After an uneventful night and a rather early start (5am is not a suitable time to be up chatting boys!), we all were showered and breakfasted by 9am ready to start our Energiser Games. We set off into the woods with Georgie and Adam to play Man-hunt. This was great fun as the adults were both the hunters and the prey.
Upon arriving back at the centre, we were met by Miss O’Neill who had come up to see how much fun we were having.
Our first round of activities included canoeing (where Miss O’Neill got to show off her boating skills), zip-wire, caving and archery, and climbing.
After lunch (and showers for the canoeists), we were out for the afternoon rotation which included two different sessions. This saw the first groups have a go at the Tree Trek and the Big Swing. It was really great to see and hear the support the children were giving their own team members and others from other teams around the site. It definitely made the difference to a few children who were tackling their fears.
A delicious dinner was quickly demolished before we were back outside again. Tonight’s evening activity included a scavenger hunt – which included a wonderful performance of ‘Love Fool’ by the Cardigans by a group of Year 6 girls – and a campfire. Around the campfire, there was an opportunity to share stories and reflections from our trip. It was wonderful to hear the children talk so openly, and confidently, about how they had faced a challenge or how someone in the group had been really supportive.
It was then time for a quick hot chocolate before it was off to bed. Fingers crossed for another quiet night as there were a lot of tired looking faces when we turned out their lights!
After a short (and uneventful) journey, we arrived at sunny Thorpe Woodlands to be greeted by our wonderful team of instructors. We quickly unpacked the luggage and set about preparing our rooms – this included making our own beds: pillow cases – fine, bedsheets – okay; duvet covers – a little trickier!!
Before we had lunch, we went on a tour of the site to allow us to get our bearings. Lunch was enjoyed with lots of compliments about how lovely the rolls were!
We then played a couple of energiser games before separating into our teams to take part in the team building activities. Each group did different activities and had to work together to achieve the desired goal from crossing a swamp without touching the floor to climbing through a giant spider’s web without touching it!
Once the teams had been established, it was time for our first round of activities. We had groups canoeing, zip-wiring, climbing and caving – all of these led to lots of shared laughter and stories during our freetime.
Dinner was a delicious feast of cheesy, tomatoey pasta with a chocolate/caramel roulade (which has everyone queuing up for seconds!).
As the sunset, we headed out for a starlight walk to collect firewood. We enjoyed the rewards of our scavenging as we toasted marshmallows around a roaring campfire.
It’s now 10pm and all seems quiet on in the corridors of Thorpe Woodlands – fingers crossed it stays that way until morning!
The rooms are currently a hive of activity as beds are being stripped (and folded) and bags being 'carefully' packed.
Today we have been treated with a rare glimpse of sunshine and the forecast even looks like we might even stay dry today.
Swimming last night was great fun and there were lots of celebratory toasts over hot chocolate before another quiet night.
We'll be off to Cromer after breakfast, and the final room inspections, to visit the RNLI museum and build some sand sculptures.
We're aiming to leave Cromer about 1pm. We'll let school know when we are on our way so keep an eye on the homepage for updates!
See you all soon!!!
Last night's disco was a huge success and, after some heated dance-offs, everyone headed off to bed exhausted: there were very few voices after lights out!
Today, after a filling breakfast, we began our pirate training. This included scaling the rigging; using a bosun's chair to escape a sinking ship; and building a monsoon-proof shelter. Not only did we do all of that but we had to battle the rain and freezing wind!
To conclude our pirate training, we did what all pirates love to do - hunt for treasure. After working out a coded message we headed out armed with a treasure map to find the clues which would enable us to locate and open our treasure chest.
We were all successful and enjoyed devouring our bounty!
We've just had our final delicious dinner (roast chicken with all the trimmings followed by jelly and ice-cream) before we head off to swimming!
There are going to be some sleepy heads and tired bodies tomorrow!
After a peaceful night, Day 2 of our residential began with a massive breakfast, efficiently served and cleared away by the Table Managers, which filled us up and fuelled our morning.
After a quick talk on the geography of North Norfolk and importance of the Broads, we headed off to Happisburgh (after some confusion between the spelling and pronunciation!). Here we compared photos from the last 20 years which demonstrated the impact of the sea on the cliffs. Unfortunately, we couldn't go down on to the beach as the Beast from the East had washed away the slipway.
We then visited Sea Palling where we learnt about the importance of the flood defences and why they had been installed at Sea Palling but not Happisburgh.
Although the forecasted heavy rain didn't materialise, it was still bitterly cold. For that reason, lunch was enjoyed in the warmth of the coach instead of on the beach.
It was then time to set off to Wroxham to create our own floating armada! We all had a go at driving the boats, largely successfully, as we travelled down to Wroxham and Salthouse Broad. There have been lots of arguments about who was the best driver!
Tonight we have a delicious Italian-inspired 3 course meal and a bit of boogie planned (we'll fill you in on the gossip when we get home!).
We have had an exciting Day One at Aylmerton.
When we arrived we got checked in to our dormitories and sat in the sunshine (potentially the final time we might see the sun all week) before heading off to Walshingham.
Here we learnt about why a sleepy little village is destination of one of the largest pilgramages i in the Christian religion which is made by people from around the world. We visited the beautiful shrine in the middle of the village and learnt about it's origins in the museum. Elf, one of our instructors, also told us a very exciting story about a gate! We'll tell you all about it when we get home.
After arriving back at Aylmerton, we unpacked and had a little play on the equipment before it was time to tuck into a delicious meal of tomato soup, sausage and mash; and apple crumble and custard.
It was then time to head out on our Twilight Safari. We were lucky enough to see a muntjack deer, lots of pheasants and some very friendly labradors. We also visited George!
After a chilling bedtime story and a cup of hot chocolate, it was off to bed where everyone is now soundly dreaming of our adventures tomorrow (let's hope it stays that way!)
We'll check in tomorrow with another update (sorry there aren't any photos - the broadband in North Norfolk isn't the strongest!)
Aylmerton Residential 2018
Our next visit to the Aylmerton Field Study Centre will take place between 26th and 29th March 2018