Day 5 and it's not called 'Tired Tuesday' for nothing. Apologies to all you grammar aficionados for the use of that double negative but I really had to get my point over. All the children are definitely feeling the effects of being farmers for a week and there were no moans about getting an early night tonight. They were even falling asleep on a very bumpy tractor ride (see picture below). Today's list of chores involved a lot of farm work including everyone's favourite - poo picking the horses' field. Nicky, our leader, was very impressed with the work we did and thought that we were one of the best groups she had ever had clearing the field. More wood was collected, more livestock fed and the chickens were chased around their enclosure by enthusiastic children trying to put them away for the evening. Yesterday a new litter of pigs were born and we were able to go and see them. Very cute indeed and I'm sure if we converted the sensory garden at school into a pig stye we could easily fit one of them in (please Sue?). At the risk of sounding like we are only here for the food as it gets mentioned a lot, today's meals were again a taste sensation and we were treated to some delicious lamb curry made from the local farmer's sheep. The homemade bread and soup made by the children was also pretty good. Tomorrow will be our last full day here and we are all already feeling a bit sad to leave so hoping that our last day is a good one. Till tomorrow...
Now it really is day 4 (see below if that comment confounds you!). We had another fantastic day down here in rural Devon. The weather was a little cooler so that was a relief as it can get pretty hot working out in the sun. We were up at the crack of dawn, which was actually 7 am but to some of us it feels rather early to start work! Breakfast this morning was again a gourmet feast and left us wondering if some of the children had holes in the bottom of their feet. The record must have been 2 bowls of porridge, a bowl of cereal, two bacon rolls, 3 pieces of toast and (yes they had room for more!) an orange. As usual we had the typical round of farm chores to attend to which involved feeding and caring for the livestock as well as doing some moving of more logs. This has led us to the conclusion that it must get pretty cold down here in the winter if they need so much wood to burn. One group went fruit picking and actually managed to collect 5 kilo of gooseberries and 2k of raspberries. Of course this might have been considerably more if they hadn't kept sampling the produce but we all felt it was an important part of quality control! Come dinner time we were all treated to the homemade pizza that one group of the children made. After dinner, it was time for some free time. So that we are not too homesick we are recreating our own little Wimbledon competition and the children have been taking it in turns playing a bit of lawn tennis. We could even have a go at selling some strawberries and cream if we can get the children can stop eating them first! After our evening showers, it was time for a little chilling out in the quiet room which is surprisingly not as quiet as its name implies. We have managed to introduce a few new games and you will all be getting a request on their next birthday for a backgammon set or some jacks - far cheaper than an Xbox so you're welcome!
If I'm being honest it's day 4 already but due to technical problems - in other words, I couldn't get the pictures to upload - the daily check-in is a bit delayed. So back to yesterday which was our third day - this is getting confusing! We had yet another busy day with our early morning tasks followed by yet another hearty breakfast. These farming people sure know how to eat well! The lunch was delicious too - a full traditional roast dinner followed by a delicious dessert made by the children. To walk off our enormous lunch, and as it was such a glorious day, we went on a walk in the countryside. Just before we were about to set off Mrs Hayward turned up for a surprise visit! All the children and staff were delighted to see her and she had 31 children all excitedly telling her all that they had been up to so far. After our walk it was time for some well-earned downtime before dinner. Hopefully you'll hear from us tonight and I won't have a repeat of the iffy-wifi problems! Till then got to go feed some animals ...
Day two has drawn to an end and all the children are tucked up in bed and fast asleep. Today has seen us doing so many activities. We were out on the farm at 7AM and did a good two hours work before breakfast. After some amazing porridge (the secrets in the cream) we headed out for our second job of the day. There were animals to be fed, garden paths to build and butter to make. Lunch was a welcome break from all our chores and gave us lots of energy for an afternoon of moving logs. Undoubtedly the highlight of the day for some of the children was meeting Michael Morpurgo on our way to the cattle farm. He and his lovely wife stopped to have a chat with us, with any luck we will see him again before the week is out.
What an excellent day we have had. We set out at 8 am this morning and arrived just after 2 pm. The drive down was luckily uneventful and our driver, Greg, amazed us with his skills driving down some very small lanes. No sooner had we got here but Tim and Mike were busy getting us settled in showing us the rooms and then giving us a tour around t?Nethercott. We learnt how to put on our boots, wash them after we have been working and make sure our hands are spotlessly clean. This was followed by a delicious home-cooked meal of roast chicken and a salad made of homegrown vegetables. After making a lot of beds (we should now be able to get a job in any hotel) we were ready for a quick run around on the front lawn. The year 6 girls took the opportunity to have a mini photo shoot; obviously thinking of getting in some good pictures for their ends of year presentation! Then we hot the showers and then lights out. Let's hope they are prepared for the 6.30 wakeup call!
We have arrived at Nethercott Farm and are enjoying some tea and scones !
This year we will be taking pupils from years 4, 5 and 6 to Nethercott farm in Devon. If you want to find out more about where we are going click on the picture below to take a look at their website.
