I have completed over 25 residential visits as a classteacher, deputy or headteacher whilst working in primary education and can honestly say our trip to Kilvrough last week was one of, if not the most remarkable. The children’s (and adults!) responses to the adverse weather were excellent, all exhibiting a determination to make the most of the challenges. Yes, the ice may have had to be broken before canoeing could commence, icicles were visible on the rocks, but these added to the sense of achievement and success when the activities were successfully completed.
As always the children looked forward to caving with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. Once again this year, they were not disappointed by the awe and wonder of being underground, including for example the total darkness when they turned their caving helmet lights off. We all found quite remarkable the noticeable change of temperature underground as opposed to that up above. The caving “letterbox” has become part of our school history and folklore and I was delighted that they all had and accepted the challenge of “posting” themselves between the two particular rocks.
Residential visits do many things and not least allow children to shine in a completely different environment and context to school. This year was no exception and perhaps due to the weather conditions, this year, the sense of camaraderie and support for each other was a real feature. Yes, we did have to take the difficult decision to return early due to the prediction of dangerous as opposed to challenging weather arriving, but I am sure that memories were made and experiences had which will be highlights of the children’s final year in primary education.