St Thomas More Catholic

Primary School

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

Year 6 Residential at Alton Castle

December 2009

As part of their continuing faith journey, the children in Year 6 take part in a residential activity at the Diocesan Youth Retreat Centre at Alton Castle in Staffordshire. The centre offers the children the opportunity of taking part in some really exciting outdoor activities whilst considering their spiritual impact too.

When we arrived at the Castle on Monday morning we were all excited to be taking part in a day retreat. This was a day for the children to take part in exciting activities that encouraged the whole group to get involved and work together as a team to solve problems.

One of the best activities was a blindfolded walk, where the children had to learn to trust a partner when their gift of sight was taken away by a blindfold. Each fun activity gave the children a chance to reflect on the days theme. Our theme was journeys, the children took time consider what they had done so far in their lives and reflected positively on where their life journey was going to take them. It was wonderful to see the children realising that we are all taking a similar journey and that we are able to help each other through the good and bad times.

At the castle, the children were eager to get to their rooms and have some free time. They were all very excited to be staying at the Castle.

The friendly staff led the children in night time activities after dinner which ranged from astronomy to meditations. It really was a fun and thought provoking day.

Over the next couple of days the children got to partake in three activities each. Rock climbing was very exciting, and the children again had to learn to trust their friends as they protected them and helped them to climb an indoor rock face. Other activities included trekking, a survival course, and archery.

Each night, the children 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 eager to take part praying for their own families, friends and concerns.

To end the trip we all took part in a lovely Mass which we learnt a new hymn for. We are going to sing the hymn in our class assembly to share with the rest of the school.

Our trip was a real success, and we are now putting our improved team work skills to use in school.