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Year 6 Kingswood Residential - May 2022

Day 1

After an uneventful and relatively calm 2-hour journey we had arrived at Kingswood. After getting off of the coach we went to have our lunch on the back playing field which has a great view out on to the North Sea. We then a had a tour of the site, before heading up to our dormitories to unpack and make our beds - let's just say the less said about the bed making the better!  

Finally, it was time for the first round of 'main' activities, during this session the different groups were off doing Aeroball, Laser Tag, Nightline or Team Tech. Aeroball, which is best described as cross between trampolining and netball, was lots of fun although it was far trickier than was expected. During Laser Tag we played various games including: capture the flag, no-man's land and protect the president. Our evening activity was a team quiz; it's fair to say the result was a tad 'controversial' as the winning team scored more points from 'bonus' rounds (such as doing the best impression of an ostrich, on a skateboard, eating an omelette!) rather than actually answering the questions!

We have been very lucky with the weather today, so fingers crossed it continues tomorrow; tomorrow will include our first activities up the 10-metre climbing tower!! 

Day 2 

Considering it was our first night, everyone settled down to sleep reasonably quickly last night, however the less said about the 5:30 wake up this morning the better! After having breakfast and filling our free-time (which felt rather long due to the very early wake-up), it was finally time to begin our first full day of activities.

Today's timetable saw each group take part in orienteering and 'bottle rockets' at some point during the day. Bottle rockets involved working in teams to build a protective case for a water balloon that was then attached to a rocket and launched into the air; any water balloons that survived was then able to be thrown at Matt (our group leader). The success rate was pretty incredible; although I think it's fair to say Matt was less impressed as he ended up getting rather wet throughout the day!

I think orienteering showed that we are probably lucky to now have sat navs and GPS as the map reading skills were what would be best described as variable!!

Throughout the day the groups also completed some of the activities from day one which included Aeroball, Laser Tag and Nightline. Nightline has proven particularly popular, it is probably best summed up as being an obstacle course which is completed blinded folded and is best navigated by working as a team. 

Today also saw some of the groups tackle their first aerial adventure (either climbing abseiling or the leap of faith).  Tomorrow we will be spending the majority of the day on these aerial activities so we will talk more about these in tomorrow's post, however already the children have shown some fantastic courage in overcoming their fears and apprehension.

Our evening activity was due to be a campfire but due to some less than ideal weather this was changed to 'mini Olympics', this included a wide range of games and activities however the highlight was definitely Quidditch! We are hoping for better weather tomorrow evening so we can enjoy hot chocolate and marshmallows around the campfire then. 

Day 3

After a much better night's sleep, today began at a much more reasonable hour with everyone feeling refreshed and ready for another day of fun. 

Today's timetabling saw all the groups complete a number of aerial activities which included abseiling, climbing and leap of faith. All these activities took place at the 10-metre climbing tower which meant different groups were able to support each other as they completed these aerial challenges. All these activities challenged us (children and adults) hugely throughout the day; this comment about abseiling sums up the challenges perfectly, "Well, it isn't exactly normal to walk off a 10-metre tower and then walk down a wall, is it?". 

Despite the challenges, fears and feelings of apprehension, the way in which everyone set themselves their own targets and overcame their individual fears was truly incredible. To see children who are petrified of heights, climb a wall (climbing), make their way up a rather wobbly pole (leap of faith) or step over the edge of a tower (abseiling) is remarkable. The experience and feeling of tackling a fear head on and the elation felt afterwards is something which will stay with them forever.

As well as aerial challenges, each group also completed the side-by-side driving activity; this involved driving an off-road buggy around a gravel circuit. The biggest challenge of this activity was the fact that everyone was in pairs and took turns being both the passenger and the driver. It is fair to say that some of the driving was best described as questionable and some of the passengers definitely had a less than relaxing experience!

Last night, we had the perfect weather for our campfire. Everyone definitely enjoyed the campfire which included hot chocolate, songs, riddles and an impromptu talent show! Fingers crossed the weather is slightly warmer tomorrow as we will all be spending the morning at the beach.


Day 4

Our final full day began by several of us having to be woken up in order to avoid us missing breakfast! In the free time we had between breakfast and our first activity, some of us decided to open the 'Fiveways Hair Salon' this resulted in many interesting hairstyles!

For our first activity of the day, we all headed off to West Runton beach. At the beach we were all off doing various different things, including: rock-pooling, football, frisbee, sandcastle building, archaeological excavations and beach art. It was fantastic to see everyone together just enjoying themselves and having fun. After almost 3 hours (which had whizzed by) we headed off back to camp for lunch. 

During the course of the afternoon, all of the groups had fire lighting; it is safe to say that everyone's Forest School skills came in very handy during this and resulted in everyone being able to successfully light and maintain their fire. Most of the groups also had an activity called 'Team Tech' during the afternoon, this is best described as being a giant mechano set. Everyone then had to work in teams as they competed against each other to make a series of increasingly complicated structures.  

Our final evening activity, was a murder mystery - with some of us being chosen to play the role of the suspects. These 'performances' were very dramatic with some very interesting accents being used!! After a thorough interviewing of each suspect, the detectives were...unsuccessful in identifying the murderer.

We still have a couple of activities to look forward to tomorrow morning before we make our way home after lunch.

Day 5

After a long yet thoroughly enjoyable week, we find ourselves back on the coach heading home. After breakfast, we had the challenging task of getting everyone to pack their bags - in some ways this always seems to be more challenging than the leap of faith.  

Following this each group completed their final two activities of the week, den building and problem solving. Problem solving involved us completing various problems and challenges as a team with the focus being on teamwork and communication. During den building we once again put our Forest School skills to use in building the best woodland shelters. We then had a picnic lunch before starting our journey home. 

We have had a truly fantastic week and have created lasting memories. Everyone has taken on new challenges and achieved their individual goals and targets - they should all be rightly proud of themselves.  

Now just to get through the last part of the coach journey before we can all enjoy some rest, peace and quiet... 

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