Like seasoned pros, the children flew into breakfast, wolfed it down and were on to the Astro turf for yet another pre-activity football session.
On offer today was:
- Aero Ball, a trampoline/ basketball hybrid. There were rumblings from many children that they would be soon asking parents for these in back gardens across Carpenders Park and South Oxhey. Goals aplenty from everyone. A great activity.
- Ball Sports, (or The Tragic Tale of Tangy the Water Balloon):
I didn’t mean to do it. Honestly.
As mentioned in Tuesday’s post, children whose water balloons survived the Splash test were told if they can be looked after until Friday, they could be thrown at Jade the PGL leader. One by one, they began to burst. Some were dropped during campfire songs - others by plain carelessness. Not so for the balloon adopted as Tangy. This balloon was nurtured. Taken everywhere during activities. Soon, a face was drawn onto it. It was even taken on the Zip Wire by a brave adventurer. So when it came time for the ball sports activity, it was left in the comfort of a grey hoodie. No one would have foreseen the catastrophic event that ensued.
In a game of “Protect the President” a stray throw was blocked by an over-enthusiastic teacher, caught up in the competition of the game. We all watched as the ball came off his toe. As if in slow motion it bounced once, twice, three times- straight onto Tangy.
We did all we could to save it, but by the time we got there, it was too late.
Rest in peace, Tangy. Thanks for the good times.
- Survivor - children built shelters designed to withstand torrential rain so that they could be safe and comfortable. This was taken to another level by some groups. One team included a welcome mat as part of their design. Another group fashioned a doorbell out of some twigs and string.
Groups who hadn’t tackled Sensory Trail and Jacobs Ladder also took these on with gusto. Tired bodies were hauled up great heights and through unknown obstacles.
Thursday Menu: Chicken Kiev, Vegetable Chilli, and Beef Chilli. Many discarded quickly due to the allure of ice cream.
To round things off, the final evening Disco. This is traditionally an awkward affair where children sit on opposite sides of the room, or ask their teachers to sit outside.
NOT. THIS. YEAR.
A lot of memorable and often very ordinary dance moves were pulled out by St Meryl. We threw ourselves into every song. Some even jumped on the stage at the front with the instructors. We enjoyed it so much that all the other schools left early - surely jealous that their dancing talent would never match ours. For one night, we owned the dance floor.
And, predictably, as we look to tomorrow and home, there are whispers of “wanting to stay just one more day”.
What a week.
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Day 3 - “Risk it For the Biscuit”
A MUCH better night’s sleep from everyone. It was even quite difficult waking a few rooms up, but the promise of sausages and beans was enough to get most people motivated.
We opened letters from family members, which were all very well received. Some have even mentioned that they have kept them for bedtime reading!
Again, we were greeted by another drizzly morning - perfect conditions for Canoeing and Raft Building. Children had the best intentions of staying dry for these activities. There were many casualties.
The first of the climbing sessions began, and trepidation for some turned to elation when they conquered their fears. Some pupils felt that it was the promise of a Double Cream Oreo if one made it to the top (“Risk it For the Biscuit!” became the motivational chant of the day), but it was more down to the great team spirit of the groups that got them through. We shouted the loudest, and we encouraged the most.
After another hearty lunch (weekly calorie count: 24,879), we were ready for Zip Wiring, Orienteering and Jacob’s Ladder. There were heroic stories during all of these activities, but they will sound better coming from the children, I’m sure.
Wednesday Dinner Menu: Vegetarian Lasagne, Beef Lasagne or Chicken Nuggets with chips. What’s not to like?I have to say that as the week has progressed, more and more children are drinking cups of tea - the height of sophistication in between cups of cordial.
Campfire was our evening event, and some great stories were told - even by the children.
I write this to the chorus of snoring ringing from most rooms. Let’s just hope it stays that way.
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Day 2: Fun in the Rain
7:35 for breakfast, and as expected, the children were in a variety of states - some sleep deprived, others over-excited about the cooked breakfast on offer/ the day ahead.
We began the day by naming the 3 activity groups for the week- these groups will all be doing 4 activities a day. Today we experienced the following:
- being covered from head to toe in dust on the Challenge Course. There were Tarzan cries ringing across the grounds as we climbed, fell, got up and climbed some more.
- Learning to Parry, Lunge and Touché in Fencing. A torrid affair of heavy masks and dubious swordplay.
- Always a fan favourite - Raft Building. A lot of excellent teamwork was on display, as the children tied barrels and poles together. They all stayed together this year, and it was only on a voluntary basis that the children found themselves in the lake!
- Sensory Trail was a new activity for the children. They wore blind masks, and again had to work as a team to go through an obstacle course in the woods. Added to this Challenge was the rain beginning to fall.
- Canoeing was another opportunity for children to get wet, although all avoided falling in. There was even time for some races and games - more fun in the rain.
- And last but not least, the Zip Wire. A number of children came back from this activity ecstatic that they had conquered their fear of heights.
Menu for Dinner: Vegetarian Kiev, Meatballs, or Cottage Pie. All ravenously demolished by the children.
Evening entertainment was Splash, where groups had to create a container for a water balloon that would keep it safe when it was dropped from an 18 metre height. For the first time, not one of them burst. Group leader Jade told the children that if the balloons are looked after until Friday, the children can throw them at her. Let’s hope it’s just her they throw them at....
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Day one down, and a fantastic first day for everyone. The journey to PGL was smooth and went without a hitch, thanks to Frank the coach driver. This year’s Polo Challenge was fiercely contested - so much so that we had to award the winner to 3 people, or they would never have eaten their lunch!
We arrived at PGL to a warm welcome, and we met Jade, our group leader for the week.
Afternoon games: a hard-fought 35-32 victory in Cricket Rounders to Team A. There were heroic performances from both sides. Following this, some children convinced their teachers that it would be a good idea to play football on the adjacent astro turf. Again, much fun was had, and there were some cracking goals! There was even time for a lovely piece of birthday cake for us all, and a very proud birthday boy was given a special sticker that got him to the front of the dinner queue.
Menu for today: Chicken and Vegetable Curry, Cheese and Sundried Tomato Tartlet or Jumbo Sausage Roll with chips.Table manners exceptional from all parties- some even attempting the olive salad.
The evening activity was a plethora of Capture the Flag matches. Everyone gave their all, and hopefully got sufficiently tired. ..
The children have gone to bed with the knowledge that tomorrow is a big day (Challenge Course, Fencing, Canoeing and Sensory Trail). They have all promised me that they will get to sleep straight away and that I needn’t worry about midnight feasts. We will see...
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PGL Parents Presentation 2019
"Dear Diary" - An Audiobook by one of our pupils!
Egyptian Dance Part 1
Egyptian Dance Part 2
Tin Audiobook 2.mp3
Possible Tin Sequel?
Me In Numbers
I Want You Back
Year 6 Assembly Haka
SATs Revision Links: