Tales from the Isle of Wight 2018
The Year 6 adventure starts here!
And we’re off! What a beautiful start to this exciting week. Two children have their birthday today too! The weather at 6:15am was bright and looked promising for the rest of the day. Leaving school this morning, we could see many smiling and some teary parents waving us off on our exciting journey with Humpty Dumpty and Bungle (our annual coach drivers) in charge. They were in a particularly competitive mood this morning with their jazzy signs on the front of their coaches. Bungle went all-out with the glitter and Humpty opted for flamed lettering!
The M25 was quite busy and we had a slow start but that didn’t dampen our spirits. The teachers had no chance of a sneaky snooze with all the children singing along to Humpty’s tunes on Coach A. The children on Coach B had quite a unique way of keeping track of everyone on Coach A. They noticed that they could just look out for Mr Newsome’s “bald head” at the back of the Coach!
Most children are particularly fond of their new, fashionable attire for the trip- the obligatory orange hat! However, one boy on Coach A suggested: “I don’t need to wear an orange hat- my hair is already the same colour and I can’t lose that!”
We arrived in Portsmouth early and the children were relieved to have some time in the fresh air before boarding the ferry. One child was extremely excited to see a Morrison’s supermarket however another child was completely unimpressed by a hovercraft on the water that “wasn’t even hovering”.
As we approached the ferry terminal, Bungle and Humpty asked the children to get their passports ready. A chorus of, “My mum didn’t pack my passport!” echoed on both coaches. Not to worry- Bungle and Humpty used the art of persuasion and we were allowed to queue. Humpty wasn’t happy though as he had a case of serious coach envy. The coach in front of us as we were waiting to board the ferry had “awesome, moody green lighting inside." Nevertheless, he got us all to the Isle of Wight safely.
Humpty and Bungle then informed the children that they would need to put their ‘serious faces’ on when we went through the ‘scanners’ to get onto the ferry. One child said, “I didn’t have to do that when we went to the Isle of Wight last year with my family.” Another questioned whether it mattered if they smiled or not and Humpty suggested that they could only smile if they could recreate the exact same smile on the way back on Friday.
The sun continued to shine brightly at Robin Hill Country Park. Some children even saved 8 baby ducklings and helped them back to their mummy on the bank. The children thoroughly enjoyed going on the Colossus boat many times, getting lost in the maze, playing in the model village, getting soaked on the splash attack and screaming when watching the 4D cinema. One child had a pretty disastrous lunch time though. Where do we begin? Firstly, there was a humongous sun cream explosion in her bag, which caused utter carnage and then somehow the actual sun cream bottle ended up buried beneath her rice in her lunchbox. Not long after, whilst the child was on the toboggan, she managed to rip her trousers and came back to her sun-cream-covered rice being eaten by a very appreciative peacock.
Upon arrival at PGL we were warmly greeted by our groupies Katie and Dan and have been singing songs and playing games with them since. They helped unload the coaches and showed the children to their accommodation. After a quick settling in period in our lovely cabins, we headed to the dining hall for a delicious dinner. On the menu this evening was cottage pie, fish fingers and chips, soup, a variety of fruits and vegetables and some delicious doughnuts. They were the most well-behaved school at dinner and have remembered their Woodlands manners to the Coach drivers, groupies and chefs. All this and the day still isn’t over. The children will be playing a variety of sporty games until 8:30pm and then will shower (we hope) and snuggle up in their cosy cabins, ready for another fun-filled day tomorrow.
Watch our day 1 highlights below:
Most of the children were already up, dressed and ready before we came knocking at 7:00am this morning. I think it’s safe to say they were really excited for the activities at PGL today. One cabin had set up a cleaning rota with no less than 26 rules for each inhabitant to follow. The clothes are neatly piled, the beds are freshly made and according to rule number 10, “no farting in the cabin!”
The other cabins however, are a totally different story; I’ll let your imagination run wild here. More on this later in the week…
After a brief talk about the day ahead from Miss Powell, we made our way to the dining room for a yummy breakfast. The breakfast was lovely and the children filled themselves up on bacon, hash browns, a range of cereals, yoghurts and toast, or a mixture of them all! One child opted for a single piece of bacon, an orange and some yoghurt – delicious! This set them up well for their busy morning activities. Although, one child did manage to spill a jug of water in their breakfast and sat aghast for a few minutes before Mr Newsome came to the rescue. Another child came running over to Mrs Timms shouting, “I’ve got bread in my eye!” With a puzzled expression, Mrs Timms managed to remove the bread from his eye and luckily the child didn’t require any further medical assistance.
