St Thomas More Catholic

Primary School

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

Year 6 Residential Visit to Alton Castle

September 2012

The Year 6 children once again took part in the residential visit to the Diocesan Youth Retreat Centre at Alton Castle in Staffordshire, as part of their continuing faith journey.

The centre offers the children the opportunity of taking part in some really exciting outdoor activities whilst focusing on the wonder and awe of God's creation and how it impacts on their own faith.

Our arrival at the castle was greeted by five grinning members of the Alton Castle team and we were all excited to begin our stay.

The first day was a day for the children to take part in exciting activities that encouraged the whole group to get involved in trust games and work together as a team to solve problems.

One of the children's favourite activities was a blindfolded walk, where they had to learn to trust a partner when their gift of sight was taken away by the blindfold. Our theme was 'Journeys', the children journeyed to the centre of the Ancient Mystical Labyrinth. This is an ancient way of sharing prayer.

After the days activities, 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. After a well earned dinner, the friendly castle team led the children in night time activities ranging from night-line and bench-ball to meditations. It really was a fun and thought provoking day.

Over the next two days, 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.

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

Alton Towers soon became a long lost thought!