On a rather cold April morning Year 5 set off on their Isle of Wight adventure, to PGL, Little Canada. It started at 7am on Monday 30th April with a coach ride to Portsmouth harbour to catch the ‘Fast Cat’ catamaran to Ryde in the Isle of Wight. On our arrival we met Kieran dressed in a blue onesie, dancing on the steps of the Activity Zone (he was to be our Group Leader/Groupie for the week). We then had lunch and split into our groups for our first activity. Group 1 had to tackle ‘All Aboard’ where 2 or 3 girls have to climb to the top of a 6-metre pole and stand on a small platform. Obviously balancing on the platform becomes more difficult as each new person climbs up. This was a great start to our adventurous activities and gave us an insight into the challenges we faced in the week ahead! On our first night, we also faced the Matrix, which was a mix of physical and mental challenges, which included a ‘mission impossible’ style laser beam task.
After two exciting activities, we collected our luggage and headed to our new home, Woodlands. It was a big, red brick house, with some bedrooms downstairs and some upstairs. Excitedly everyone found their room and started to unpack. It was then time for our evening meal. The canteen was really spacious and every day there was a different choice of meals, with homemade soup, wholemeal rolls, pasta and rice salads. The pudding on the first night was doughnuts – yum!
Day two brought sunshine, our first sight of a rare red squirrel and a morning of kayaking! Down at the beach, the sea was calm and we all enjoyed kayaking in either single or paired – Mr Rushworth even kitted up and came in. The afternoon brought two more fun activities: Trapeze and Zipwire. For each activity, we were expected to put on our own leg and chest harnesses and for most activities, we also had to belay, which means controlling the ropes for the person climbing.
On Tuesday night our first dorm inspection theme was ‘Under the Sea’. We all tried really hard to make our dorm rooms into an ocean. We made up songs and wore swimming costumes to make it as realistic as possible. We had mermaids, sea slugs and new aquatic species (made from towels) to try and win dorm points. Throughout the week dorm points were awarded by our teachers for all aspects of our: attitude, behaviour, effort and achievement. Tuesday night brought a campfire in the woods and we learned new songs and ate toasted marshmallows, that our teachers made in the searing heat of the fire!
Wednesday started in a rather soggy fashion, doing quad biking, orienteering and the sensory trail in the rain. By mid-morning, it had dried out and we continued our activities with climbing, orienteering and the obstacle course. Wednesday evening brought another dorm inspection and this time the theme was Ying Yang. We tried to make our rooms into two very different countries or themes. Mrs Keyter and Miss Gurney particularly liked the tropical/arctic mix in room W5.
During our week at PGL, it was important to eat well at each meal, as the days were so packed with activities that we needed the energy. Each morning started with a cooked breakfast, a choice of cereals, toast, fruit and yoghurt. We all enjoyed the food and the kitchen staff were so friendly and helpful, always asking us if we wanted more.
Our final day of activities brought the Giant Swing, Aeroball and Archery. The Giant Swing was a big hit with everyone. Two girls were harnessed to a metal bar and the rest of the group had to work as a team to pull them 10 metres into the air. We then had a countdown and one of the girls on the swing would pull the ripcord, sending them plummeting earthward. It is a fast and exhilarating drop and made your stomach do a somersault! We each had a chance to do it 3 times! Thursday was a great day and ended with two quizzes so that we could collect more dorm points.
Friday morning came all too soon and after lots of stuffing sleeping bags into their holders, we all climbed aboard the coach before setting off back to the catamaran and the mainland.
We all agree this was a fantastic adventure in which we all challenged ourselves to do something new, become more organised and responsible and work together with our classmates to achieve success. Some of us would have been happy to stay a bit longer and do all the activities we didn’t have time for
A huge thank you to Miss Gurney, Mrs Keyter and Mr Rushworth for all their hard work, fun and effort throughout our wonderful week away.
5G & 5R