It was great on Wednesday, that we were able to mark the end of an era for Year 6, Mrs Eacopo and myself with the children that are currently in school sitting in rows on the playground. The five Year 6 children (currently in school) shared some of their memories of their time at the school and received their prayer book from Revd Sue (other Year 6 children, we will make sure your books make it to you soon). Next, we said our goodbyes to Mrs Eacopo, who has been the teacher of Owl Class as well as our Special Needs co-ordinator since she joined us in 2016 – it has been a pleasure to work with her and thank her very much for all her hard work to support the work of the school. We wish her well for her new role. There was then a presentation by Mrs Eade, Revd Sue and Mrs Gauden (on behalf of the governors) to wish me on my way – which was very moving and wonderful to hear. As part of this I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the amazing collection – I am so very grateful and wish I could thank everyone individually for their generosity. There are some photos included on this newsletter of the event and some more on the website.
As you know I have been the Headteacher of the school for nearly ten years, it has been my pleasure to lead the school through the ups and downs during that time and see the amazing children come through the school, watching them grow in confidence as well as their fantastic achievements. I fully believe in an inclusive school and I hope we have maintained that over the years and that it continues to do so. A few important thanks yous –
· To all the governors that have supported to me over the time, their role can be challenging and we have been lucky to have individuals that are willing to work for the success of the school.
· To the staff, I am extremely lucky to work with some very dedicated people and who are willing to go with my ideas and have worked so hard over this unusual time to keep the school running for key worker children as well as setting work for home learning.
· To all the parents, I have enjoyed getting to know the families that have come through the school and the varied discussions we have had. I know you will all continue to support Mrs Staples as she starts in September. Also a special mention for the home-schooling work that you have completed – I am impressed in the work that you have all completed, whilst working yourselves.
· Last, but by no means least are the wonderful children that I have had the pleasure to spend time with. I have been lucky to be able to teach them all at some point each year, head off to Woodlands, which allows me to see a different side of their personality, attend musical
concerts and simply share a joke on the playground. They are all brilliant in different ways and I know they will all go on to achieve their potential in years to come.
Today saw two groups caving and one group canoeing. Everyone had to dig deep today as people were tired and the weather much colder. In spite of this the children worked hard to have another great day. The group canoeing had not only the wind to contend with but two hailstorms to canoe in, things were challenging – however the children kept smiling and never gave up – they were just a bit cold and wet at times! Luckily there is always warm drinks and lots of flapjack to help with that and a hot shower back at the centre. The two groups caving both went to Porth Yr Ogof caves where they all had a great day seeing lots of fossils and bats in the cave. During the day they all went through the letterbox as well as lots of other twists, turns and gaps to squash and squeeze through – great support for each other throughout the day meant that they all helped each other to achieve their goals. Getting in and out the caves was wet, for most above their wellies but back at centre saw everyone warm and dry.
Tomorrow we will all be going walking for the day before starting our journey home. We hope that you all have your washing machines at the ready for when we get back tomorrow as it’s going to be busy!! The children will have so much to tell you just before they fall asleep.
See you tomorrow evening – I will text when we leave the centre and then when we get to St Blaise – which is about a 30 minute journey.
After another good night’s sleep – it was another very windy day which saw the children beating their fears on the high ropes course and down in the caves. Two groups spent the day tackling the high ropes course where the children really stepped up to the responsibility of supporting each other as they tackled obstacles between the trees. We were so impressed with the way the children encouraged and helped each other to all achieve and surpass the personal goals they had set themselves. Great fun was had on the zip wire as we launched out of the tree and on the climbing wall so many of them reached the top and rang the bell!
One group spent the day in the caves squashing themselves through a variety of different shaped tunnels. The children were amazing in their resilience and worked superbly as a team helping each other throughout the day. We saw that the first person to enter the cave was in 1723 as it was chalked on the entrance to the cave and they were fascinated by the falconer who was training her hawk before they entered the caves.
We returned in the evening to a delicious roast dinner after which we spent the evening outside orienteering and now everyone is tucked up in bed asleep ready for another day of adventures. Hope you are all ready for a lot of very muddy washing coming your way!
Canoeing and caving tomorrow
Woodlands Day 2
Another fantastic day (especially with the sunny sky) where everyone faced many fears, pushed themselves to achieve and showed a greater level of resilience. We started with a hearty breakfast of cereal, toast and scrambled egg. Two of the groups were canoeing on the canal, it was made more challenging by the fact that it was VERY windy, quite often we would paddle round a corner only to be blown straight back where we had come from. As well as all developing our skills in the canoe we got much better at communicating with our partner within the boat in order to make sure that we didn’t keep crashing into the bank. Both groups showed great teamwork in getting the canoes to and from the canal – we were all extremely impressed and proud of them.
The third group spent the day tackling the climbing wall, high ropes course and zip wire. It was definitely challenging and was great to see how they rose to this and supported and encouraged each other.
After a full day of activities everyone was glad to return to the centre and have a hot shower and change into warm dry clothes and tuck into dinner (sausage and mash). Our evening activity was a photo orienteering course in the dark – great fun had by all; some obviously got far muddier than others! A few games of Uno and twister and then it was time for bed – everyone was quick to snuggle in their duvets and go to sleep.
For one group tomorrow we have the first caving experience (think of me!), whilst the other two head up the climbing wall.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
After the slow start that we had this morning, we have had a fantastic first day – we arrived about lunch time and after enjoying some delicious homemade pizza and flapjack we got to explore the site and find our bedrooms. The first challenge of the day was to make our beds – some of us were more successful at this than others but great teamwork as everyone helped each other even with a little help from Mr Leigh for some of the boys! We then got kitted out with the much needed waterproofs, boots and fleeces and started our activities.
We all took part in outdoor business, this involved us tackling a series of challenges which tested our teamwork, listening skills and resilience. Everyone worked hard together and it was great to see their skills develop – particularly their listening skills!
Dinner was welcome and enjoyed by all after which we kitted out and went for a very wet, extremely muddy night hike. The mud part was the highlight for some who ended up having to be hosed down when we got back!
All now tucked up in bed ready for our adventures tomorrow.
Canoeing for some groups and high ropes for the others are are the order of the day for tomorrow. Looking forward to it.