The winners of the Grange Schools Blog competition. Get a pupils perspective on a trip here.
The Grange School from Cheshire came here at the start of term and following their trip they held a Blog writing contest for their pupils. In keeping with the high standard of the effort the pupils made on their residential, the competition was of a high standard too! Find out a pupils perspective with the help of Alice, Erin and Rachel…
“We all set off from school on Friday morning super excited for our weekend at Bewerley Park. It was going to be a great opportunity to get to know the new members of our form groups and make some new friends.
When we arrived at Bewerley Park the sun was shining. After we collected our waterproof clothing (for wet activities, not because we were expecting rain!) we went to our rooms and unpacked. The first activity we did after lunch was a trip to Brimham Rocks. Here we climbed up some huge rocks and wriggled through some very small gaps and tunnels. The best bit was sitting on top of a rock which was several meters high; we were all relieved to have reached the top and were all happy to have conquered, what was for some of us, a challenging activity.
After tea, which was surprisingly nice (in my experience, the food on school residentials is not the best!) we went on the alien night hunt…we had to find 28 hidden aliens. All but 2 eluded us, we will find you next time Maggie and Jim! This was so much fun.
The next morning my group went stand-up paddle boarding. This was hilarious, especially falling off and getting covered in moss. I will forever remember sat on a paddle board picking moss out of my friend’s hair…it took forever!! The group challenges were fab and really made us work together. Its amazing how much you get to know someone by working together in this way. In the afternoon, we did my favorite activity bushcraft. You can’t beat toasted marshmallows!
There are so many activities at Bewerley, I don’t think any groups did all the same activities. This is great because when you’re recounting your day you don’t spoil the activities for each other. Some of the other activities include mountain biking, rock climbing, gorge walking, leap of faith, canoeing, the list really is endless.
Then we come to the legendary night walk. All I can say, is ‘Mr Gribben, you frightened me to death!’ This is terrifying, but the best fun. I’m so glad I had my friends to hold onto.
Bewerley was an amazing weekend. The instructors and centre staff are brilliant. They are caring and encouraging and so supportive when you are faced with something that is challenging for you. I’m so glad I did some of the things I was really scared of because I felt a real sense of achievement afterwards.
I can’t thank our school staff and sixth-formers enough for giving up their weekend, and a significant amount of sleep, to look after us all. It was a super way for us all to get to know each other and learn some great skills that will serve us well throughout our Grange education and life beyond”
“Everyone was buzzing when our bus finally pulled up at Bewerley Park after the long journey. We all ran to our dorms and dumped our suitcases and took up the challenging job of making our beds, which was something new for many of us!! After lunch we went straight into activities. My first activity was canoeing. I was really looking forward to that because I love getting wet and messing around in the water. My favourite part of canoeing was being able to walk through a river to get to the lake. Canoeing was lots of fun. In our group, at the end of the session we had a belly flop challenge into the water. Even Harry the sixth former and Mr Williams participated!! We STILL don’t know who the winners are, but I’m pretty sure it was Harry or Mr Williams as they made the biggest splashes.
Team work – helping each other
After our canoeing activity we went back to Bewerley Park to see what our night activities were. Luckily for us our group were going on the Night Walk first!! We were all super excited to be the first people to do it. My older sister, who went to Bewerley when she was in year 7, had told me all about it so I was even more excited. When going through the night walk the teachers stopped and told us all these spooky stories. I was devastated though that we didn’t find the teeth at the checkpoint as my sister had told me all about it. After that we went back to the centre and went to our dorms. I loved being able to spend more time with the girls in my class and getting to know one another.
