Year 7 Dartmoor Residential

The new year 7 group all went on residential to get to know each other. The residential also involved an 8 and a half mile walk, the presentation of various house colours and presentations organised by each group. This is a report of the Trevithick house- particularly group C.

On Wednesday the children came to school with luggage as if they were going to America for a week not Dartmoor for three days! They dropped of their suitcases and large bags in the year nine lounge. From there they went to their tutor rooms to register before heading to load the coach and leave.

After about an hour the children arrived at the centre bored loud and hyper. (Some more than others.)7KHW were told to help with the unloading of the coach whilst 7BJK waited for the signal to get off the coach. However after a little while of waiting the teacher in charge of KHW – Mr Adams – allowed them to get back on the coach as the weather was too cold to wait outside.

After they had unloaded the coach the children had to find their own bags and take them up to the boot room before sitting down with their day bags to listen to various talks from Mr Jackson, Mr Sandford and Brandon, a centre owner.

Mr Jackson spoke about respect and how to listen properly –

To have nothing in your hands,

To give eye contact and

To pay attention.

Here are what a few of the students thought of the rules.

They are good rules and good ways to show respect but they can be a bit difficult sometimes!” Molly Hamley of 7BJK.

“I really like them because they teach us how to show respect to all adults and leaders which will be really good for the future.” Archie Dinnis also from BJK.

After listening to the three speeches the students went to put bags in their rooms before having to get changed and

go to do four activities. The dorms were small but fairly cramped as, unfortunately, four girls and one boy had to sleep on the floor due to a lack of bunks.

After going to the dorms to wash, change and collect their hats and gloves the students had their activities:

Orienteering: the children enjoyed this as the activity included a lot of running around and having fun.

Although one person commented that her pair would have won but her partner had been holding the mapupside down (oops).

Rope throwing: this activity was especially enjoyed by Archie Dinnis and Jamie Pollard as it was a good contest of  strength and created some good natured rivalry. The aim was to hit the back of the fence

surrounding the property using a rope trying to find the best technique.

Navigation: In this activity the children were taken by Mrs Rash to the first ford so that she could teach them various techniques to help them get across Dartmoor the next day. Most students had a

go at leading the group although some preferred just helping to spot landmarks.


Tyrolean: After the navigation the students had a practice on what their jobs were whilst doing the river

crossing. Most groups had already practiced the activity back at school so they had a good understanding of the process.

After the activities they all went inside to have tea and cake before working as groups on their presentations.

After a delicious spaghetti Bolognese the children had another hour or so to wind down before bed.

At bedtime the children were allowed to read until the house captainturned the lights off. However  many children decided that they didn’t want to sleep as they were too excited.

“There were a couple of people that wouldn’t go to sleep even when everyone was moaning at them. It was really annoying because we were all tired and didn’t want to be drained before the walk the next day.” Molly Lankston 7BJK.

“It was really annoying because some people didn’t want to sleep and they kept getting shouted at by some of the people that did even though they were ,like, the only people that wanted to sleep.” Unidentified  KHW.

The next morning the children were supposed to wake up at half seven although everyone was awake and

ready by that time. After breakfast the children leaving at half-past eight had to go and collect their kit before leaving slightly late at 9:40. The children had a good time navigating along the route. Group C was kept entertained by tales of the old tin mines. When they arrived they were in good spirits and enjoyed looking around and splashing through the puddles before setting back off. Their next point of interest was horse ford. Where they decided to go through the water instead of over the bridge! After that the next interesting part (the favourite of, almost, everyone,) was when one girl lost her concentration and ended up slithering knees, elbows and nose deep in a bog. She was left in there until everyone had laughed until their sides hurt at their friend. It was a good few minutes until she was hauled out by her bag. They then got to walk up to the small cross before tumbling down a large hill they nicknamed grass hill. This hill was very difficult to walk/run down as it was very long grass and the roots weren’t even so that it was impossible to run down without falling over. At the bottom of the hill was a small river surrounded by rocks. Most of the group used the rocks to climb over the river although the longer legged pupils jumped it. After that they were in a small islandic type spot with another river to cross. This river was slightly larger and the pupils had to use the rocks to get across.

“It was really annoying because if you had short legs then it was really hard to climb over; especially if you had walking boots because we can’t get them wet.”

After the river the children had to climb up a large hill with a strip of very boggy grass over it. The children had great fun climbing over this as they were copying each other and most got very wet. At the top of the hill they saw that there was a large cross, their next checkpoint. There they waited for the stragglers whilst choosing which direction to walk in. When the last few had arrived they set straight off still intent on beating the record. At 11:30 the children were at the car park for lunch. As this was much too early they decided to have lunch at the river crossing and just waited for a few people to wash their hands and go to the loo etc… When everyone had come back they set straight off and went to the Venford Brook where they slid down the steepest hill ever.

“This was probably the best bit because I didn’t have to walk because about halfway down I fell over. Thankfully I didn’t knock anyone over because they were all waiting at the bottom.”

About 100 metres away there was a little path that led down to the river crossing. Once again it was a steep hill before plenty of rocks. At the bottom of the hill fairly close to the river crossing the group stopped to eat lunch and have a bit of a chat.

After they arrived at the Tyrolean crossing they were given their jobs and they started the hour long process of creating the Tyrolean.

When the Tyrolean was finished the instructor, Luke, asked for two rope pullers who would hold back the ropes as the others were clipped on (very challenging when an adult got on). When everyone was over the group sent their harnesses and helmets back and carried on with the walk. After another half an hour or so they could see Coumbe island and with some very fast walking they saw the house which they had been told shows that they were very close to the finish line. After passing another two gates they could see the minibus. On the minibus they sat speculating about whether they were back first or the other teams gained time at the Tyrolean.

When they finally got back they all had cup of tea, a shower, changed and then had to replan their presentation as theirs had fallen apart. After another hour they heard another group approaching and went outside to cheer and gloat.

All the groups had to spend some time on their presentation before and after a lovely chicken curry with naan bread.

The next day the children had the presentation of house colours and the presentations.

All the groups did a slideshow of what they had done. After that if was the presentation of house colours and certificates.

In group A the house colours went to: Abbie and Harry Jeffery

In group B they went to: Flossie and Joe

In group c the house colours were given to: Jamie Pollard and Archie Dinnis.

In group D the house colours went to: Tom Dickinson and Sophie Bettison.

After the awards the children helped to load up a trailer and then groups A and B got on the mini buses back to school.