Our year 5 and 6 children are staying at the Charterhouse Outdoor Activity Centre on the Mendips from Monday 26th September - Friday 30th September.
We will be posting a daily blog with photos covering all the exciting activities we are doing during the visit.
Please call back to this page to view our blog.
Hello, we are so excited about going to Charterhouse next week, just a few quick reminders before we go.
Please don't pack too much, your bag needs to be carried to and from the bus!
Remember to pack a black plastic bag for muddy clothes at the end of the week. Please don't bring any money, you might lose it!
We shall let school know as we are on the return journey, to give parents an approximate time of arrival back at school, it is likely to be between 2-3pm.
Any last minute questions, do come in and see me.
Well, that's about all for now, happy packing and see you on Monday morning, ready to go and don't forget teddy!
Day 1 MONDAY
Well it feels like hours since our great departure in the pouring rain, tears, cheers and and fond farewell and that was just the teachers!
We arrived to more rain but great excitement, much sock sorting in our rooms and our first activities, team building.
Skidding on the front lawn, we played lots of games that involved helping each other and listening which was quite challenging, gutterball, land skiis, aye aye captain and many more! Completely covered in mud, we are looking forward to pizza for tea and then a night walk in the dark. Hopefully we might even hear an owl or two!
Day 2 TUESDAY
After our first night in bunks, lots of chattering and excited children rose bright and early for our first full day. Lots of smiling faces were keen to get started on some new experiences. We separated in our groups, Mr Mitchell's Absolute Angels, Mrs Bayfield's Ballistic Bullets, Mrs Cooper's Cool Cats and Mrs Cook's Dangerous Dragon Slayers and set off for different exciting activities.
Gorge walking was very wet but challenging as we had to scale a waterfall and at least climb half a mile of stream. As you know, it's been raining quite a lot here so we definitely came home somewhat damp! The cavers had an amazing time and helped one another conquer the underworld and their fears! They returned to a hearty lunch and then some archery and pond dipping ensued. We were fascinated to find a toad, a newt, lots of beetles, snails and even a leech today! Some even braved trying the taste of nettles, wild apples, sorrel and even a sloe - "Which was disgusting!"
We had a VIP guest who joined our afternoon activities and proved an excellent archer. Mr Jones popped over to say a quick hello and loved seeing everyone having such a wonderful time.
Congratulations to our stars of the day for showing compassion and endurance whilst learning new skills - Tyler Jolly, Oliver Hancock, Michelle Lawrence and Bailey Mancini, all showed kindness and courage facing difficult challenges. Well done.
Can't wait for tomorrow!
Day 3 WEDNESDAY
We rose to glorious sunshine and ate a hearty breakfast of sausages and scrambled eggs. With a spring in our step, we headed out all together into the nature reserve for a spot of orienteering. Tom explained the key on the map, we found our first marker and we were off. In teams of 4, the children scrambled across country, through gorse and hedge, into swamp and mire and emerged an hour and half later with smiles and great achievements. Each team was given points of the most markers found and on our return, scores were tallied. The Meatball gang came first with 14 markers found in the time.
All the children rose to the challenge of navigating the whole area and used team work and resilience to keep going. Very proud moment.
After a quick lunch, we were back into our teams for the afternoon activities. Mr Mitchell's group went deep into the Mendips to slip their way through the caves, all emerged with a great sense of achievement even though there were a few doubters. Mrs Cooper's scaled the streams and turned into water- warriors, ascending the waterfalls and diving into pools. Wearing the highest fashion of mud packs and very stylish dry suits, they cut a dash on the hillside. Mrs Cook's team went pond dipping or dip ponding as it's now known. The fish weren't too impressed as some folks decided to have a short dip and wellies were brimming over. We now will be known as the children dippers! Mrs Bayfield's group went to roll in mud, in fact Charlotte decided it was so comfortable, she sat in it for a while. They stumbled through the forest blindfolded and only using their other senses to guide them. Sadly, some enjoyed the taste of mud as well! Onto shelter building,which was a great success, so much so Mrs B has tucked in for the night in her new 'home in the woods'. She's decided hooting owls are much quieter!
This evening our instructor Andrew is in charge of dodge ball and wide games on the front lawn, lots of chances to run around and get more muddy...YAY!
Stars of the day - Maddie Smith, overcoming her caving fears, Paris Robinson- superb team spirit and great attitude to all tasks, Dylan Sellick - for totally participating with catching newts, fish, snakes and all manner of creatures and excellent waddling in full wellies! Finally, Jake Swain for guiding his blind team through muddy swamps and constructing a fantastic shelter.
Looking forward to another great day tomorrow,only two sleeps left before the triumphant return!
Day 4 Thursday
Right, we’ll keep this short! Our last day of full activities has arrived and despite tiredness, we are still raring to go!
It was a quieter night despite the lashing rain and wind, so we awoke to lovely fresh mud for wallowing in! The gorge walkers had a fantastic time; the stream was full and gushing. Mary Berry wouldn’t be happy, lots of soggy bottoms!
Mrs Cooper had a fabulous time, squishing in the swampy woods. Tom (their instructor) told them that the Cool Cats had been the best night walkers he had listened to this year! Very Proud. Mr Mitchell loved caving so much, he was desperate to take another group so Mrs Bayfield kindly offered hers;) They were amazing even though there were a few wobbly moments whilst squeezing through some narrow gaps, luckily, all fitted through and returned with big smiles. Mrs Bayfield’s group had a go at archery and scored some fantastic scores on the targets. Lots of bullseyes and no killed sheep - so a fun time was had by all.
Tonight we have a talent show to enjoy and we’re really looking forward to some class acts. If that wasn’t enough, Mr M aka DJ Caveman has some moves to strut on the dance floor as we enjoy a farewell disco in the hall. It will be a rave in the cave to remember!
Today's Stars of the Day are India Davey for showing lots of empathy whilst gorge walking and helping others up the waterfall, Ben White for overcoming his fears at the entrance to the caves, Theo Chambers for generally being a great team-player and Charlotte Hooper for her terrific resilience, completing every task despite her cast, which isn't very pink any more!
Day 5 Friday
The final day, in fact the week has been so busy, it seems to have flown. All the children packed very efficiently and sleeping bags were rolled, squished and stuffed back into tubes, black stinky bags were dragged into the corridor. After a lovely, final breakfast, the children enjoyed one final bout of orienteering around the buildings, using their newly discovered map reading skills, they received their leaving certificates and the bus arrived on queue.
Waving us off, we reached civilisation once again, stopping for a scenic picnic lunch at Cheddar Gorge. The sun shone for our return and happily, we were greeted by a crowd of relieved looking parents. It has a been a great trip, the children showed great resilience and made some memories for life.
All that is left to be said is "Stand by your washing machines....we're home!"
A huge thanks to Mr Mitchell, Mrs Cooper and Mrs Cook who were absolutely brilliant at all times and without their help, non of this would have been possible.
Signing off - Mrs Bayfield
A special thanks also to Mrs Bayfield, who has worked tirelessly to organise this magnificent/special event for us. We appreciate all your hard work for giving us a memorable time to remember for our entire lives.
Signed by the children of years 5 & 6.