Pupils in Year 6 at Pocklington Community Junior School donned their sportswear and, after a week of intense work on their SATs tests, went off excited to Robinwood Dobroyd Castle in Halifax.
This is an annual event for Year 6 when they spend three days abseiling, canoeing, wall climbing and many, many other very physical and fun activities including the ‘Crate Challenge’ where they wear a harness and have to build a tower using crates with the highest one being declared the winner.
This is not as simple as it sounds because it relies on working as a team, being agile and an excellent sense of balance along with it being a timed activity which gets very exciting at the end.
The 36 children took part in a range of mental agility tests including the ‘Dungeon of Doom’ and the ‘Piranha Pool’ where they had to think strategically and work as a team to race against time to beat the clock before the deathly Piranhas appeared.
The activities encouraged children to challenge themselves to take the ‘Leap of Faith’ helping to conquer any fear of heights they may have and identified natural leaders. All the activities were aimed at building self-esteem and confidence.
The first challenge was to make our way from the car park to the Castle as it is not designed to be reached by coach. We set off in our three groups and climbed hill and vale, walked alongside a rather full canal, watching the boats entering and exiting the locks. We crossed the busiest railway in Yorkshire over the newly-created bridge where the goslings swam alongside the boats. We reached the Castle full of anticipation with a huge appetite for lunch after climbing some very steep hills.
Then to our dismay our second challenge was for all of us to make up our beds (for some it was the first time they even realised that there was actually a duvet inside the cover, “You mean we have to put this inside here - How do we do that, Mum or Dad do it for us” were the shouts of dismay amongst the children).
This was hilarious to watch and eventually the leaders from Dobroyd had to step in to give a demonstration on how to do it. Not like some of the children who decided the best way, was to lay on the floor, fighting with the duvet to see how you could climb out, once you got the duvet in. The first day was crammed full of great things to do which was helped by the sunny, warm weather.
The second day unfortunately meant donning the designer, trendy and colourful Robinwood waterproofs to cope with the very wet and windy weather. This didn’t stop us all from enjoying the raft building and canoeing challenges, it just meant we couldn’t get much wetter. As the day progressed we leapt from one brilliant activity to another finally ending with the team challenge at 9pm. Beds calling – we decided enough was enough and climbed that wooden hill to Bedfordshire.
Our third and final day was stripping the beds which we had so lovingly made two days before, an early breakfast and on to the final challenges of our wonderful trip. Lunchtime came all too soon and we started our decent down that very steep hill back to the car park.
We boarded our coach and bode farewell to the leaders from Robinwood to make our way home. The children returned very tired but exhilarated after completing the challenges they were faced with and how they had excelled themselves. They were given certificates and photographs to keep as a memento of their brilliant adventure.
The children who remained in Pocklington had an equally brilliant time as they spent three days doing lots of fantastic things like visiting Fired Arts in Pocklington to create some mugs which they took home to use for their hot chocolate at bedtime. They visited Francis Scaife Sports Centre to enjoy a morning of pool fun. They made exciting crafts with a local artist. Baked cakes in school and danced with a visiting dance instructor from Starbrite Studios.