This week, some pupils from Years 5 and 6 had the opportunity to visit FairPlay House outdoor education centre near Witham. The pupils enjoyed participating in a range of exciting outdoor activities, sleeping at the house for two nights and sharing bedrooms with their friends. The range of activities encourages pupils to attempt activities they may not usually try, particularly activities outside of their comfort zone. This year was another success; year 6 pupils were challenged to overcome their fears on the high ropes and big swing. By the end of these activities, the pupils were keen to have a second go after realising it wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be. They also participated in archery, testing their ability to hear and follow complex instructions, load their bows correctly, and safely shoot real arrows at their targets. The pupils also experienced caving, navigating their way through underground tunnels in the dark, while showing tremendous teamwork throughout. Both year 5 and 6 pupils took part in a night walk which they were briefed on beforehand. They memorised the route and led their teacher back to the house from where they were dropped off, two miles away from the house.
The Year 5 visit commenced on Wednesday 13th September, following on from the Year 6’s. As the pupils arrived at FPH, they were incredibly excited, especially as they had spotted some of the Year 6 pupils on the high ropes as they drove up the long drive to the house. Pupils in year 5 took part in different activities to year 6. This included the zip wire, a different high ropes course, bushcraft and orienteering on Tiptree Heath.
Pupils worked together and supported each other by giving encouragement, particularly to conquer their fear of heights. All of this positivity and teamwork increased their confidence and bravery. Year 5 pupils also learnt how to light a fire, especially focussing on how to do this safely and responsibly. They used just a flint and a piece of metal, which was tricky but they stuck to the task and were successful. The purpose of the fire was to prepare and cook pancakes; this was such a unique opportunity that was enjoyed by all.
All pupils were encouraged to develop a sense of independence by making and tidying their beds and keeping their rooms tidy. Each group had to carry out a duty, including tasks such as setting the table, putting the dishes in the dishwasher, and drying and putting away the dishes and cutlery for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Throughout the visit, the pupils developed skills they can apply in their daily lives at home. It was so nice to see pupils get to know and work with pupils they did not already know, developing teamwork and communication skills. By the end of their visit real bonds had formed. A very successful week, full of fantastic opportunities and memories.