On the first Sunday of our half term break, a group of 21 Year 7 and 8 pupils gathered at Paddington Station at a very early hour to make our way down to Cornwall for a week of exciting activities. We were based at the Manor House Outdoor Learning Centre in St Issey, just outside of Wadebridge. While some of the Year 8 pupils had been before, for most pupils it was their first time – and they were very much looking forward to the week.
After settling in on the Sunday afternoon, we went down to the beach just a few miles from the centre for some very lively games before an evening meal and a DVD before bed. The next day saw the group divide in two and head out for a coastal walk or surfing/body boarding activities, swapping over at lunchtime. The walk was broken up with lots of stories about smugglers and Cornish folklore as well as seeing some of the locations where Poldark was filmed. In the evening, we returned to the beach for a bonfire and the opportunity to toast some marshmallows.
The next day we were more adventurous, with the day split between rock climbing and a chance to explore St Ives. It was a beautifully sunny day and pupils had terrific views over the sea - when they weren’t concentrating on climbing!
We headed to the south coast of Cornwall on the Wednesday and spent the day either kayaking or paddle boarding which was great fun. In the evening, pupils had a private tour of the Aquarium in Newquay, seeing a variety of sea life from piranhas and an octopus to turtles and clown fish.
Thursday was our last full day and we went as a group on a cycle safari along the Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Padstow, where we parked the bicycles and walked into town to try our luck with some crab fishing. Unfortunately, the seagulls seemed to end up with most of the bacon we used for bait and the crabs managed to evade capture!
Having missed the final of the Great British Bake Off with our visit to the Aquarium the previous evening, we watched the programme a day late and, before the final section, paused the programme and everyone came into the kitchen where Ms Goldburn and Miss Ryan had bought some cakes, icing and a variety of decorations and were challenged to decorate our cakes before eating them!
Thanks go to Ms Goldburn and Miss Ryan for giving up their time to organise the trip and looking after everyone. Finally, some comments from the pupils:
It was a fun week, filled with things I have never done before like climbing on a sea-cliff (Bani Ghumman – Year 7)
I absolutely adored it all and being with my best friends made it 100% better. (Eleanor Chidwick – Year 7)
I was scared to do the rock climbing at first because it looked a bit high. However, I did it and it was really good. My favourite activity was riding a bike with Ms Goldburn. (Kareena Rana – Year 7)
I enjoyed walking along the coastal path although it was really windy along the trail it was fun because of all the stories we were told like the story of the Padstow sand bar and the giants. (Eleanor Cole – Year 7)
What I liked most about my stay was the stand-up paddle boarding as I love being in the water and it allowed us to work as a team. (Silvana Marin – Year 8)
We watched the Great British Bake Off and then we got to decorate cakes. (Lucia Subak-Sharpe – Year 7)
The most challenging was the rock climbing as you had to find the right places to put your feet. (Lucy Savage – Year 7)
My favourite activity was surfing as it was really fun catching all the waves down to the shore. (Bella Williams – Year 7)
We are already looking at dates for next year’s trip – watch out for further announcements and book your place early!
Click below to see the St Issey Photo Gallery