The morning activities started with different groups climbing heights, fencing, jumping in Aeroball and conquering their fears with their groups. It was so lovely to hear how many children were supporting each other and giving everything a go. They have made us so proud with their enthusiasm and team work! Some children have been hesitant about going outside their comfort zones on some activities but with encouragement from Woodlands staff and the rest of the children, they have taken part and achieved what they thought would be impossible.
After our morning activities, we were lucky enough to enjoy some well- deserved down time in the sunshine. During this time, Mr Stokes and Mr Newsome took some children to play football against another school and Woodlands played well and didn’t let us down. Great sportsmanship all round. Back at the cabins, three boys lost their door key so earned themselves the forfeit of wearing pants on their head for the rest of the day. Another case of lost keys meant that one boy had to wear socks on his hands over lunch time. I think they got the message in the end. Lunch was a very welcome sight for many hungry children (and staff).
With full tummies, the children headed off for their afternoon activities in the glorious sunshine. Aeroball was probably not the best idea straight after lunch- I won’t go into details here but again, you can imagine. The zip wire and giant swing were firm favourites with the children and many of the staff. The children managed to adopt the perfect Superman pose on the zip wire and some even flew off backwards.
The children have enjoyed their dinner; there were many clear plates and the children commented on how lovely the food has been here. Somehow though, one child managed to spill their entire bowl of soup all over the table before even taking one spoonful. Utter carnage could have ensued but Super Newsome was on the case again and dinner was saved.
When one child asked Mrs Totham what this evening had in store, she told them that they were going to be taking part in ‘wacky races’, to which one child replied, “I won’t get whacked will I?” Shrieks of laughter could be heard amongst the group and that just about sums up our day here at PGL. Lots of laughter, incredible, life-long memories and ‘wacky’ moments!
There were lots of sleepy children in the Isle of Wight this morning as we were up early for our exciting trip to The Needles. Making our way to breakfast this morning, many children opted to stay in their slippers and dressing gowns until after. Many children had delicious, balanced breakfasts, which consisted of fresh yoghurt, porridge, fruits or a cooked breakfast. However, one child had no less than seven slices of toast with butter and jam.
After collecting their named packed lunches, the children got into the coaches and we set off on the picturesque drive across the Island to The Needles at Alum Bay. As children walked down the steep steps to board the boat, which would take them to The Needles, one child commented that it was a “sick view”, which translated means, “visually attractive” (we think). Whilst the children were waiting on the cove to board the boat, one child ran up to Mrs Totham saying, “I can’t believe someone has coloured this stone in chalk; that’s so disrespectful!” Standing dismayed, she gave the child a quick lesson on rocks and promised that no one had vandalised the rock. In fact, it was a piece of chalk… Another child, who happens to be the child of one of the teachers at Woodlands, forgot to put their hat on so suffered the forfeit of wearing Mrs Timms’ flip flops on their hands on the beach. Any guesses who that may be?
On board the boat, we were amazed by the beautiful views as we left the dock. The children thoroughly enjoyed spotting caves in the cliffs and learning about the wartime fort at the top. The captain of the boat told the children all about how the fort was built by hand and debris was sucked up from the inside to make the cliff hollow. One child asked, very bewildered, whether they had to suck up the debris with their mouths. We emphasised that that would have been extremely painful and that they would have used machines!
After the boat trip it was time to walk back up the steps, dubbed as ‘The Stairway to Hell’ by a lovely child in Beech class. Despite a child claiming that their “legs need charging” and another claiming that they “wouldn’t survive in the wild”, they eventually made it to the top. One child even carried a very large, wet boulder in his bag all the way and claims he will take it home. You’ll have to wait and see if it’s your home that will be adorned with this unique souvenir.
It was then time for some early lunch as all that climbing made us very hungry indeed. After this, the children went to empty their wallets in the souvenir shops. One child boasted that they had managed to buy their mum, dad, brother, grandma AND grandad all a present each, all for only £1.85. I know some of you won’t be able to contain your excitement at what that present may be.
After watching the glass demo, we then got back on the coaches and headed across the island on the most beautiful, scenic route. On Coach B, the children sang along to the tunes of DJ Gould and MC Burns and on Coach A there was SO much singing. We were then onto Sanddown Beach. Adults and children alike had a blast and I think it’s safe to say that it’s been a firm favourite with everyone. Miss Powell led a huge game of rugby, Mr Burns and Mr Stokes joined in on the football, lots of the teachers took part in piggyback races and were at the bottom of the human pyramids. We all played in the sea and Mrs Totham and a dedicated team made a huge sandcastle with a massive moat around it. We had so much fun - our cheeks were hurting from all the smiling and laughing. However, once we returned to the coaches, Bungle and Humpty looked on in horror as they saw the state of the children! Over half the beach was clinging to the soggy shorts of one child. They then declared that everyone had to have a good dusting off before entering the coach, to which one boy’s solution was to roll around in the freshly cut grass, only worsening the situation! Eventually we were all on board and we were informed that we had completed an entire lap of the Isle of Wight today. On the way back, DJ Humpty played ‘Reach For The Stars’ by S Club 7. Mrs Totham mentioned that this song was playing on the radio when she went on her Year 6 residential trip and one child asked if they even had radios in those days.
