30/05/2019 at 16:22
We had some glorious weather up at Stainforth and the children all seemed to enjoy themselves and thrive in the outdoor environment. They were all (relatively) well behaved and bedtime was an absolute breeze! The children (and staff) faced many challenges whilst on residential and each and everyone of them succeeded in the activities and should be very proud of themselves. The biggest challenge faced was entering the caves. There were a few children who really didn’t want to enter the cave, but once we were underground they thoroughly enjoyed it and were begging to stay for longer! The lodge offered a wide range of facilities which the children certainly made the most of. We had table tennis competitions, air hockey matches and even some significant scores in the table football (10-3)! I was completely shocked by how well organised and hard working the children were. On the Friday morning I was a little worried that we needed to be up, ready, breakfast eaten, lunch made and lodge completely emptied and packed onto the minibus by 10am! However, the children rallied together, showed excellent teamwork and were ready to head off into the fields for our final activity by 9:50am! The boys even helped carry lots of additional equipment from the lodge to the busses.
The children displayed some really good skills whilst out cycling. There were some very tired legs on the climbs but the children were resilient and all managed to complete these in the end. Some of the children completed some additional challenges which were a little steep but they showed no fear and tackled them well. There were a few (soft) tumbles into the verges but all children came back to the lodge with a smile on their faces. Many thanks to the British Cycling coached and Matt Asquith who supported the children during this activity. Gisburn was a great place and many of the children would like to return with their families to showcase their skills.
The dreaded caving!
I had the pleasure of taking the children caving and there were some who needed lots of encouragement! I was so proud of all of the children as even though some of them really didn’t want to go into the cave, they all did! We saw some wonderful fossils and even got to take a dip in Dr Bannister’s Hand Basin! The water was cold but this didn’t stop the children from enjoying this experience. There were some children who managed to avoid getting too wet (George W) and others who were completely submerged (Jacob E & Lauren). A big well done to Wyatt and Jacob P who found the caving really difficult but showed great bravery and overcame their fears, well done boys!
River study and Ribblehead Viaduct
We spent an hour on a river study of Winterscales Beck which, as the name suggests, is only a river in Winter/early Spring when there is lots of rain and melting snow coming down from Whernside. What water there is disappears into caves and resurges somewhere downstream. Only when the caves below are full does the water really flow above ground. We saw erosion, sediment, deposition and lots of bones! We looked for clues as to the height of the river in flood. The other half of the class spent an hour at Ribblehead Rail station exploring the history of the Viaduct. The children had a mini quiz to complete in pairs and made swift work of reading and interpreting the information presented. Following this, we headed down towards the Viaduct to appreciate all of the hard work the navies had put in to constructing it back in the 1800. The sheer size of the rocks used astounded the children and they could not comprehend that the magnificent construction had been built without any machinery.
Waterfall walk and paddle
On the Thursday afternoon the children completed half of the Ingleton Waterfall Trail. They did very well as there are lots of steps to tackle along the way. The first part of the walk in up a slight slope (mountain according to the children) and the only thing which was on their minds was ‘When is lunch?’ Once at the top we settled for lunch before making our way downstream observing the wonderful views as we went. The children listened well about the formation of the waterfall and found a range of wild plants along the way – including wild garlic! After about an hours walk we arrived at the ‘paddle spot’. The children couldn’t resist getting in and were soon soaked through. They were very well behaved and had lots of fun. Many children went fossil hunting with Miss Morgan and many interesting coral fossils were found. There were a few children who ‘fell’ in and were a little shocked with the temperature of the water but followed the residential rule ‘no moaning’ and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the time!
Evening Walk at Hoffmann Kiln
The children did a couple of walks that included some of the hidden industrial heritage of the area. One of the walks included the impressive Hoffmann Lime Kiln at dusk. The children were very sensible (although it was a little spooky). We looked at the different kilns that were there and discussed what they were used for. The walk back as a little dark so we brightened it up with some glow sticks and torches! We arrived back at the lodge just in time for a hot chocolate before bed! Unfortunately, we only have one photo of the night walk due to some of the photos on the camera being unable to open at the moment.
I have included some photos below of us ‘having a blast’ on residential!
A huge thank you to the children for being so well behaved (most of the time)! It was wonderful to see you use all of the skills you have to tackle the challenges presented. Many thanks to the staff who attended and made the trip possible: Mrs Hawkhead, Mr Cooke, Miss Morgan, Mrs Harding and Mr Garlic. A huge thank you to Northern Rail for the tickets and ease of travel- the journey there and back was a delight.
All that is left for me to say is that it was an absolute pleasure to take 5J on their first residential. I am very proud of each and every one of you!