PGL: 24th-28th May 2021

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Friday 28th May 2021

And some final fun on the coach home to end the most amazing of times at PGL!

Thursday 27th May 2021 9:20pm

How did that happen? Surely it can’t be our last night already? We have had an absolutely brilliant week in the company of 32 delightful young people.

Group three started their day with sensory trail – this involved negotiating various obstacles in the woods whilst blindfolded. The children were just so happy and relaxed; they spent much of the time singing fun songs that they have learnt during the week – led by Jess (I’m pretty sure she would now qualify for a job at PGL). After this, they enjoyed raft building in the beautiful sunshine. After many years leading PGL trips, this was the first group who tempted me to join them on the raft! We had so much fun and now I actually understand what it is that is fun about ending up in the lake!

During problem solving, Kacie led her group to achieve a record breaking time of 7.6 seconds to get her entire group, including herself, through a bicycle inner tube. Demi also proved to be a key player in helping helping his team solve the challenges. Zip wire was a firm favourite today with Ellie and Isla being star performers who zipped down the wire twice with little hesitation. Two groups enjoyed rock climbing sessions, many of the children managed five climbs to the very top of the wall. Mia showed great skill and very little fear as she raced up the wall alongside Jess, Tallulah and Summer. Miss Pear made the wall look so easy as she climbed straight to the top and then abseiled down like a professional. At school we always encourage a growth mindset and it was wonderful to see Tabi demonstrating the importance of this as she pushed herself to get a little higher each time as she headed up the wall. Poppy F was a natural at abseiling – we think that she must have been practising! Ella was just so brave, the wall is so, so high but she didn’t let it beat her. Her determination and resilience enabled her to reach the ground with a huge smile on her face. Joleon was also brilliant at abseiling and set a good example for the others to follow.

Challenge course was a much cleaner experience this year (sadly the mud has been replaced with stones – though, thankfully, some of our inventive children did manage to find some mud). Danny showed particularly impressive speed and agility round the course.

This evening the children have packed their cases as we have to be out of our accommodation before 8am tomorrow morning. After breakfast, there are two more activity sessions before we have lunch and then head home. We hope to leave Marchant’s Hill by 1:30pm. This will therefore be our last website post. The children are just so excited about seeing their families again whilst also being sad about the week coming to an end. They will be bringing home with them so many memories – hopefully lifelong memories.

Thank you to all our children for being such fun and to their supportive parents for raising such a wonderful bunch, allowing them to join us on trip and for so many snacks! Thank you also to Miss Pear, Mrs Carter and Miss Branagan for being such a fantastic staff team who have made the week so special for the children by encouraging them, joining in the activities and caring for each and every child.

We hope to be back at school around 3:15/3:30 tomorrow – we will keep the school office updated with our progress.

Thursday 27th May 2021 6:05am

All is silent …

Yesterday, hardly anyone was awake before our 7:10am wake-up knock on doors. Several children were still asleep after a knock, a ‘good morning’ and the light going on – I have a feeling that today we might have to work even harder to make sure everyone wakes. Once again, breakfast is at 8am then we are straight off to our final full-day of activities. Sensory trail, raft building challenge course (not so muddy this year apparently), problem solving and climbing are all on the list for today. Oh, and of course, A LOT more eating!

Before going to bed this evening, the children will begin to pack their bags ready for tomorrow. As well as the dirty washing and a collection of PGL merchandise, they will bring home so many stories to tell!

Wednesday 26th May 2021 9:15pm

We have just returned from our evening around the camp fire. So many silly songs, stories, smores and smiles! The children are just so very happy and it is wonderful that PGL instructors have been commenting on what fun they are, how well they listen and their excellent behaviour.

Today’s activities have included: Jacob’s Ladder, rifle shooting, raft building, archery, zip wire, orienteering and trapeze. It is incredible how visibly the children’s confidence has grown in just a couple of days. Today’s trapeze group all reached the top and jumped off with little hesitation. Benji led the way with an impressive speed up the pole which encouraged the rest to follow.

