A week in the Lake District
Year 5 enjoyed an action packed week in the Lake District.
9 June 2023
Year 5 pupils travelled to the Lake District this week for a four-night stay at Ullswater Centre. The trip encourages self-management, resilience, problem-solving and teamwork. Staying in the heart of the UK’s largest national park, with direct access to Ullswater Lake in a Georgian grade II listed building the children were delighted by the picturesque views. Being surrounded by 18 acres of woodland, outdoor space was plentiful, and pupils loved exploring the vast site and enjoyed nights reflecting around the campfire.
Exploring the site
Much of Monday was taken up with the long journey up to the Lake District, the children were brilliant and there was a lovely atmosphere on the bus with the buzz of excited chatter. Upon arrival, everyone was pleased to stretch their legs and explore the lovely residential centre set against the most wonderful backdrop. After being split into groups and meeting instructors evening activities began, Monday’s agenda included the traditional Outward Bound ‘jog and dip’ into the shallows at the edge of Ullswater itself, raft building and other team building games and scenarios.
The first full day
After a good night’s sleep and hearty breakfast, pupils split off into their six teams to undertake different activities. Tuesday saw some groups scale peaks, others raft across Ullswater, others canoeing or rowing, and some gorge walking too. We had a number of ‘personal firsts’ conquered, whether it was a first-ever hill/fell climbed or crossing a large body of water despite anxiety. As if all of those activities weren’t enough, the evening was spent with some orienteering on site. A happily tired set of Hallfieldians made their way to their rooms that evening for a good night’s sleep.
A wholesome Wednesday
Although the morning started off cool and overcast, it didn’t take too long for our old playmate, the sun, to break through and warm pupils up from the late morning. The teams once again paddled the width of the lake, tackled scramble routes up Hallin Fell, did some rock climbing, learned about Aira Force waterfall and its environment, looked after each other’s safety, encouraged teammates and all the other good things that make this week so worthwhile. A great range of dinner options preceded the evening activities, where some children built their first outdoor fires whilst others did team activities based around the purpose-built tunnels on site. A review of the day and its learning points took place over evening snacks before beds called our tired adventurers to sleep.
The final evening
Thursday was another fantastic day weather-wise and in terms of activities and challenges conquered. The day started by celebrating a birthday and finished by giving the children their chance to get one or two keepsakes from the little gift shop. Throughout the week, they have been getting more and more proficient at getting themselves ready and equipped for the day ahead using the highly organised equipment stores at the Outward Bound Trust. After getting packed and ready for the day, the different teams fanned out across the locality once again to do some gorge walks, peak climbs and water-based activities. Indeed, many groups seemed to have some very wet moments on Thursday: gorge walkers cooling off in river pools and lake jumpers getting fully immersed for the final time before our return home.
The final morning in the Lakes was spent creating nature art, building campfires, litter picking and exploring the tunnels. What a fun way to finish the week. Pupils have had a fantastic time showing resilience, overcoming fears and forming even stronger bonds with their teams. We’re sure there will be lots of tired faces this evening!
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