It was with much excitement and a smattering of trepidation that Year 2 set off for their first ever residential trip to Hill End Outdoor Education Centre in Farmoor. The Year 2s were accompanied by Reception and Year 1 for Day 1 activities. All children enjoyed working in teams to problem solve in a variety of activities using available resources. Following lunch we swept the meadow areas in search of insects, which we identified with kits provided. We were then fortunate enough to discover slow worms under metal shelters. Did you know that unlike grass snakes, slow worms have eyelids? Fascinating!
Following this Year 2 waved goodbye to their classmates as Reception and Year 1 departed for school. Year 2 were very excited to walked to their dormitory by helpful staff, who supported us to settle into ‘home for the night’. Having unpacked we enjoyed problems and parachute games in the garden whilst listening to the sheep bleating in greeting on the other side of the fence.
We enjoyed a delicious barbeque, which was followed by an evening walk to discover a badger set, before our guide, Meg helped us to make a journey stick. On returning to our dormitory, we made a campfire, toasted marshmallows and enjoyed s’mores. Yum! A short movie in our pyjamas was fun, followed by stories and bedtime. The children settled and slept well.
The next day greeted us with glorious weather. Breakfast with our friends was enjoyable, followed by packing. We worked well as teams to cram sleeping bags back into carriers!
After depositing our luggage for safe keeping, we were joined once again by Meg, who led us in a fabulous Forest School session. The children experienced tree cookie making, tree climbing, hammock swinging, imagination play in the mud kitchen, whittling sticks, more marshmallows round the campfire and fire lighting. Each successful use of the fire splint was greeted with elated roars of success.
A thoroughly successful and enjoyable experience was had by all. Smiling faces and exuberant stories greeted parents at pick up. We will most definitely return!