwing bean bags at a stack of tin cans to score class points.

At 4 pm we all moved to the front field for a wide game. This was the water challenge. Nine water buckets were placed around the front field. The children had to run to a bucket and return with water to fill a fish tank with food colouring. They were only allowed to use bottle tops for the water!

Our catering team did us proud with a barbeque at 6 pm and the children then went to the Houses to set up their sleeping gear, whilst the outdoor film show and campfire was being set up.

At 7.30 pm the film began. Inside Out was a hit with the children and following a bedtime story the children retired to bed around 9 pm.

Some sleep was had, and Saturday morning found the children tidying away their gear before heading to the dining room for a well-deserved cooked breakfast.

A great day all round and the children will have learned much about themselves; how to build resilience and be an active member of a team whilst having a great deal of fun.

A massive thank you goes to the Year 3 Class Teachers, Mrs Collins, Mrs Powell, Mrs Kearney, Mr Dolan, Mr Newman and Miss Akehurst for their support.

Mr Isherwood and Mrs Walker