Year 5 Head to Alymerton

21st April 2017

Friday 21st April ‘17

The day had finally arrived and 58 excited children and 6 equally excited members of staff embarked on the Year 5 residential trip to Aylmerton.

The children arrived around 830am and gathered in the hall, with their luggage and excitement!

9am and the coach and van (yes, we had that much luggage) arrived.  We loaded up and departed around 925am.  The journey was uneventful and after 58 “are we there yets?”, we finally arrived, too much cheering and whopping. 

From the moment we arrived, the staff were incredible.  The children disembarked the bus and then had to line up to help with the unloading of the luggage.  Two by two the bags were taken.  Room allocation was next on the agenda, and the children were off to see their digs for the next 2 nights. 

Once settled, or rather, bags dumped it was lunchtime in the dining hall before our first activity briefing of the day. 

The children were taught about team work and how to use communication, cooperation and encouragement effectively on the afternoon activities, and were explained how each team can win points.  There were 6 teams, 3 headed off to the forest for some den building whilst the remaining 3 stayed at the centre and took part in the spiders web, acid lake, the agility course and finally bomb disposal!  Please don’t worry, the acid lake is not as terrifying as it sounds, and the bomb, was really only ………………….. (sorry, we are sworn to secrecy!) 

Den building!  Wow!  We certainly have some budding architects in Year 5.  There were some guidelines, it had to be well hidden, so predators couldn’t find them, and it needed to be as waterproof as possible.  The children showed fantastic teamwork, and some of the structures were amazing and met all the criteria!  Some on the other hand were a little holey and so the occupants got a little wet!  Once all the dens were built and tested, they were then pulled apart and the materials spread around the forest for the next group. 

It was back to the centre to start on the spiders web!!!  Exciting!  This a large spiders web structure and each team has to work out how they can get each team member through the web without touching it.  Only 2 spaces could be used twice and it was great fun watching the children learn that by talking, helping and listening, it could be done!  There were some great superman poses from those lighter child and some great wheelbarrows from those not so confident to fly!  With 250 points and possible bonus points up for grabs there was a lot to work for. 

Next stop…..acid lake, eek!  With shaking knees and chattering teeth the children were at the bank of the lake, (really just some shingle in a square!) the object was by using 4 boxes and 2 planks to build a structure, or bridge that would be able to get all the team members across.  The children did so well, there was some frustration, some triumphs, some disappointment but valuable lessons learnt. 

Another stop, and it was the agility course.  The children were so very excited to be climbing round the course, but there was a twist!  At the end was a cup of water and the children had to get the cup from the end to the beginning, without stepping backwards!  As easy as it sounds, it really made them communicate with each other and learn that they sometimes have to wait for the next person in order to progress!  A fantastic course, that was enjoyed by all! 

Final stop was the bomb disposal!  Whilst not as dangerous as it sounds, the children had to read a map, find instructions, copy them correctly and then follow those instructions correctly to deactivate the bomb.  One wrong decision and we dread to think what would of happened! 

The courses were fun and the children just couldn’t get enough of them! But sadly sometimes all good things come to an end and it was time for the children to gather in the pavilion to receive their scores from today and be briefed on the evenings activities! 

5.30pm and the ringing of the bell could be heard across the courtyard to let all know that it was dinner tonight, gosh were we all ready for it!  Tomato soup, sausage and mash with veg and gravy, followed by apple crumble and custard was on the menu tonight.  Oh how scrummy it was, proper home cooked yumminess!  

You’d think after the day the children had had, they would be tired, but oh no, they were ready for the next activity, a twilight safari.  Sounds so exotic doesn’t it?  

Clothing was changed, wellies were put on (if they wanted), coats were zipped up, and it was time to be split into 3 large groups to embark on the twilight walk.  The walk took the children around the lovely Felbrigg Estate taking in all the sights, sounds and smells, and gosh were there some wonderful farm smells.  All the children got to enjoy a wonderful story told in the church on the Estate, that had them absolutely absorbed.  They even got to meet George!  Who’s George you ask, he’s a tree that has been on the estate for centuries and the inside of the trunk is totally hollow!  So much so that not only were we able to see the sky through the top, but we managed to fit 7 children in at a time, it was truly amazing.  The safari lasted approx. 2hrs and after walking through fields watching out for the cows and not stepping in cow pats, it was time to head back to the centre for some lovely hot chocolate and bed!  So very needed! 

