Last week we welcomed the Year 6 class from Holy Family Catholic Primary School Benfleet to Trewern. The school had not been to Trewern before but their Headteacher has been a regular visitor with schools he has worked at in the past. They were very excited when we met them in the car park as they arrived on their first day. After a quick trip in the minibuses up to the centre, they were soon settling into their bedrooms and unpacking.

After dinner on the first evening the whole group went out into the grounds of Trewern to do some orienteering. In the dark, this proved a new experience for the pupils, working together in small teams of three with a torch and a map. They quickly demonstrated that they had some good basic team work skills and these would prove to come in handy for the rest of their week.

The first full day of activities was a huge hit with pupils and staff. Group 1 worked hard to keep each other safe in our indoor climbing wall and learned some basic survival techniques during their bushcraft session. They were really good at helping each other and even encouraged other group members to step outside their comfort zone on the climbing wall. Group 2 went canoeing and although it was a new activity for everyone in the group some of the pupils took to it well and had really good technique. They had to work hard against the wind and pulled together as a team to help load the boats onto the trailer at the end of the day. Group 3 spent the morning doing some bushcraft and managed to light a fire even in the damp and rainy conditions. In the afternoon they all encouraged each other to climb to the top of the climbing wall and worked well together keeping everyone safe. The evening was spent doing a variety of team building and problem solving activities including cross the swap and gutter ball. The teachers particularly enjoyed these activities.

The second day saw an improvement in the weather and even a bit of sunshine. Group 1 went gorge walking and experienced some very cold waterfalls. Group 2 had a morning climbing and then the afternoon in the bushcraft area. Group 3 went canoeing for the day. All the groups worked to push themselves out of their comfort zone and there were some pupils who got really wet in the gorge walking and canoeing sessions. Group 2 all showed good perseverance to get the flint and steel to light small fires. The evening was spent visiting the tuck shop and enjoying playing in the grounds of Trewern.

The final day of activities and the pupils were challenged to maintain their concentration especially when listening to instructions. All groups rose to the challenge despite being tired as it was coming towards the end of the week. Group 1 spent the day canoeing and even got to jump in the canal at the end of the day. Group 2 and Group 3 both went gorge walking. They really enjoyed being in, under and sliding down the waterfalls. All groups had come along way in their teamwork and supported each other well. After a bit of packing the evening finished with some time on the low ropes course.

On Friday morning before heading home the pupils were looking forward to seeing their families but said they would have stayed longer if they could. Gorge walking and bushcraft seemed to have been many pupils favorite activities. The staff also had a brilliant week and commented that they had thoroughly enjoyed all the activities.

We hope to welcome The Holy Family Catholic Primary School back next year. Thank you to the staff and pupils for a great week.

Holy Family Catholic Primary School Benfleet’s First Visit