Day 1 - Monday 17th June
A 7am departure time and a little sprinkle of rain couldn’t bring Year 6’s spirit down!
We arrived at Pendarren House around 1pm and settled down to a lovely treat of jam sandwiches and cupcakes! Refreshed, the kids were ready for action and we split into groups.
Group 1 went abseiling and had an exciting time ziplining with Instructor Luke! We faced our fears and pushed ourselves beyond our limits and fears to reach the top of the wall. Group 2 went on a mountain walk, we almost lost our breath at 600m! We saw sheep, lots of wild ponies and played Hide-and-Seek at the top! Instructor Mike has an encyclopedic memory and gave us a brief history lesson!
We arrived back at the Annex in time to make our beds, unpack, relax and wash up for dinner.
For dinner, we ate a vegetable pizza with homemade coleslaw, baked potato and a side salad overlooking Welsh mountains. The students are going to take it in turns to serve their peers and teachers as well as washing up and clearing away. After all the tables were cleared, the students swept their rooms for their inspection before a fire drill demonstration.
At the end of a long day, it was time for a quick stop at the tuck shop and free play before lights out at 10pm.
Day 2 - Tuesday 18th June
This morning, Year 6 were woken up at 7.30 (and not a minute later!) by the morning bell and got ready in a flash. After a breakfast of cereal, toast and pancakes (bacon optional), the students got stuck in with their chores. The girl’s dorm passed the daily room inspection with the highest score of 9 - the boy’s dorm fell behind with a score of 8.5!
Today, Instructor Luke gave us an interactive explanation about hydrology and geology -- we identified different types of rocks and how old they were and learned about the water cycle-- before we set out to do a River Study on top of Maen Llia. We learned all about the source of rivers and tracked this at various points, including through Porth yr Ogof Cave and ending at a waterfall. What happens when you get to a waterfall? Yes, you get drenched and that's exactly what happened to us all! Wet but feeling very brave, we headed back to our base for the week.
To end the day, we all took part in a crazy obstacle course wearing blindfolds! Each child led their partner. For most, it was a lesson in trust and how to direct others. After all the excitement of today, the students settled into bed after a trip to the tuck shop to buy postcards to send home.
What's the plan for tomorrow? Beach trip here we come!
Day 3 - Wednesday 19th June
We got things moving early this morning! After breakfast, we got ready to go to the beach. We had all our waterproof kit on just in case, but lucky for us we had brilliantly sunny weather. We heard that everyone back home got a little wet!
After a 30 minute walk along the cliffs overlooking a picture-perfect view and with friendly dogs passing us and seals below playing hide-and-seek, we walked across the beach,settled and found our spot for lunch. Things got even more exciting afterwards! Hiding all around us were creatures of all shapes and sizes. Armed with a container and a sieve in hand, we set out to explore the rockpools. Some of us were courageous enough to handle the different kinds of crabs that we caught! Our Caswell Beach (near Swansea) excursion ended with free play in the sea and on the sand.
In the evening back at Pendarren, Dan The Storyteller paid us a visit and thrilled us with Welsh-based tales. Inspired, we told our very own stories in a tipi by a campfire! With no marshmallows to toast, popcorn kernels had to do and each of us took it in turns to hold the rod over a fire. Different, but it sure did turn into corn. To end the night we shared what our favourite moments at Bruce Grove were and our dreams!
Everyone’s really excited about hitting the canoes tomorrow!