Saturday 22nd April – Day Two

Wow, is it morning already?  Day two and gosh have we got a day planned?  Today’s activity is a trip to Blakeney Point to explore the marshes, dunes and seals.  We started the morning with a briefing of how the day is going to go, the children were told to wear 5 layers and if that may sound excessive, we were about to embark on a walking journey like no other!   

After a wonderful breakfast of cereals, and either bacon and beans or a boiled egg and toast, the children were changed, back packs were packed and lunches given out, ready for the coach.  The coach arrived around 9.30am and we made our way to Blakeney.

We then spilt into 3 groups again, and went off on our journey.  Their comfy shoes were removed, the warm, snuggly socks removed and their trousers were rolled to about mid-thigh, ready to walk down the sea bed, through the icy cold North Sea water, amongst the slippery, thick mud for the next 6hrs or so!  At first their faces were not showing much encouragement, but that soon turned to laughter, squeals and lots of chatting as they started.  They learnt about cockles and lugworms, and saw the most amazing birds, and even heard some lovely sounds.  The walk was long, but the children did remarkably well, given the terrain.  

Lunch was a very welcomed break, and we sat on the shingle beach, looking out to sea.  The view was breath-taking and just so tranquil, with just the sound of the waves to listen to.  We were over half way through and the enthusiasm had not wavered.  After lunch our next stop was to lie down in the middle of some dunes, close our eyes and just lie there and listen to the various sounds, it was truly relaxing, and so needed!  10mins later and it was time to rise and head off to explore the dunes and the shingle habitats.  We walked as far as we possibly could on the coast, and when we finally saw the sign saying that that was the furthest we could go, we then headed inland to the Lightboat House, to catch a ferry to view the seals. 

The children were divided into 2 boats.  Whilst inland the water was wonderful and calm, but the moment we went round the corner to the sea, it all changed!  Yes it was rougher, and the boat was rocking a little more, but the children loved it!  Seeing the seals basking in the sunshine on the beach, was quite the sight.

The boats took us back to Moreston where we finally caught the coach home to Alymerton. 

A much needed rest was had before the ringing of the bell called us to dinner again.  Roast chicken, roast potatoes and vegetables was on the menu, followed by fruit salad and ice-cream, or jelly and ice-cream.  Delicious! 

You’d have thought the day would have tired the kiddies out but we think dinner gave them that second burst of energy and after dinner they were off to the Disco!  They danced the night way till approx. 9pm, when once again it was hot chocolate and much needed bed!

Everyone crashed!

Sunday 23rd April – Last Day

It was an early rise for the children today, they had to pack their bags, sort their rooms and had breakfast before morning briefing.  Today’s adventure was……………..The Monster Trail!!!  A 3 mile walk through the Felbrigg estate trying to find clues whilst avoiding monsters jumping out of the forest!  AHHHHHH!! 

3/4 layers of clothing was needed today, the children were again split into their groups and then given a map, compass, and answer sheet and the leader was given a radio.  Once they were shown how to navigate the map and compass, it was time to start the trail and to find the first clue.  There were 13 clues in total, and after having collected them all they spelt a word.  The children had a ball, navigating round the forest with not much adult help, until the time of the monsters!  They were told before they left the centre that they could not touch the monsters, and if they saw them before the monster saw them, then they needed to chant ‘Monster, monster, we see you!’  Not sure what the general public thought, but gosh the kids loved it! 

We finally made it back to the centre about 3hrs later, ready for lunch.  

It was then lunch, final briefing, results time and then departure. 

Congratulations to Miss Jaye and her team for winning the weekend! 

Well done to all the children for a fantastic weekend and to all the Cedarwood Staff who gave up their weekends to take the children and finally an enormous thank you to Aylmerton staff, who without, this trip could not have been possible.

See you again hopefully in 2018!