Photos from the week will appear in this album as the week goes on!
Everyone arrived safely at Calshot and the children have engaged with the first activities with great enthusiasm! Rafts have been built, walls have been climbed and skis have been seen racing down the slopes - often with children still attatched to them..!
The only activity that couldn't be done today was the trawling. A stiff wind meant it was much too choppy out in Southampton Water. Hurricanes were blamed.
The beds have also been made successfully and the first large portions of Calshot food have been consumed. Feeling full and rather tired then, the children have changed for bed and are ready for some well-earned rest. Let's hope they sleep..!
Following a refreshing sleep (yes, they slept!), the children launched themselves into a hearty Calshot breakfast. Then, the first full dayof activities began. It was less windy than yesterday but a little damp from dizzle here on the South Coast. However, this didn't diminish the enthusiasm of the children kayaking and completion of the initiative course. Teamwork is rapidly improving. The evening activities are also proving popular, especially the 'egg drop'. It's messy but very gratifying! Everyone definitely needs a shower now...
Everyone is now well-versed in the Calshot routine - sleep, breakfast, frantic search for gloves. Okay, it's more complicated than that but all the children have certainly settled into their life by the sea. Their organisation skills and general independent thinking have been tested but they've responded very well.
The plentiful food (and calories) here has certainly been needed today as the physical nature of the activities has increased once more. For examle, more groups have been out orienteering in the New Forest - scrambling through branches and brush with maps and compasses in hand. There has been a lot of evidence of the co-operation and team support that as a school we encourage in order for the children to succeed.
The realisation that we're now on the 'homeward' stretch of our Calshot voyage has made children think again about their hopes and goals for the remainder of our time here. It has undoubtedly sharpened the focus on climbing the wall higher and skiing faster, but perhaps more importantly has also made them aware of the need to make as much of the friendship time with their Year 6 compatriots. They know now, if they didn't really appreciate it before, that this is going to be one of the key memories of their final year at St Mary's...
Here we are already at Day 4 and one might think that the children would be getting tired now. However, everyone still seems to have a full four bars on the battery!
It was a bit cold for the outdoor activities but they perservered gallantly. For the raft building on the (unheated) outdoor pool, it was chilly but not so bad that any ice needed to be broken to get into it...
Tasks like the 'low ropes' initiative course really test the ingenuity and collaboration skills of the children. It becomes quickly apparent who are those who have developed the awareness of others and those who still need to work at this attribute. It's vital that they understand the task is about 'us' and not 'me'. The Calshot instructors are excellent at reinforcing the message that everyone achieves more together; a pertinent example of our school value of 'One Family'.
Packing has begun for our return tomorrow and the usual cry has already been heard from numerous bedrooms - "how did mum get all this stuff into this suitcase in the first place?"
See you tomorrow..!
Having packed their suitcases with the utmost care (!), the children embarked today on the final round of activities. They were determined to push on and achieve a 'personal best' in whichever task they had today.
There was of course a palpable sense of sadness at having to leave Calshot but this was matched by the keeness to return home and see loved ones. Some also seemed delighted at the prospect of being plugged back into their electronic devices as well...
Many enduring memories have undoubtedly been created this week. One may safely assume that the children will remember Calshot 2017 fondly for years to come.