Stay up to date with this year's residential visit to Kilvrough Manor, South Wales. We will be writing a daily blog throughout the week, sharing our adventures with you as the children experience lots of different challenges at Kilvrough Outdoor Education Centre. Keep checking back during the week!
Monday - Welcome to our Kilvrough Blog!
We have had an excitement filled first day! It felt like a long coach journey, though it was made more fun thanks to the luxury coach and games of spot the Eddie Stobbart lorries, which kept the children entertained. The next game was guess what time we will arrive- which Poppy and Abdur-rehman won by predicting our arrival time to the very second!
After that, everyone lugged their heavy bags up the stairs and began getting their rooms sorted, (there was some very impressive bed making!) before a delicious lunch of home-made tomato soup and bread.
Then it was time to meet our instructors and talk about the plans and the aims for the week, before getting prepared for our first activity – teambuilding activities in the centre’s grounds.
Group A and C both started on the ropes course, which required children to persevere even when they found it hard, and support and help each other to succeed. Everyone had to work together to get through the different challenges, and already, some children really stood out as impressive leaders, and supportive team members.
In Group A, James was an absolute star, not only succeeding confidently in each activity, but also helping other people in his group and finding good ways to explain to them how to do it. Elisha also stood out, as even though she was apprehensive to start with, she persevered and ended up being one of the most confident in the group, pulling herself along upside down and taking the high rope ladder in her stride! Nabila spent most of the day giggling, but kept a smile on everyone’s face, even when they were feeling nervy on some of the equipment. According to her, “It was so much fun and basically it was all about persevering and encouraging each other!”
Group C also tackled the ropes course to start with. They also had to work together and overcome problems to get through to the end of the course. Luka was a very confident member of the group and was able to guide others through the course when they found it more of a challenge. Jennifer also impressed Miss Morris and Mr Green, by trying every obstacle with a big smile on her face, and succeeding in every single one! Kayenaat really enjoyed the day too and learnt how important it is to persevere, even when it can be tricky to start with. She said, “It was pretty cool for our first day. We did our first activity which was all about team work and perseverance.”
Group B tried some different obstacles in the grounds. Firstly, they were given a challenge by their instructor Sam, which was to get every child over a high branch of a tree by safely lifting each other over and working together. Everyone made it over and there were lots of words of encouragement from the children, particularly Levi, who kept reminding people not to give up and to keep on going! As well as Levi, Anjolene and Lily-May really impressed Mr Martin and Miss Phillips by showing their leadership skills, giving clear instructions and supporting the whole team to succeed. According to Lila, it was really good – amazing for our first day! We worked so well as a team!”
Dinner was a delicious meal of sausages and mash, which everyone really enjoyed after working up such an appetite! Now, the children are all outside in the dark with torches, taking part in a scavenger hunt to find different parts of the building and answer questions about the grounds. Hopefully all the running around will tire them out so that everyone sleeps well this evening!
Tuesday- Climbing, Canoeing and a Campfire!
We’ve had a fantastic day which started well – everyone (adults and children) slept well – incredibly, some children had to be woken up at 7.30am because they were still sleeping!
After a tasty breakfast, we divided into our activity groups and began organising ourselves for an exciting day of canoeing and climbing.
Group A and B both went to different coastal locations to do climbing and abseiling from the cliffs. Both groups started the morning with a fun scramble over the rocks near the beach where the children had to work well together as a team to make decisions and include everyone. One of the favourite phrases from group A was ‘safety first!’
After lunch (the children each had a large roll with the filling they had chosen beforehand, a lovely cake, fruit and crisps), the children were then given the challenge of abseiling down the cliff. They were told how to do this and each group member really had to challenge themselves; it’s not easy and many had to overcome their fear of heights. After this, they had the chance to climb back up and children had to learn how to belay for each other (hold the rope at the bottom in a special way so that the children could climb up and down safely).
In Group A, Kade was very supportive and encouraging of other team members. Zainab really challenged herself and conquered her fears even though at first she was very scared. Ollie also pushed himself even though he was nervous.
In Group B, Kiam was determined to succeed and even volunteered to abseil down the cliff face first: he was very brave! Sharnell persevered and climbed up the cliff face despite feeling very anxious.
Overall, there was lots of positivity and children were encouraging and supportive of others who were finding it difficult.
Group C had the chance to go canoeing down the canal today. After learning how to manoeuvre the canoes, they played some games on the water (trying to face North, South, East and West in their boats) before having lunch. After lunch, they set off on the canoeing trek with Year 5s and 6s paired up in each canoe and working well as a team to paddle in the right direction. Mollie demonstrated excellent listening skills and worked well in a team with Luka. Micheala and Nicole really got the hang of canoeing by the end and had to be told to slow down because they were paddling too far ahead! Afterwards, the children all had the choice of jumping into the freezing water. Incredibly, eight of them accepted the challenge (maybe a couple of them regretted it afterwards – especially Kayenaat who temporarily lost both her wellies!)
Unfortunately, we can't access the photos from Group C today, but to keep you going, here is one of them working well as a team yesterday! Tomorrow, we will try and add some of their canoeing adventures.
Dinner was a tasty vegetable or chicken curry which was well received, followed by a huge serving of trifle. Yum! The children are now about to have a campfire where they will enjoy drinking hot chocolate and huddling up to stay warm. We will all definitely sleep well tonight – lots of fresh air has worn everyone out.
