An early start to Monday morning could only mean one thing for our pupils: it was finally time to head on our much anticipated Year 5 Residential to the Dorset Coast.

The coaches were abuzz with excitement as the children eagerly discussed what was in store for them over the next five days.

After a long coach journey, we finally arrived at the site: bathed in beautiful sunlight, the excitement only grew when groups, tents and activities were shared with the children. There was a warm welcome from all of the Cumulus staff, who discussed the routines of the camp.

The rest of the day consisted of games and activities for the children to familiarise themselves with the site. Just before the sun set, there was enough time for the children to journey into the forest to play a few games, hiding behind trees and under mossy branches.

Day two started much earlier than anticipated for some tents (at around 4:30am!) with the morning sunlight and excitement creeping into the tents.

A day full of beach and lake activities was in front of us, with the groups either heading off to complete beach safety and beach games, or completing kayaking and paddleboarding. The excitement and energy continued into the afternoon sun with the children thoroughly enjoying pushing their teachers into the lake (this became a running theme for the next few days…).

Day three was thankfully a bit dryer, but no less enjoyable. After a filling breakfast of bacon and pancakes, the children climbed tall poles and scaled great heights during their high ropes activities, before completing some tag archery and orienteering on another beautiful day at camp.

As the sun set on camp, the children again ventured into the forest for some night games. A game of prisoners was an enjoyable way to end the third day on camp, before the children settled down for a quieter night on camp.

Day four was the day the children were most looking forward to: a trip to the water park and taking part in a mud run. The coach journey to the park consisted of the children excitedly deciding which teacher they wanted to push into the lake. None of the children could quite imagine the scale of the water park: inflatable slides, bridges and even an air cushion greeted the children on their arrival.

The final night consisted of a more traditional evening at camp. With a campfire lit, camp songs were sung and hot chocolate was drunk before the children settled down for their final night on camp.

The trip home was much quieter as many children took the opportunity to catch a few winks before being greeted by many excited parents and enjoying home comforts over the weekend.

I don’t say the following lightly, but each child excelled when they were there. They took themselves out of their comfort zone, showed incredible perseverance and gained new life skills. They created life-long memories and were a true credit to not only the school, but to themselves.

A truly fantastic week.