West Bridgford Junior School


Year 6 PGL Residential 2011-Relive the moments and read our blog.

Year 6 PGL Residential 2011-Relive the moments and read our blog.


Monday 17th October 2011


What a first day! After a short wait for the buses and a teary farewell from some emotional parents, (we won’t name any names) we arrived at Rushcliffe Country Park for an excitable run around. Aimee and Kate scored highest on our quick cricket game and Billy Gibbons made some spectacular saves, some of which we’re not sure he meant. Joel was also in superb form with his tackling, although he was usually tackling Mr Martin, who was on his team. Mutinta and Minnie showed that they are natural climbers ready for the PGL climbing wall by scaling the climbing frame with ease and Amelia getting stuck in an infants swing provided the teachers with some chuckles early on. She did manage to escape by the way. Lesson learned I think!

After a blustery lunch we set off to PGL and when we arrived all the children unpacked. (We can’t believe how much can fit into some of those suitcases…Brennan!) Some singing and a hearty Sheppard’s pie later, we got ourselves ready for ‘Wacky Races’. The children remain as inquisitive as ever and are learning, very quickly, what they need and don’t need for various activities. Anthony asking Mr Martin, “Do we need to put shoes on?” Has been a highlight question so far!

So off we set to ‘Wacky Races’ where Harriet’s impression of a lottery winner running a race got Group 3 some points, whilst Zack celebrated by throwing off half of his clothes! David and Jessica G also scored highly for utilising their acting talents. In fact most off the children’s clothes came off, luckily not all, in order to make the longest line in the sports hall, with teams working together in order to win.

All is now quiet and the rain is beginning to fall as children recuperate and save their energy for what promises to be a long and exciting day ahead. They’ll be up at 7am getting ready. We’ll make sure of that!


Tuesday 18th October 2011


We’re happy to report that the children had a fabulous first night’s sleep. They settled down quickly and there were no problems during the night.

After a rather large cooked breakfast, children split into groups for their first activities of the morning. Alice helped Mr Dix crawl, rather limply, across the high ropes, whilst Vasu, who perhaps didn’t get the sleep he needed, looked like he was nodding off half way around. Needless to say, he still overcame his fear of heights by finishing and even repeating the frightening experience for a second time. Freya and Thomas B were especially accurate at shooting a rifle.

Billy P helped Mr Martin across the high ropes and eased around the course three times, although Mr Martin stopped after one lap. The screams could be heard all across the PGL site. Cameron impressed with his rifle skills.

Despite his apparent reticence, Charlie G attracted an audience as Miss Loscalzo grabbed him for the last dance at the disco whilst Finlay didn’t leave the dance floor from first to last.

Teamwork award of the day went to Minnie and Amelia who not only reached the top of Jacob’s ladder but managed to stay together to the bitter end.

After steadfastly refusing at first, Jessie made her way across the high ropes with increasing confidence whilst Josh managed to talk Mr Simmonds round the course as well as breezing through himself.

Rosie G was very courageous as she negotiated the daunting climbing wall, Anna solved problems with great understanding, not in the least due to the fact that she has been here before and knew the solutions! David has been enthusiastic from day one and sang every word to every song in the disco.

Kate has impressed in all aspects of the week thus far, whilst Ashleigh was a bundle of energy at the disco, only pausing from dancing when encouraging others to do so. Orin looked up at the climbing wall with disdain but, with some encouragement from his supportive group, managed to make the top, impressing all.

We’ve been patrolling the dorms all evening and unfortunately there has not been a repeat of last night’s peacefully quiet rooms. The dorms have been very noisy. We just hope that the children’s snoring dies down by tomorrow! :)


Wednesday 19th October 2011


We were up early again this morning and managed to capture plenty of ‘bed hair’ photographs. Once most children had showered (and we’re going to find those final few who haven’t yet) we headed off to eat another delicious cooked breakfast.

In the morning Alfie A and Harriet impressed Mr Dix and Group 3 by facing their fears of heights and clambering to the top of the climbing wall. Alice, Sam and Freya worked very well as a team together to get to the top of Jacob’s Ladder, whilst Megan used Mr Dix's head as another rung in order to get to the top.

Mr Simmonds’ group all deserve a medal for negotiating Jacob’s Ladder in a violent hailstorm. Their protective helmets took on another role as the stones pelted down. Remarkably, Natasha ventured on a one-girl mission to reach the top and succeeded, despite looking terrified. Charlie C and Matty appeared disappointed when their archery prize was a holiday to Essex with Michael Buble – as they should be. Aidan flew to the top of the climbing wall whilst his group blinked.

Quietly and without fuss, Jade and Dalia are conquering the most challenging aspects of PGL. Jacob’s Ladder and the climbing wall were dispatched with admirable poise. Joseph continues to be one of the most supportive members of the team; he’s always ready with some sound advice in those difficult moments. Nothing so far has fazed Joel. However, he did seem to take far too pleasure from standing on Mr Martin whilst tackling Jacob’s Ladder.

