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Year 5’s Lake District Adventure: Building Skills and Memories

Year 5 pupils travelled to the Lake District for a four-night residential stay at Ullswater Centre.


7 June 2024


#School Trips

Year 5’s Lake District Adventure: Building Skills and Memories


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.

Day 1: Exploring the Site

On the first day, the children quickly settled into their activity groups and dorm rooms, unpacking their belongings and making their beds—some with a bit more assistance than others. They eagerly prepared for the day’s adventures.

The evening started with the traditional Outward Bound ‘jog and dip’ into the shallows at the edge of Ullswater Lake, followed by a fun tour of the centre and engaging team-building exercises. The children enjoyed a hearty dinner of pasta, jacket potatoes, and a variety of desserts. After dinner, they participated in a few more activities before winding down with some toast and juice before bed.

A special mention goes to Mariia and Kayden, who both celebrated their birthdays. Everyone had a wonderful time singing Happy Birthday to them.

Day 2: The first full day

began their day bright and early with a hearty breakfast that included cooked dishes, pancakes, toast, and cereal. After fuelling up, the children separated into their day groups to start their activities.

The Tenzing team spent their day in the woods learning about preserving nature and wildlife, followed by an exciting speed boat trip across Ullswater Lake. The Attenborough group hiked up to the summit of Hallin Fell, braving the windy and rainy conditions with smiles on their faces. The Darke team also began their adventure with a speed boat ride and then tackled mountain walking to the summit of Hallin Fell. The Fields group enjoyed kayaking on Ullswater Lake and followed it up with gorge walking, focusing on enhancing their communication skills and building trust. The Chandi group spent their day gorge walking, tackling small waterfalls and balancing over rocks with great enthusiasm.

As dinner time arrived, the children were treated to meatballs, battered chicken, potato wedges, vegetables, and a wide selection of desserts, ensuring they were well-fed and ready for the evening activities. These activities included orienteering, tunnels, night line adventures, and more team-building exercises.

After a quick stop at the dining room for some toast and juice, it was time for bed. All the children (and staff) were ready for some much-needed rest in preparation for another exciting day.

Day 3: A Wholesome Wednesday

The day began with an early start and a hearty breakfast, which has quickly become a favourite among the children. Following breakfast, dorm inspections were conducted, and with some encouragement from the teachers, the rooms were looking great, with some even showing impressive organisation. The children then split into their activity teams for the day.
Team Chandi spent their day canoeing on Ullswater lake. They took a quick pit stop at Aira Force for some conservation work, including litter picking, and reenergized with lunch before hitting the lake again. The children created sails and, thanks to the wind, reached speeds of 5.5 mph. Tenzing team enjoyed a hike up Little Mell Fell, braving wind and hail, followed by a visit to Gawbarrow Hall Farm. There, they learned about cattle, identified different plants, analysed soil, and even tasted some plants, including sweet vernal grass and sorrel.
The Attenborough team had a jam-packed day starting with gorge walking, where they battled torrents, plunged into the water, and slid down the gorge. After drying off and changing, they spent the afternoon in the tunnels, battling the dark and playing fun games. Team Darke and Team Fields started their morning together at Gawbarrow Hall Farm, enjoying activities such as learning about cattle, identifying plant species, and soil analysis. Team Darke then explored Aira Force, discussing waterfalls and conservation methods, while Team Fields hiked around Gawbarrow, engaging in activities like reed origami and listening to nature.

After all these activities, the children were more than ready for dinner, which included sausages, curry, rice, roast potatoes, and dessert. They then returned to their activity groups for evening fun, which included tunnels, orienteering, and a campfire. The day ended with juice, toast, and a visit to the shop to spend their pocket money before heading to bed. Lights went off, and the children quickly fell asleep, exhausted from their full day.

Day 4: The Final Evening

The children woke up to their last full day here at Outward Bounds Ullswater, feeling a bit tired but eager for another day of adventure. Breakfast, especially the pancakes, went down quickly before it was time for another dorm inspection.

Team Tenzing spent the day outdoors, starting with a canoe trip up the lake to the yacht club. After a quick lunch, they hiked to Swarf Beck gorge, testing their resilience, and honing their teamwork and communication skills. They returned to the centre by speed boat. Team Darke began their day rowing across the lake, successfully navigating with determination and hard work. They then spent the afternoon climbing a gorge, using anchoring techniques and Roman Handshakes to stay safe. Despite the wet conditions, the children climbed and balanced with enthusiasm. Team Chandi ventured into the hills, learning about a conservation project, and climbing to the summit of Hallin Fell, completing the challenging climb despite being tired. Fields team navigated the tunnels in the morning, overcoming nerves and working together in dark conditions. In the afternoon, they walked to Hallin Hag woods for team building and conservation work. Attenborough group had fun building rafts, collaborating to move heavy equipment and construct their rafts, followed by conservation work for the John Muir Award, removing rhododendrons to help native species.

Dinner soon approached and the menu included lasagne, hunter’s chicken, cheesy potatoes, and vegetables, topped off with a selection of desserts. For their final night activity, all the groups gathered for a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and sharing their research and findings from the week. It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to discuss what they had learned and showcase their conservation studies. After a quick stop in the canteen for some toast and juice, it was time for bed, ready for their last activity in the morning.

Day 5: Hometime

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 in the evening!

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