Apologies for the photos being rotated - the website is automatically doing this and I have no control over it. Sorry (from Mr Hall).
Thursday 13th March
Thursday morning began with a little Katy Perry and all her fireworks, specially requested by Hamidha. Things began slowly this morning, as tiredness and lack of sleep began to take their toll on both children and staff. Eventually though, all were ready and for once Group G headed off to breakfast first after finally getting their roll call right. Breakfast consisted of cereals (or several if you were Tyler) and a hot cooked meal. Before embarking on our activities, the whole group and the whole dining room joined in singing Happy Birthday to Aaya. Then it was off to day four tasks.
Group E had probably the best session of the week, as far as they were concerned, when Chris and Rob took us for bush craft. Initially it was a huge trek up to the very top of the local hill but Rob filled us in about redwoods, yews, elder trees and silver birches along the way. On arrival, we talked about what we thought bush craft was and then set about building some natural shelters using sticks and moss. Marc's group succeeded in building a lean to, whereas the girls had a des-res residence for about three. Isaac really came into his own with so much knowledge and know-how and his group constructed an A frame shelter. Then all the groups learnt how to start fires with flints and kindling. Once again the girls triumphed until they blew smoke in Chris' face. Marc and Yusuf won the awards of fire starters. Arriving back at the site, the group put together a radio show. After fish fingers and chips, our group went to the Leap of Faith. The children had to climb a telegraph pole and then leap off the top. Sumire and Yusuf shot up the poles and leapt off. Isaac, despite being smaller, scrambled his way up and leapt for glory too. Finally Veena, in designer wellies and matching top, got to the top, let out an ear piercing scream of fear and then flew off the platform. We carried on with bouldering - climbing rocks horizontally. Everyone, even Mr H, managed to clamber round but the true champs were Marc, Rianne, Sumire and Isaac. Group E really pulled out all the stops today - well done.
Well, if we thought it was would be possible to have an extra 10 minutes lie-in this morning, we were sadly mistaken; Mr Hollis was heard singing and dancing with great enthusiasm! Group F started the day with Radio Play (broadcasting skills). Both Isha and Sabah displayed fantastic imagination in developing their background story and were incredibly clever when bringing together all the elements required. The day's activities continued high up in the hill, where the children learnt all about surviving in the wilderness. Throughout the two-hour session, Juanita was heard to say "That's amazing!" and " I didn't know that," many times. The group also learnt to build themselves a shelter, light a fire and how to filter water using moss!
In the afternoon, Group F completed their flash dance film, which had been started on day one. Not only did they create an animated film with imaginative and colourful backgrounds and add transitions, they also added sound using Dance Djay, an unfamiliar software programme. Kuba and Bilal astonished everyone with their motion picture. Steven Spielberg and David Guetta will definitely have some serious competition in the years to come. The night ended with the Trail of Mystery, where the children interrogated the members of a fictional school (that is to say Mr Hollis, Mrs Sisson, Mr Hale, Mrs Wellington) with Ms Dargavel helping the detectives.
Group G's trek on Thursday began with Jacob's Ladder. Jermaine managed to make himself look like a professional as he traversed and crossed Jacob's Ladder reaching the top. To top that, on the Jungle Vines that followed, he was across quicker than Ms Dargavel at dinner time. Raya, Mahdiyya and Jor-el also showed incredible athletic prowess on Jacob's Ladder and the Jungle Vines. The shock was Milly whipping up the ropes and poles like a whippet. The Giggly Girls (Iqra, Priya and Zahra) really came into their own in the radio quiz presentation. Iqra should seriously consider a future role as a radio presenter!! Hamzah, Huma and Maariyah all surpassed their personal goals on Jacob's Ladder and Jungle Vines, with Huma also finding the courage to sit on the 3G swing and going right up to the top. Talk about a hero!! One fear that we have not been able to lay to rest this week is Raya's phobia towards mud. She still panics and trembles with fear every time her feet come into contact with the gloopy substance!
Group H have demonstrated grit and determination on day 4. Building on successes and challenges from the last few days, they have climbed even higher and many took the leap of faith to the amazement of Ms Dargavel and Mr Hale. Aaya celebrated her birthday by entering double figures in style, storming up the tree towards the leap of faith with inspiring confidence. Haris was a star as always and Mitchell, Asmita, Maryam, Gorang, Zeeshan and Hamidha all climbed and jumped with little fear! By far the most entertaining climb however, was Sanaa who flew up, then decided to sit and shuffle, as did Tyler, who asked the audience what he should do next! He jumped and spent the next few minutes on cloud nine! Caving was attempted by one and all and our leader was the very vocal Zeeshan, who shouted instructions to us all, as if we were in the cave over the hill and far away!
The day finished with a murder mystery - though the biggest mystery was why was Mr Hale wearing a dress? The children interviewed five suspects including a teenage rebel of 16 (Mr Hollis can act!), a deputy head (if only Mrs Wellington), a sports teacher (Mrs Sisson - don't ask!) and a swotty perfect prefect - yes your very own Mr Hale. In the end justice was served and the real culprit caught... Mrs Wellington - deputy heads don't act like that at all!