Dukes Barn 2013 Group1
It's February. It's been snowing. And, hence, West Bridgford Junior School Year 4s must have arrived at Dukes Barn. The children were all on time this morning and we headed to the Peaks. As we neared Beeley, the snow levels steadily increased, perfect conditions for our first day.
We were shown around the site and unpacked, before our first meal time. The Badgers were first to clean the dining hall and, eventually, we all headed off on our first adventure.
Mr Simmonds and the Badgers drove the short distance to a resplendent Chatsworth and headed up into the hills on the Adventure Walk. Tom impressed with his map skills, Willem bravely overcame the cold and Leah happily built a snowman whilst snowball fights took place all around her. The views across the estate were fabulous as we walked back to the centre.
Mrs Brown's Foxes also negotiated the walk, albeit in the opposite direction. Eloise loved her surroundings and happily shared her views with all. Romy achieved the record distance for sledging down the hill, and Finn and Hannah found ever more unique ways to cover each other with snow.
Miss Ranger's Owls headed off to the cave. Alexandra managed to get stuck in the snow and mud before even reaching the cave. Ben showed an interest in the artefacts on display whilst Matthew sat through 5 minutes of stories in the darkness before finally exclaiming that yes, actually, he was afraid of the dark...
Miss Rimington and her Rabbits were thrown into the deep end with a trip to Miller's Dale and the infamous abseiling bridge. Milly showed no fear, willingly zooming down first. Elizabeth and Hope were in need of more time to decide whether it was for them. However, through tears, they finally took the plunge and loved every second.
After a typically large dinner (the sticky toffee pudding was beyond compare), we headed back out for the Night Walk, with Mr Unsworth kindly volunteering to tell the children how to be 'A Friend of the Dark'.
As is always the case, bedtime was warmly welcomed. We look forward to more adventures tomorrow...
The children awoke refreshed after a good night's sleep. Sadly, however, came the news that Shaun was suffering. It was decided that it would be best for him to recover at home, which now he does with our best wishes.
After a typically hearty breakfast, we headed out into the countryside. The Badgers enjoyed the experience of the abseiling in the morning. Ollie flew down three times, the smile never leaving his face, whilst Rosie was heard shouting encouragement to her team throughout. In the afternoon, they entered the cave above Matlock. Amber and Amelie weren't keen to begin with, only to end up leading the others through some of the tightest spots.
The Foxes headed to a cave this morning. Blythe looked after Mrs Cox when the torches were turned off whilst Dylan was the first to brave the challenging drop, not knowing how far the leap was.
When abseiling, Charlie J overcame his fears. His sense of achievement once negotiating the drop was huge. Eleanor was, perhaps, even more wary than Charlie. Her first attempt entailed clinging on for dear life, her second saw her fly down with a beaming smile.
Miss Ranger's Owls headed off on the walk this morning. Matty declared that he was tired as soon as he stepped off the coach before promptly spending the majority of the time planning ambushes on his group. Gabby attempted to make shelters from any odds and ends she could find; highly enterprising.
On the ropes, Belal displayed immense concentration on the wooden beam, reaching the end without touching the floor, whilst Evie persevered on the climbing wall after a number of false starts, reaching the end on her final attempt.
Miss Rimington and her Rabbits mirrored the Owls. On the walk, Saibha lead the others, exclaiming that it was "the prettiest walk I've ever been on...". Aimee, Fynn and Ed were the main protagonists in an impromptu snowball fight, causing Mark, our Guide, to remove his coat due to water trickling down his neck.
Harry showed great skill on the trickiest part of the climbing wall, leading by example.
The evening saw the Talent Show and the inaugural Dukes Barn Bingo night, Harveen starred by going first on the stage and then winning (alongside Miss Rimington - fix!) the Bingo. A hugely entertaining end to another fabulous day. Bedtime at last...
All too soon, we woke up to our last morning. The predicted snow duly arrived as we enjoyed our last activities.
The Badgers began on the rope course, with Charlie N helping others despite his predilection for falling off things! After we all scaled the climbing wall, the group split into two and, in a race against time, found all the animals on the village trail, with Ruby managing to write answers neatly on paper, irrespective of the thick snow.
The Foxes also spent the morning on the site. Mrs Brown was so pleased with how the group gelled throughout the week. Eleanor and Eloise deserve special mention for their climbing prowess.
The Owls headed to the abseiling bridge. Olivia and Rebecca both braved the conditions as well as the daunting drop.
The Rabbits went caving, possibly the safest place to be as the snow fell. Rudi particularly enjoyed the experience, finding no end of tunnels and shouting advice to those following.
After a slightly rushed lunch, we bade our farewells and headed for the coach. The teachers thank Group One for a wonderful first half of the week. We trust you will take with you memories that will last forever.