The next morning, we woke up and had breakfast and then went straight into activities again. First up we had rock scrambling at Brimham Rocks. That was so much fun. We went through so many different rocks. The funniest thing about the activity was when Harry (sixth former) got stuck in one of rocks called the cheese press and Liv had to yank him out by the legs. One of my friends also got stuck in the cheese press and me and my other friend had to push her by the legs to get her out the other side. In the afternoon we did the LEAP OF FAITH!!! At first, I was a bit scared but then Piers (our instructor) gave us a great pep to talk of overcoming our fears, and I suddenly wanted to do it. Most people got to the top including me, and I felt really pleased with myself. In fact, everyone did it twice! Even Harry (sixth former) was scared, but he still did it. Then we did the Jacobs Ladder and my group got 14 points which we were really pleased with.
That night we did a quiz which was fun. Then the tuck shop opened, and everyone scrambled to get to it, buying lots of sweets and mementos. That night we may have stayed up a bit later than we were supposed to (but don’t tell the teachers!!). We all had a really great time eating sweets, singing, laughing and getting to know each other better. At least we weren’t tired in the morning for our next activity, which was gorge walking!! That was loads of fun. At the end everyone did the plunge pool, which was amazing. I was shivering for a full 10 minutes though!! We got back, ate lunch and then got on the bus back to school. I was at the back of the bus and we were chanting songs pretty much all the way back. We also watched Ghostbusters which caused even more singing! When we arrived back at The Grange, one of the sixth-formers even joked to my older sister that he had a headache from all the noise and singing!!
So, that was my experience of Bewerley Park. I would love to go back again, maybe I’ll be lucky enough to go back when I’m a sixth former with the new year 7s. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog.”
“On Friday 6th September The Grange School Year 7s set off to Bewerley Park for a weekend of bonding and outdoor activities. I was very excited at the thought of getting to know my form, and I was looking forward to all of the outdoor pursuits.
We arrived at the centre and we were shown to our dorms. Our group was told that we would be visiting Brimham Rocks to do some rock scrambling. I was very excited but also a little nervous as our leader had mentioned that we were not using ropes. Our instructors explained the aims of the session. Our main aim was to support one another through a method called P.I.E (Physical, Information and Encouragement). My favourite part of Brimham was climbing up one of the highest rocks, which gave us a great view to the rocking stone. The most challenging part was going through the cheese press, as I doubted at first that I would make it through. But I did!
On Saturday morning we found out that we were doing paddleboarding and bushcraft. As I have paddle boarded before, I knew I loved it, and I was looking forward to being able to help others in my group. We all had a wonderful time. Some people had never done it before and kept falling in, but they soon learnt how to keep their balance. My favorite part of the session was when the instructors challenged us to see how many people we could get on a board. We managed to get 5 people on, and then we tried to stand up and we all fell in. It was great fun!
Throughout the activities we started to get to know each other very well. We learnt what we enjoyed, what we were talented at, and who had outdoor interests. It was nice to get to know our teachers better too.
On Saturday afternoon, after enjoying a delicious Bewerley Park flap jack, we headed out to the forest to do some campfire cooking. We toasted marshmallows, popped popcorn and cooked cheese bread on a campfire that we had built and lit with a flint and steel. One of my new friends made herself some fingers out of bread which was very funny.
At mealtimes and during the activities the boys and girls all sat together and supported each other. It was really nice to get to know everyone, and we all worked well as a team. Bewerley Park was such a great centre. In the evening you could play on the field, or sit in the forest, or watch the wildlife around you. Although the days were action packed, it was lovely to relax with each other at night.
On Sunday morning we went mountain biking. At first, I felt nervous, as although I have been out on my bike lots of times, I didn’t know how hard the trail would be. Once we arrived, I realised that it wasn’t going to be too hard and I really enjoyed it. The scenery around us was beautiful and it was relaxing, except for the challenge of the big hill. I was proud of myself as I got half way down the slope and I gave it my best.
I really enjoyed my time at Bewerley. I bonded with my form and try lots of new things. I made sure that I gave everything a go and it really paid off. My memories at Bewerley will last for ever, and I am sure that we will talk about it for the rest of our time at The Grange.”