Grade 4 Trip Report

School News June 11, 2021
Grade 4 Trip Report

On Wednesday 2nd June, 80 excited Grade 4 boys and girls along with 8 teachers boarded buses to Nantong, armed with all of the gear they would need for two nights away from school. For many, this would be their first nights away from home, however there was little time to be homesick, as activities were planned from the moment we got to base. Being split into six groups, the camaraderie was strong as the groups completed activities both as teams and in a competitive format against each other.

On the first day we did catapult building and rock climbing. In the catapult building the boys were against the girls, with the aim of building a catapult out of bamboo sticks, using the square technique and reef knots to ensure the structure was strong. We then took it in turns to fire water balloons at the other team, who had to defend their catapults from being hit. If they were hit, the attacking team would gain a water balloon from the other team. It was great fun and the catapults were well built, perhaps too strong as many of the balloons went sailing over the other team.

The rock climbing was very exciting and what was even more special was the fact that even those with a fear of heights did their best and most reached the top with a couple reaching the half-way mark. For children to try and conquer their fears and to step out of their comfort zone was incredible to watch and exactly the reason we make these trips compulsory for the boys and girls. Wendy flew up to the top early on and set a high standard for the group to follow. Harry did incredibly well as he was a bit worried but kept going and Cici and Sophie were like spiders as they scaled the wall, with a slight incline near the top before abseiling down.

The first lunch was in the restaurant, which was delicious as the boys and girls sat together with lots of food in the middle as they chatted together eating lots ahead of their night camping. That evening we erected the tents and played some games before making our own food using the camp stoves. It was great to see the boys and girls making the pasta sauce and cooking the pasta as a group. This was much enjoyed before we washed up and went around the campfire for jokes and toasting marshmallows. This late injection of sugar made for a lively night of camping as the boys and girls could be heard laughing away late into the night. Thankfully, the boys and girls (and staff) all managed to get at least a couple of hours sleep.

The next morning, we awoke to the early sunrise. A run around and packing away the tents was the order of the morning before breakfast. Breakfast was plentiful before we got ready for the three activities that day. Our group started with the high ropes course, a wooden structure with lots of obstacles to get through and over. Again, those who were afraid of heights did incredibly well and although nervous kept going until the very end.

After sandwiches, eggs and fruit we were ready for the afternoon’s water activities, raft building and kayaking. Again, we split into boys and girls. This time we learnt the slip knot to tie the bamboo structure to the inner tyres before testing it on the lake. Thankfully our knots held and the boat stayed together.

In the kayaking, we learnt how to go forwards, backwards and turn the kayak. The wind was quite strong and some pupils found themselves pushed into the trees where they had to be rescued. We played lots of games and had a great time along with Group 4 who joined us for this activity. It was quite the test of coordination and teamwork as they were in groups of two, which meant they had to paddle together at the same time otherwise they would end up either not moving or going around in circles. It took some time to get used to it but by the end they were all able to manoeuvre around the lake.

That night we spent in the dorm rooms. It had 10 beds in a room and a duvet and pillow. A shower was a welcome necessity as we changed into fresh clothes, had some free time where many played cards together, ate snacks and napped before another fabulous meal in the restaurant. I have to say that the boys and girls have been so well behaved over the last three days, a real testament to the School and their families. The owner of the site commented on this and even said she would like her children to come to our School!

They have all learns so much with regards to working together to achieve tasks, living with each other in close quarters, the risk of not spending time on things to make them of a quality standard so that they work well and don’t fall apart too quickly and having fun whilst working hard.

We are already looking forward to next year!