Mowden Hall School

Leading Co-Educational Independent Prep School For Children aged 3-13 Years

Year 6 Residential to PGL Ford Castle

Year 6 Residential to PGL Ford Castle

Year 6 Residential to PGL Ford Castle

On Monday 22nd May, Year 6 set off to Ford Castle, near Berwick- Upon-Tweed for their three day residential. The children were all very excited and the bus journey there was full of chatter and singing.

When we arrived, we were met by our Group Leader, Nathan, who showed us to our rooms in the West tower of the castle. The children were very impressed with their accommodation, especially as some of the bunk beds had three layers!

The first afternoon consisted of Bridge Abseiling and Fencing. Some of the children were a little nervous about the abseiling, but, with the guidance and support of the instructors, and the encouragement of their friends, everyone managed to do it. One of the instructors in particular, was very good at distracting the children from their nerves by talking to them about their favourite foods or TV shows, which helped to calm them. The fencing took place in the long gallery of the castle itself and the children enjoyed putting on the uniforms and swishing their swords.

After a delicious dinner, we headed outside for Laser Tag. The children decided that they wanted to go boys versus girls, and even Mr Townley, Miss Dodds and Miss Lumb joined in. Some tried to get tactical in order to beat their opponents, while others just fired as often as they could before they were ‘killed’ themselves. 

After Laser Tag had finished, all of the children showered and had time to read and chat in their dorms before lights out and some well deserved sleep.

The morning activities on Tuesday were the Zip Wire and the Challenge Course. All of the children took the Zip Wire in their stride and most had two or three goes. On the Challenge Course, the children completed their spy training by going across, through and under various obstacles. They then had to work together as a team to complete the course a second time, when they were not allowed to stand on the floor - only on the obstacles themselves or a set of small mats. This required some real teamwork and communication, but both groups managed to complete the challenge.

After lunch was the Trapeze and Survivor. The first of these involved climbing up a tall pole, before jumping off (wearing a harness of course) and touching a large orange ball. There were some tears, but, again, the instructors helped the children overcome their fears and everyone tried their best to reach the platform at the top of the pole. The Survivor session included building shelters and fire lighting, and the problem solving skills from the children were pleasing to see.

Tuesday evening’s activity was a Silent Disco, and the children danced and sang along to the music. This was the perfect fun way to end what had been a tiring day for everyone, and, after showers and a little reading time, the children were soon fast asleep.

The activities on Wednesday morning were Jacob’s Ladder and the Sensory Trail. Jacob’s Ladder was a series of horizontal wooden logs suspended on two wires to form a ladder. The children worked in groups of three to climb as high as they could in a given time. They had to make sure that all of their team had made it onto each log before they could move on to the next one. Again, the teamwork, support and encouragement from the children was outstanding. For the Sensory Trail, the children wore black out goggles and performed a series of games and tasks that required them to use senses other than sight, and to communicate to guide their partners or teammates. 

Before we knew it, our trip was over and we were getting on the bus to bring us back to school. The return journey was much quieter than the outward one, as many children (and even some staff) took the opportunity to catch up on a little sleep.

It was an absolute joy taking the children on this trip. They were impeccably behaved and all of the PGL staff complimented them on their behaviour and good manners. The children showed bravery, resilience and determination when carrying out the various activities and they should all be very proud of themselves. They also demonstrated great teamwork and problem solving skills, and supported and encouraged each other throughout the trip.