France Day 4
On our last full day of the trip, we visited Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy. On the way, we stopped to see the local market at Mer-les-Bains. After much debate, Mr Shaw decided not to buy the large roquefort he had his eye on and settled for a saucisson instead. The children had the chance to use their French to buy souvenirs and presents (not to mention some very smart hats for the disco).
We had lunch in Rouen itself, by the beautiful modern church dedicated to Joan of Arc. Afterwards, Mollie told us all about her life and took us on a tour of the city and the incredible Rouen cathedral. We learnt all about how it was built, and the story of how the original spire burnt down following a lightning strike only to be replaced with a new 850-tonne metal spire! We also had the chance to visit a 16th-century osserie and see the remains of a mummified cat.
In the evening, we had our final night 4-course dinner (including frogs’ legs and snails!). Some of the children were very brave and tried everything. After dinner, the children had the chance to show off their finest clothes and dance moves at the disco. The chateau staff looked seriously impressed!
We have a long journey ahead of us tomorrow, but it will be broken up by a visit to the Nausicaa aquarium which the children are really looking forward to. See you all tomorrow!
France Day 3
Today, our focus was on learning all about the First World War. We started by visiting Wellington Quarry, an enormous network of tunnels dug by allied soldiers around the town of Arras. We saw what life would have been like for the men who lived in the tunnels, often staying underground for eight whole days at a time.
After a picnic lunch by the Arras memorial, we traveled to Vimy Ridge, where we were able to walk in real Allied and German trenches on either side of No Man’s Land. At one point, the gap was only 25 metres! Later, we visited the Canadian memorial, where we had a minute’s silence to reflect on what we had learnt, and to consider the sacrifice that was made by so many 100 years ago. On the way back to the chateau, we passed a German cemetery that contained the remains of over 32,000 soldiers.
In the evening, we had a much needed rest, followed by Mini Olympics. The children had lots of fun competing against each other, as you can see from the photos! Tomorrow, we will go to Rouen to see the cathedral and have a historical tour of the city.
France Day 2
This morning, we visited the picturesque seaside town of Dieppe, where we learnt all about the town’s history. We heard how the town has always been a center of nautical activity, from Abraham Duquesne’s swashbuckling battles with the Spanish navy in the 17th century, right up to the daring raids on German intelligence bases organized by Ian Fleming in 1942. The children also had the chance to explore some local shops and practice their French (“Je voudrais in pain au chocolat s’il vous plaît!”).
In the afternoon, we visited a goat farm run by Laurence and her husband. We saw goats, pigs, cows and even a horse! We also learnt about the milking process and had a chance to try some fresh goats’ milk and cheese. Later on, we had a lovely walk back to the chateau from the beach, followed by archery after dinner. Bring on Day 3!
France Day 1
After a bit of a delay at Folkestone, we have arrived in France! We had a lot of fun on the bus, especially during Coachaoke. The children have been fantastic and we will be at the Chateau soon...
PGL Day 5
Our last day has been one of mixed emotions, happy to go home and see our families but sad to leave the adventure that is PGL and our Group Leader Kieran who has been fantastic with the children.
PGL Day 4
Our last full day at PGL has been a wet and muddy one but the children has blast none the less! They crawled through tunnels, climbed over walls, splashed in puddles and swung across muddy pits, it was like something out of an action film!
The children also participated in giant swing, Jacob's ladder, survivor, trapeze and abseiling!
If that wasn't exciting enough we had a special visit from Mrs Thompson and Miss Patterson!
We finishes the night off with a boogie to candy and Macarena with Miss Bates, Pedro and Tina leading the dance.
PGL Day 3
Day 3 has been a day of conquering our fears, the children have really pushed themselves and supported each other throughout the day. They have had to climb very tall heights that even some of the adults had to think twice about, so a very brave effort from all of our children today.
Some of the activities today included zip wire, abseiling, problem solving and even rifle shooting!
Parents beware the children have amazing aim ! Haha
We are going to finish the night off with ambush which is a little bit like hide and seek but in the woods at night!
PGL Day 2
Day 2 has started with a 'SPLASH'!
The children built their very own rafts and even got to test them in the water.
They worked as a team to paddle and reach different targets, it was all going so well until some of the children thought it would be a great idea to turn into frogs and get in the water for a swim!
They are all drying off and getting ready for lunch and the afternoon activities.
The children, and some of the adults too, enjoyed some afternoon activities which included Giant Swing, Survivor, Quad Biking, Jacobs Ladder and rifle Shooting.
Its now dinner time and then back ofd into the woods for a camp fire!
We finished our second day with a camp fire, where we sang songs, told stories and even told jokes!
We even had a special visit from Sue!
PGL Day 1
Our first day at PGL has been adventurous, the children have explored the woodland area and even got to play some hide and seek ! Some of the children were expert hiders.
They then had to test their general knowledge with a quiz!
They are all tired out and ready for day 2 of their PGL aventure!
We have arrived at PGL!
The children have had their lunch and are waiting to be taken into their rooms to get settled in!
The excitement can be seen in their faces!