High Ropes continued to feature today, and Joe and Evie really demonstrated what true courage is all about as they traversed the course an astonishing three times. Another worthy mention from the High Ropes today was Jonathan – never before has PGL seen someone quite so at ease dangling 40ft in the air. Miss Rimington also felt that Dominic required a special mention: on the way to the camp fire, in almost total darkness, he waited for several staff members so that he could escort them safely by the light of his torch as they were rather in danger of becoming stranded.

Billy Gibbons and Grace showed that they know exactly what teamwork was all about as they negotiated Jacob’s Ladder with Miss Ash. In his last week at the school, Charlie Gardner is reminding us all why we will miss him so much: he is embodying all of the qualities we expect to see.

Abbie and Freddie were, despite their own terror, very supportive of Miss Loscalzo as she tackled the High Ropes. We also seem to have spotted a potential motorsport star in Jake as he sped around the quad bike track

More High Rope heroes: Jenny and Harry made their way around several times, seeming to have no fear at all. Even with a full day of activities under her belt, Ella was stoic during the camp fire singing: no small feat as bed begins to call.

No doubt tomorrow’s report will be filled with as many tales of success as today’s.


Thursday 20th 2011


It’s our last full day at PGL and all the children have put 100% into every activity today. Huge successes all round from Miss Rimington and Miss McQueenie’s groups all reaching the top of All Aboard, to brave children jumping the ‘Leap of Faith’ on the Trapeze.

Mia Cunnison and and Elisabeth have really been leading the way with challenging activities – nothing seems to worry them. They have also been making the most of the singing opportunities, often conducting the group through a chorus of ‘I’m a Little Coconut’. Jessica Perry Jones has been making huge efforts to conquer her fears. She deserves a mention here for her attempt at All Aboard.

Elliot conquered his fear of heights in dramatic style by abseiling from the top of a 40 foot tower. We didn’t even have time to blink before he was down! Bryony has been working well in team games by supporting and encouraging her group, especially on the Challenge Course.

The dream team (as coined by our instructor) began the day with ‘All Aboard’. Orin and Harry’s team raced to the top deck, setting the standard for all to follow. In Kate’s words, ”I’m so proud I managed to complete it.” A fabulous team effort from all involved.

Mia Evans has been making the most of every opportunity given to her and completing all of the tasks remarkably quickly – not easy at all. Many of the teachers were inspired by Freddie, Tommy, Rosie Gorman and Abbie on All Aboard yesterday afternoon. It was an astonishing act of teamwork, equalled only by the kindness and respect they showed each other: one of the very best examples of why we come to PGL. Anna also did incredibly well on this activity: in no way was her fear going to hold her back.

More All Aboard success in the form of Charlie Cresswell, Matty, Zack and Aidan. With so many children reaching the top of this wobbly pole, you could be misled and believe this task to be easy – it certainly isn’t. All of the instructors have been amazed. Rather than climbing up something, many of the children were excellent at lowering themselves down the abseil tower – India and Tess doing this particularly well.

Lucy and Aidan’s birthdays were celebrated with cake and a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday after tea. We also acknowledged Charlie Gardner’s departure from WBJS with more cake! He will be missed. The day ended with an enormous game of hide and seek in the dark, possibly enjoyed more by the staff than the children. Children are looking forward to heading home but sad to be packing and preparing to leave. One more day to go!


Friday 21st 2011


Our last day at PGL and children have been up extra early to pack and get everything ready to leave. However, there is still time for two more activities and for some, their hardest challenges yet.

Mia M, Miah, Ruby and Rosie B helped each other around the course, relying on each other and helping each other so much. They also went on the Trapeze - Leander and Alfie W were up it in no time and leaping onto the triangle as if they were starring in a circus film! Ruby and Rosie, though quiet, were up to the top and off before anyone had the chance to count them down to the jump. They were an excellent group who supported each other tremendously.

Suzie showed her confidence when abseiling and impressed us all by leaving PGL for a dance competition too! Good luck Suzi. A special mention for Millie for her enthusiasm and confidence throughout the entire week. Well done!

Jessica G finished off the week in style as she leapt off the trapeze. The whole of Mr Dix's group successfully completed the task, much to everyones satisfaction. Mr Martin and his group also scaled the pole and we were left wondering whether the children enjoyed watching their teachers tremble and shake a little too much as they were made to jump off.

It's been an amazing week and everyone is looking forward to a much deserved holiday. So many successes to mention. We're sure to talk about these and any others we may have missed at our PGL review evening. There will also be a DVD which we will make for the children to keep and saviour their memories of what has been an exhausting but memorable visit!