This wonderful trip has meant that us teachers have been able to get to know the children even better. One child even chatted to Miss Gould about her recent cruise around ‘Denmark and Swindon’ but I think we deciphered that she meant ‘Sweden’. I’ll leave it there.
Watch the video below and see if you can spot your child.
We are experiencing lots of technical difficulties with the visitor comments part of the blog. e4education are working on it so hopefully they will appear soon!
Even though comments can't be posted, staff can edit this page!! There's been great fun in the staffroom today after reading all about the fun on day 3.
Day 3 was also the day of the dreaded room inspections. Dreaded by the teacher doing it that is! After a fitful night's sleep after the sights she saw, Miss Powell was finally able to sum it up for the parents in the video below. See if you can spot your child's room!
We woke this morning to cloudy skies and a chance of rain later on. That didn’t dampen our spirits as the children had an exciting day of activities ahead of them. The children cheered as the breakfast options were read out this morning and are becoming more adventurous with their food choices. One child decided to try and make his own orange juice by squeezing three oranges into a glass. Unsurprisingly maybe, he gave up quite quickly and just sucked the juice out instead.
After breakfast, we split off into our groups for some more challenging activities. On the sensory trail, the children were ankle deep in slushy mud and water before 9:30am and on the abseiling wall, the children cheered each other on as they descended from a great height. It was brilliant to see so many children giving everything a go!
After lunch, the heavens opened. Nevertheless, the children put on their harnesses again and enjoyed the giant swing, competitive team games and the zip wire. Although we were all wet and muddy, we had great fun and so many children got stuck into the challenges. And don’t worry – one child’s advice for getting the stains out of their clothes is to “just put a dash of Vanish Gold in the washer.” Sorted.
Luckily, the rain stopped for our evening of more fun on the beach. The children loved it so much yesterday that we just had to take them again. The children enjoyed finding shells, running freely on the beach, doing gymnastics, playing football and we had a mega game of rounders. One child decided to wear her underwear on the outside of her leggings and declared she was Captain Underpants. Bewildered, another child asked if she had actually put her existing underwear on the outside, to which Captain Underpants replied, “Of course not. I’m not crazy!” Hmm...
Before the children boarded the coach back from the beach, Bungle and Humpty did the annual sand dance beside the coaches. Everyone is very tired now but before the children go to bed tonight, they need to pack up their belongings. Wish them luck!
Many children continued their packing until the very last minute this morning. Mr Burns and Mrs Totham conducted a thorough room check after the children had vacated their cabins and found that most rooms were left in a perfect condition. However, Cabin 9 was a totally different story. Don’t worry though, the soggy clothes, Dano towels and dirty washing was returned to the correct owners ready for a good wash!
Dragon boat racing was the first activity of the day and everyone got to take part together, which was lovely. With buoyancy aids tightly on and paddles at the ready, we made our way to the boats. Following the commands of the instructors at PGL we paddled to rhythms and raced each other. Mrs Timms’ team was particularly competitive. It was hard work but great to work as a team.
Everyone then split off for their last activities of the holiday and we were all feeling a bit emotional that it was all over. The children have made us unbelievably proud this week and we were blown away by their bravery and support of each other on this holiday.
After this, we got on the coaches at PGL and waved a sad goodbye to our groupies. The children were so sad to leave and so many commented on how much fun they’ve had and how fast this week has gone. As soon as we docked in Portsmouth though, everyone was ready to get home and tell everyone all about the fantastic time we’ve had this week and the wonderful memories we have made.
Thank you to Katie and Dan (our groupies) for their dedication, endless energy and fun this week. They were so flexible and caring and the children loved them.
A massive thank you to Bungle and Humpty, who greeted the staff with cakes and biscuits on the coach journey home for their hard work this week. They have been so much fun and so kind and generous with their time all week.
Lastly, I can honestly say that each one of us adults have had the best time with the children and have loved watching them make memories with their friends this week. It has been a real pleasure to take them on this holiday of a lifetime and they have been a credit to our school.
Now for half term and a really exciting final term together!!
Here are some of the highlights at PGL Little Canada!