Last week I had the privilege of spending some time with our year 6 pupils up at The Anderton Centre. They were taking part in a 3 day residential trip to an outward bounds centre. The days were filled with energetic activities such as; canoeing, sailing, orienteering and climbing. The instructors were patient and kind and allowed the children to take calculated risks and problem solve as if they were in a real survival situation. The children had a truly fantastic time and made memories that I am sure will stay with them forever.
At the end of each evening we sat together in the lounge and reflected on the day we were leaving behind. There was so much chatter and laughter about what they had done they often couldn’t put into words the amount of fun they had had. I asked each child to think of their one very best moment from the day. Naively I was waiting for; canoeing, climbing, getting to the top etc. However, their very best moments truly amazed me; myself, the other teachers and the instructors were left close to tears by their responses.
‘When I couldn’t get on the raft and Aidan pulled me up – we both couldn’t stop laughing’
‘When Amelia, Skye and I were shivering under the blanket drinking hot chocolate’
‘When my team were all helping each other and we solved the puzzle, we were all cheering’
Every single response was about a positive interaction they had had with other children. We went right around the room and they didn’t even realise what they were saying. Each child told a tale of resilience, friendship or team work and the smiles on their faces left us in no doubt that they had cemented friendships for life on that trip.
The memories of primary school will soon fade into the distance for these children when they start on their new chapter in secondary schools next year. As I told them last week, you won’t remember everything but I know you will never forget the wonderful time you have had on this trip. It was a pleasure to be there.
I would like to express my thanks to Miss Bowell, Mr Hindes and Miss Loftus who generously gave up their own family time to take the children on this superb trip. Without such dedicated teachers, residential trips would not happen. We are all in the process of writing to The Anderton Centre to thank them for facilitating such a wonderful experience for our children.