Published on 23/05/18
Year 4 enjoy their fabulous trip to Burwell
Year 4 pupils had waited many months for their Burwell experience and when it arrived, it certainly lived up to expectations. The three days and two nights away from home were packed with fun, learning, friendship and new experiences. For many it was the first time away from home without parents and, although they were a little nervous, an air of anticipation surrounded the children as we gathered on the Wednesday morning.
After a quick stop at Devil's Dyke to appreciate the importance of the Anglo-Saxon earthwork and to listen to the legend surrounding it, we arrived at Burwell House to be greeted by James Dawkins, our leader for the visit. Within half of an hour of arriving, the children were already running around in the grounds, finding questions and answers, and becoming familiar with their new environment. From then on it seemed to be excitement after excitement as they devoured their first meal, unpacked their suitcases in the dormitories, began the mapping activities, discovered the equipment in the PlayPod and enjoyed some free time in the grounds. It was lovely to see so many happy faces and watch the children working and playing collaboratively. At meal times everyone was encouraged to work on developing their table manners with a golden candelabra being presented for the table that had worked particularly hard. Golden napkins were also given to individuals who had particularly impressed staff.
Following a successful evening, which included writing postcards home, and a reasonably quiet night, the children began Thursday by fuelling themselves for the day ahead with enormous baskets of toast and bowls of cereal. The first activity involved practising mapping skills on a walk around the village, orientating themselves, tracking progress along the route and adding features to their maps. The spooky murder mystery of Mr Peak provided entertainment and a chance to look for bones in the Lode. Once back at Burwell House and after a very satisfying lunch, the children began the famous Eggscape Challenge. This activity, which focuses on developing teamwork skills, was thoroughly enjoyed by all. It was good to see groups and individuals realise which skills they needed to improve, in order to work together better and then make those changes during the very next task. Although some found the lessons harder than others, everyone learnt to listen to each other more and appreciate the contribution of every member of their group. Not many eggs survived the long drop from the top of the stairs but great fun was had by all. In the evening, after diary writing, there was an opportunity to buy souvenirs from the shop with the cuddly Burwell fox proving particularly popular.
On Friday the children learnt how to use a compass to follow both directions and bearings. Even though it was raining, they managed to squeeze out their last drop of energy to complete the orienteering course with dibbers attached to their fingers, a map and the timer running. They had to run around the course, finding the flagged controls in the correct order. As they reached each one they recorded their visit by pressing the dibber into the control slot and stopped the timer with the final control point. The times were generally very fast and it looks like we could have a few budding orienteering champions in Year 4.
Mrs Saeb-Parsy, Miss Bluck, Miss Milne, Mrs Minion, Miss Furbank and Miss Clark were very proud of the Year 4 pupils and how they developed maturity, independence and teamwork skills during the trip. We have definitely noticed a difference since the children have returned to school and it is good to see the year group growing in maturity and taking more responsibility for themselves.