Year 7 Trip to Winmarleigh Hall

On Friday 17th September, the Year 7 students headed off to Winmarleigh Hall for a couple of days packed with excitement, activity and adventure.

At 8.30 on the Friday morning they headed out to the coaches, with their bags and suitcases, some of which were bigger than them, packed full of clothes, sleeping bags, pillows and plenty of snacks.

On arrival at the Hall the children were shown their dorms and split into the groups they would be in for all of the activities. The purpose of the two days away was to have an opportunity for all the children to get to know each other, rather than just those in their Form or teaching group and to get to know the Year 7 Pastoral Team too.

Once the luggage was safely stored in the dorms the activities and fun began. There were four activity sessions per day with the students being given the opportunity to try out:

  • The High Ropes Course – testing their nerve and skill as they manoeuvred across various rope structures several metres off the ground.
  • Problem Solving – which involved thinking outside the box, working together as a team to get  across a river of crocodiles or to remove the bomb before it exploded!
  • Raft Building – using four plastic barrels, four pieces of rope and two logs. Most managed to keep their rafts afloat, although everyone ended up getting very wet!
  • The Sensory Trail – wearing blackened goggles the students had to support each other walking through the trees, trying to avoid, tree stumps etc. This relied heavily on the leader providing clear instructions and the rest of the team listening carefully and passing them on. Some of our taller students did occasionally get them selves into a bit of a pickle when they got stuck inside tyres and tunnels, but their teams came to the rescue.
  • The Zip Wire – those who had the nerve to stand at the top of the tower then had the exhilaration of whizzing down the zip wire – everyone was keen to have as many goes as they could.
  • The Challenge Course – working together to determine how to complete a variety of assault courses.

Many of the activities required good teamwork – working together to solve problems, helping each other over various obstacles and generally encouraging and cheering each other on. It was so good to see how the students cheered their teammates when they stepped out of their comfort zone to try something new.

After the evening meal on Friday night, as dusk began to close in, there were more team activities on the field, with the final challenge of the day being to use several pieces of cardboard to build protection for a water bomb, to ensure the water bomb did not explode when dropped from a great height. One team managed to achieve this – their reward was to throw their water bomb at one of the leaders!

Before departing on the Saturday night, we all sat around the campfire in the dark, joining in with a variety of action songs as the PGL leaders led us through the tale of their holiday.

Although exhausted by the end of Saturday night, all the students were smiling as they got on the coach to travel back to Westholme – exhilarated by the fresh air and the amazing time they had on their first overnight trip as members of Westholme Senior School.

The Year 7 Pastoral Team are proud of all the students – their willingness to have a go, their politeness around the centre and the way they worked together and supported each other throughout the adventure.