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St Thomas More Catholic

Primary School

Christ is the centre of our School community, where we live, love and learn together

Year 6 at Alton Castle

11 September 2013

"On Wednesday 11th September 2013, Year 6 dragged their overloaded, heavy luggage onto the coach and waved goodbye to their parents and set off for an adventure at Alton Castle, Staffordshire.

When we arrived we had to walk up a steep, tall, hill. Eventually we got to the top, and standing right in front of me was the biggest building I have ever seen in my life. From that moment, I knew this was going to be the best school trip ever.

After settling in our first activity was orienteering. It was quite hard, we were all given a map, and we had to find everything on it and answer all the questions. At the end, my team found the answers to 4 out of a possible 10 questions. (We did try our hardest though !)

We then had a hymn practice, we learnt some great songs. My favourite hymn was 'We will praise you.'

Next, we set off out side to do trust exercises. We each had a partner, and one of us needed to be blind folded, my partner was Louie Kite. Unfortunately, Louie sent me through a gigantic puddle, I was not very happy; so on his turn I got him back, he was drenched. We were then guided to a small circle of rocks and we had to sit on them. After every one was in, we took off our blindfolds and were told to pick a rock that represented us. My rock had a rough side to represent the bad times, and a smooth side to represent the good times.

Later that evening we had an activity called the Night Line. This time we did our activity with Pugin, my group. It was awesome. We had to follow and hold on to a big, thick rope around a tricky course on the side of a hill. The things on the course were climbing over trees, walking through muddy puddles and squirming under and over rocks.

Finally, it was time for bed, but for us that wasn't the case. We had brought big sack full of food each. After some time, we got to sleep, ready for the tough day that lay ahead of us tomorrow."

As you can tell from the extract of Callum's recount Year 6 had a wonderful time at their annual retreat to Alton Castle.

The children had the opportunity to take part in three activities each. The adventure course proved to be the most popular, this needed all the children's strength and courage to complete, especially blindfolded! Other activities included, trekking to Ines Rock, survival that included roasting marshmallows over on open fire (yummy) and archery.

Each night, the children showed great reverence when they took part in night prayer; rooms were set to be peaceful and calm, with candles burning and quiet music playing. All the children were involved and keen to take part praying for their own families, friends.

Mass was the culmination of a wonderful few days where everyone involved had been touched, in some way, by the events which took place at the castle.

Picture 1 We were given a guided tour of the church
Picture 2 Father Michael explained the history
Picture 3 The accommodation leaves a lot to be desired!
Picture 4 Learning about the importance of clean water
Picture 5 Team-building exercise, trust was all important.
Picture 6 An activity where they had to trust each other
Picture 7 Toasting marshmallows around the fire.
Picture 8 Ha! We get to eat real food at a proper table
Picture 9 One of the girls was asked to read
Picture 10
Picture 11 I want to break free! The great escape.
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