Year 6 residential trip to Snowdon…
For the last 5 years we have taken Year 6 on a residential trip to North Wales. One of the reasons for choosing this location is to immerse the children in new and challenging activities in dramatic and exciting environments. They enjoyed gorge walking, kayaking in the estuary, rock climbing and abseiling on real, high rock faces, undertaking team challenges and of course the exciting and challenging climb to the top of Snowdon.
The other reason for going to North Wales is to get the children really thinking deeply about what personal well-being means, what team well-being looks like and how we can consider environmental well-being and ensure we play our part in looking after our precious and life sustaining world.
I could not have been more proud of the children who were certainly courageous, pushing themselves to their limits as they climbed the mountain and overcoming their fears while learning the importance of working as a unit.
The children came back saying that the gorge walking and mountain climb were their favourite activities but for me the most exciting aspect was the deep thinking and learning that took place. Whilst on the journey to Snowdonia and once they had arrived, the children were blogging, writing about their feelings, their experiences and what they had learned. We gave a structure to this thinking using the idea of a stick, a stone and a leaf.
The stick represents things they have enjoyed that they want to stick with for life; this could have been about aspects of their personal well-being or working in a team or looking after the environment. The stone represents things they want to build upon in the future; perhaps new experiences or things they know to be important but did not feel as though they had woven into their lives fully as yet. The leaf represents things they want to leave behind that they recognise as being time wasting or even bad for them. Their insight and thinking was impressive and I share below just a few of their thoughts.
“I absolutely loved going to Snowdon and I think it was a benefit to my education. I will never forget the week of my life when we used perseverance and team work to climb up the mountain.”
“I learned to trust others who I would not normally trust and that quiet people have amazing ideas.”
“Reaching the summit of Snowdon was a very emotional moment. We all had moments when we thought reaching the top was not possible and our teacher cried a bit because she was so proud of us for reaching the top as well. The view was mind blowing ……. I am so proud of myself and the team for reaching the top and conquering our fears.”
Sticks, stones and some leaves
“I want to stick with doing more outdoor activities.”
“My stick would have to be keep on taking risks and being courageous in life.”
“I would like to stick with learning to be a good team builder and learning to be a good leader, making sure everyone’s ideas are taken into consideration.”
“I want to stick with encouragement towards members of my team.”
“My stone would be building on the exercise I have enjoyed doing this week.”
“My stone would be building on having confidence to say “I can do it.”
“My stone would have to be listening to others because I often think I have great ideas, but other people have amazing ones too.”
“My stone is building on encouragement because I think I could be better at encouraging my team.”
“I want to leave behind feelings that I can’t do it.”
“I want to leave behind not listening to other people.”
“I want to leave behind rushing to be first as that is not good for team work.”
“I want to leave behind not believing in myself.”
There were so many more wonderful comments from the children’s blogs and reading them through I know that this was a trip they will never forget. Moreover, I hope it will influence them positively for the rest of their lives as well. The picture below is a word cloud of the first day’s reflections on important aspects of team and individual well-being.