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What a wonderful time at Stibbington!

On the 26th, 27th and 28th of February 22 Year Two children travelled to Cambridgeshire Environmental Educational Centre at Stibbington for a residential trip. There was great excitement as we boarded the coach with all our bags, sleeping bags, wellies, waterproofs and cuddly toys carefully packed in the luggage holds. The journey was quick and without event, apart from the shrieks of joy as we went over a ‘hill’!

On arrival we were welcomed by the staff and the children unpacked in their rooms, selecting top or bottom on the bunk beds. There was a quick room inspection before we raised the flag to signify the visit had truly begun. The next few days were a whirl wind of fun filled learning activities which were punctuated by excellent meals and plenty of down time to run around and explore, play, rest, chill or watch a DVD.

The learning opportunities made the most of the centre grounds, with many excellent facilities and resources, as well as opportunities to explore the village of Stibbington and its church and nature reserve. The children had boundless amounts of energy, which is just as well because there was a lot of walking involved! But not one complaint or grumble was noted by the teachers.  The meals were excellent and nutritious, cooked on site fresh each day by a super cook! “The food was really yummy!”, Lawrence. The children had various duties to perform throughout their stay; recycling, kitchen duties or checking the saving ofenergy.“I liked being a Waste Wizard, putting food waste in the right bin, it stank”, Sienna.

The qualified teachers from the centre engaged the children in learning which challenged their understanding as well as consolidating learning in different subjects taught at school. “It was really fun, lots of fun activities. My favourite thing was feeding the birds”, James. They commented on how much the children knew already and how observant they were – more like year 3 or 4! This made our teacher’s very proud of the children and it just confirms that we are dedicated to giving the children of Clarkson a super all-round education! The children behaved impeccably and visitors to the centre noted how polite they were and how charming! They respected the centre rules and listened well to all the teachers – even though they were very excited and keen to tackle everything that came their way!

The meal routines went well with children taking responsibility for setting up tables and clearing away afterwards. “My favourite thing was making the flower vases for the tables”, Richard.Good sized breakfasts set us up for the day and lighter lunches kept us going until our substantial evening meal. There was plenty of variety and everything looked and tasted great.

Showers were taken and pyjamas donned ready for a chill out before bed. The children were great together and played, chatted and snuggled up before saying good night and eventually going off to sleep. Teachers patrolled the corridor to make sure everyone was alright before eventually catching a few hours sleep themselves. “I liked sleeping and climbing trees”, Adam. “I enjoyed staying up all night!”,Maddison. The accommodation had been recently decorated, with each room having an animal theme. “The beds were comfy and bouncy”, Nicola.“I liked our room, the bunk beds were fun!”,Jakub. The children made sure they were dressed and ready in the mornings and eager for each days challenges.

The big hit of the trip with the children was the pirate treasure hunt at the local nature reserve. They used a map and followed clues to eventually find a hidden stash of tasty treasure! “I liked the pirate trail and I didn’t fall in any traps!”,Elouise. They spotted many things while there and kept finding extra clues left by the pirates. The trip was finished off with a certificate ceremony, with each child being rewarded for different skills or tasks. After the final pack up, last lunch and flag lowering ceremony we all boarded the coach to head off back to Clarkson. The energy levels were still high and the children, sang, chatted or spotted things out of the window the whole journey home. The only nodding heads were those of the teachers!

It was a hugely successful trip with so many benefits for the children. Not only did they have the opportunity to learn in a different environment with different teachers but also develop social skills and mature as individuals. “I liked the maths one, finding things and putting them into a pattern of threes”, George D. Watching them out of the school environment showed us what super citizens they will grow up to be and what potential they have for the future.  We have already pencilled in potential dates for next year and hope that the uptake for the residential trip will be even more than this year! It really is a great opportunity for them to grow as individuals as well as further their learning.




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