Wednesday - Canoes, Caves and a big climb!
Another very exciting day at Kilvrough! Today, I have Nathan, Declan and Riley helping me write the blog so you can hear all about what every group has been doing.
Everyone slept so well, that they didn’t wake up until 7:30 when Mr Green, Miss Barton and Miss Phillips went to open the curtains! Then, we had a lovely breakfast with Croissants, before Mr Martin did the room inspections! All rooms did very well and particularly impressed Mr Martin by lining their shoes up neatly, folding their clothes tidily, and being organised for the day ahead!
Over to Riley: Group A went canoeing today and we were very trustworthy and helpful, even though it was a bit hard at times! Everyone got into partners and tried their best to keep up and paddle in a straight line! We played lots of games and had the time of our lives! At the end, almost everyone was brave enough to run along an upturned canoe and jump into the freezing water! It was fantastic, but there were some very cold children on the way home! Hafiza was a confident canoeist, and though she spent quite a while banging into the edges of the canal to begin with, by the end she was speeding along confidently and was one of the first to jump in! Ethan was quietly determined throughout the whole day and was very confident, brave and encouraging. He also jumped in and managed not to complain about the cold at all!
Nathan and Declan’s turn: We went caving today in group B. Everyone was very encouraging, brave and confident today. We all led the group down narrow, dark tunnels, and all had to be at the back at one point or another. Lila was quite nervous but really persevered and impressed Miss Phillips with her determination! Declan was confident and really enjoyed going through the letterbox particularly. Nathan went through the toilet (!) and spent lots of the day encouraging people to keep going when they were nervous or scared.
Group C went scrambling and climbing by the coast today. Everyone worked really hard and challenged themselves and everyone reached the very top of one of their climbs which was not easy! Abdur-Rehman chose the hardest routes to climb and was very confident and quick ascending the cliff. He also really persevered absailing, as even though he found it hard at the start he got much much better quickly. Gzim impressed all the adults by flying up the cliff face, not only confidently, but blindfolded too! Lewis said "I've learnt that rock climbing is so fun" and Miss Morris was really impressed by his perseverance and confidence! Jennifer was extremely confident, encouraging others and even going up to help one of her team mates when they got stuck. Luka said, "I could do this forever - it's brilliant!"
Thursday - Wow! It’s certainly been a busy day.
We’ve been incredibly fortunate with the weather so far this week and today it’s been sunny with some clouds today, but not a spot of rain!
After another settled night, the children were all woken up ready for breakfast. The duty teams throughout the week have done a fantastic job of setting up for breakfast and dinner and have served everyone well.
Breakfast was followed by another successful bedroom inspection – lots of bedrooms were absolutely spotless and really impressed Mr Martin who was assessing them with his clipboard!
Today Groups A and C went caving. They travelled for around an hour to get to the caving location, ate their lunches and got ready to enter the caves. Everyone had to put on a caving suit, helmet, head torch and wellies so they were fully prepared. As part of going into the caves, the children learnt about rocks and geology, stalactites and stalagmites and some even had the chance to put on a mud face mask! The children took it in turns to lead the group through different parts of the cave; some very small narrow gaps (like the ‘letterbox’ which you have to be posted through) and some drops you have to lower yourself through (like the notorious ‘toilet’ tunnel with water at the bottom!) Miss O’Connell was the only person to fall over in the cave – she went flying right at the start and is a little bruised now, but she is ok!
In Group C, Rania really shone – she helped Miss Morris and Miss O’Connell put on their knee pads and was also at the back of the group making sure everyone was ok and encouraging her team mates to get to the end. She was able to do all of the challenges, even the ones she couldn’t manage last year. Jennifer and Michaela kept everyone entertained whilst on the bus and Lewis was a fantastic team leader who went back to help people who were stuck. Luka really conquered his fear of small spaces and completed every challenge successfully. Matty has really challenged himself despite feeling unsure of the tasks this week; and succeeded.
In Group A, there were some worried faces at the start, but thanks to some great encouragement and support, everyone persevered and conquered their fears. Kiera felt nervous at the start, especially when crawling over “Dead Man’s Ledge” but thanks to the brilliant support from her team and her own determination, she kept going and succeeded brilliantly. Riley stood out as an excellent leader. His confidence and calmness caving helped the others to feel brave, and he spent much of the time either leading the others through narrow, dark tunnels or supporting those further back who were finding it tricky.
Group B went canoeing today. It was a beautiful day for spending some time on the canal, even though it was windy so the canoes were blown around a little! The children spent some time practising their skills in canoeing and manoeuvring the boats then had the chance to paddle for around 45 minutes; it was hard work but very satisfying. The children got on really well with each other and worked as a team. Aymen supported his canoe partner Poppy and they communicated well together about what they needed to do. Lots of the children were brave enough to jump into the canal at the end of the day; it was freezing cold but worth it for the feeling of achievement! Levi worked well with Miss Phillips and together they managed to win at least two of the races!
After another tasty dinner (most children had meatballs and pasta or vegetable pasta), the children have packed up their bags ready for tomorrow, bought some gifts from the shop and been outside to look at the stars and spot satellites. Then we all gathered together to think about the brilliant adventures everyone has had this week, with a cup of hot chocolate. The children are now tucked up in bed, ready for the final day of fun tomorrow.