Last week, children in Year 3, 4 and 6, along with Miss Proctor, Miss Barham, Mr Hindmarsh and Miss Lancaster, had the opportunity to participate in our most exciting school trip of the year – a residential visit to the Townsend centre at Swanage in Dorset!
The Townsend Centre is located on the World Heritage Jurassic Coast in Swanage. The Centre and surrounding area provided a perfect location for a range of adventure activities and curriculum linked field studies, for example a trip to an adventure farm, a walk along the Saxon walls built by Alexander the Great in Wearham or learning survival skills in the forest school. This meant that the activities were adventurous as well as educational.
With much excitement and enthusiasm, we set off early on Monday morning to complete the 4 hour journey down South to beautiful Swanage in Dorset.
We arrived safely at the Townsend Centre ready for lunch which happily consisted of sandwiches and delicious chocolate chip cake! We then ventured down to the beach to soak up the last of the day's sun and dip our toes (or our whole bottom halves in some cases) in the sea. We then headed back to the centre to make beds, unpack and have dinner.
After dinner, free time consisted of football, tennis and an adventure playground, followed by hot chocolate then bed!
After a delicious cooked breakfast, our tummies were full as we headed out on the half an hour walk to Putlake Farm. Our time at the farm was split between a huge soft play/ ball pool area with slides and tunnels and during the remaining time the children had the chance to get up close and personal with the animals on the farm. A particular highlight was the children having the opportunity to feed both goats and lambs. They were also able to hold and pet some very friendly guinea pigs and feed Holly the horse (There may also have been one or two selfies with the Alpacas!).
The day at the farm was finished off with a tractor ride and then a walk across the fields back to the centre. The rain set in shortly after we arrived back so, after dinner, the children enjoyed a DVD with popcorn as a treat.
The day was finished off with hot chocolate and scrumptious cookies. Unsurprisingly after our busy day, there were no complaints at bedtime!
There were some sleepy faces by the morning of day three but the call of another cooked breakfast definitely helped!
On Wednesday we took a coach to Wearham, 9 miles from the centre. Wareham is famous for its monumental Saxon earth ‘walls’, constructed on three sides of the town in the 9th century by King Alfred to defend against Viking invaders. When we arrived we split into two groups – the Saxons and the Vikings. We then began walking the lengths of the walls using photographs to find our way. By the time we arrived back at our starting point we had enjoyed a great day filled with a Viking attack, stories of Alfred the Great, and a lot of avoiding cow pats!
The evening’s free time consisted of some very competitive tennis and football and fun in the adventure playground before hot chocolate, cookies and bed.
For our last full day at the centre we spent the morning onsite and after breakfast, headed into the forest school. Here, we learned how to make a successful fire and then cooked marshmallows on it, much to the children’s excitement. We then made an attempt to build our own shelters using logs, twigs and leaves. The children displayed excellent team work and leadership skills during this activity, although how much shelter we actually created is highly debatable!
In the afternoon, we headed back to the beach. The children spent the afternoon buying presents for family and friends with their pocket money in town and playing on the beach. The sun even attempted to make an appearance for us which really made our day.
We finished our day with a brilliant disco after dinner with everyone on the dancefloor – even Mr Hindmarsh! Before bed we were treated to hot chocolate and a delicious cake with candles to celebrate one of the children’s 8th birthday.
On our last morning we enjoyed our final scrumptious cooked breakfast before saying a sad goodbye to the amazing tutors at the Townsend Centre. We then set off on our coach journey back to Plumstead before arriving safely back at school ready to greet our loved ones.
During the trip the children not only benefited from experiencing the contrasting locality, but also from the opportunity to develop their life skills and independence. The dedicated and enthusiastic staff team at the centre, as well as the teachers from Conway, gave the children a week they will never forget