On returning to school after the Christmas break a group of twenty aspiring Year 5 and 6 writers from Park Primary and twenty from Aldersbrook Primary School ventured to a writing residential at Fairplay House Outdoor Activity Centre in Witham, Essex for three days.
The time away proved to be an inspirational one, with all of the children using their experiences and fears as a stimulus for their poetry writing. Whilst we were there, the pupils had an opportunity to whoosh along zip-wire, climb the high ropes and explore the giant swing – all of which provided the children with varying degrees of dread and excitement.Together with this there were night walks through the woods and a campfire with spooky stories shared by the teachers and the pupils.
Back at the house, the children had the privilege to work alongside a published and professional poet Jacob Sam-La Rose who explored different ideas with the pupils and helped them develop their poetry writing by considering different structures and poetry formats.
The twenty children were extremely well behaved and polite throughout their stay and this was recognised by the staff at the house and all the teachers who accompanied them. It was also a fantastic opportunity for the children to live away from their families for a few days – mostly for the first time – and to develop their independent skills and help out with various duties around the house.
Thanks go out to Mrs Ttoffali for sanctioning the adventure, Ms Phelan for meticulously organising the residential at school and Mr Tull, Miss Newton and Mr Ttoffali for their time, effort and care over the exciting three days. It will be an experience that will stay with the children forever.