Stanley had a particularly good day; he whizzed down the zip wire and came back smiling. Hanna was also a zip wire expert and shows quiet determination in everything she does. She has exceeded her personal goals for the trip with a day to spare!

So much fun was had on the lake by the two raft building groups. The sun came out and the children went in! Anouska was the first to fall in as the two teams battled with splashing paddles. Elizabeth, Finlay, Poppy C and Harlee rescued the the sinking raft by wadding in to haul it back to shore.

Rifle shooting was a firm favourite of many. Favian, Benji and Charlie loved competing to achieve their highest possible scores.

It is almost impossible to believe how much these young children have eaten today! We started our day with eggs, bacon, beans, sausages and toast. Many children also managed fruit, cereal and porridge as well. Throughout the day they have been topped up with snack after snack after snack. Lunch was filled baguettes or wraps, soup, crisps and fruit. For dinner there was a choice of fish fingers or chicken tikka with rice, chips and vegetables. Since then they have had smores around the campfire and plenty more biscuits. Plates have pretty much been clean every time. Nathan was our party organiser at the campfire as he ensured the fair distribution of biscuits to all and stayed behind to complete a final litter check at the end…his reward – more food! We have been so impressed at many children’s willingness to choose from the options available and try new things; Demi, Charlie and Oscar have stood out in particular.

One more full day of activities tomorrow, we really don’t want this fantastic week to end!

Wednesday 26th May 2021 6:10am

Another quiet night! All rooms are still quiet – I have a feeling some children might need persuading to get out of bed this morning! Breakfast is at eight again so we will knock on doors sometime after seven. Today’s activities include Jacob’s ladder, rifle shooting, archery, raft building and more. This evening we have camp fire. It is wonderful to see all of the children so happy; any parents who were worried about the activities, being away from home or whether their child would enjoy the food can definitely relax! Everyone is getting involved, everyone is very happy and everyone is eating three meals a day as well as plenty of snacks! Thank you for raising such a wonderful group of children and for letting them come to PGL with us.

Tuesday 25th May 2021 10:00pm

Oh my goodness! What a day! It is almost impossible to put into words how proud we have been made to feel so, so many times today. These children are simply incredible. It is hard to know where to start…we have seen determination, resilience, friendship, laughter and so much energy.

Activities today have included: abseiling, trapeze, archery, buggy building, orienteering, problem solving, Jacob’s ladder and giant swing. The trapeze is a tough challenge, and especially tough if is the first high activity of the week. Every single child gave it a go; Anouska showed amazing resilience as she battled with her fear on her first ascent but, when offered a second go, she went for it and got even higher than on her first attempt.

Poppy C and Astrid seem to have absolutely no fear when it comes to heights – both Miss Pear and Mrs Branagan were taken to the very top of the giant swing by these fearless girls! Amelia was incredible too as she also made it to the top with Mrs Branagan and Poppy. It was wonderful to see Jake, Reggie and Albert face their fears on the swing – they encouraged each other and the smiles on their faces afterwards were priceless.

Buggy building and problem solving required teamwork and communication; both Leyla and Harlee demonstrated excellent leadership skills when constructing their buggy. Isabelle has also stood out for both her initiative when problem solving and for being a supportive friend and encouraging others.

When it came to Jacob’s ladder, Tallulah and Summer were the dream team. This is another tough challenge which can only be achieved through co-operation and teamwork. These girls got so high – with smiles on their faces and by supporting each other throughout. Oscar was another star performer as he stepped out of his comfort zone and showed great determination to conquer the mighty Jacob’s ladder.

Once again, the children have settled quickly to bed after enjoying treats provided by so many parents – thank you all so much.

Tuesday 25th May 2021 6:15am

All is still quiet! Children have slept well – all quiet all night! Everyone was settled by about 10:30pm which is brilliant for the first night. We will be waking everyone shortly after 7am in time for breakfast at 8am – then straight off to activities. Check back later (probably a similar time to yesterday evening) to hear about our day.

Monday 24th May 9:50pm

What a fantastic start to our week! The children are just so happy. We arrived just as the rain stopped and had a tour of the site before checking in to our rooms. We are in a new accommodation block which is amazing! It is basically like a smart hotel and we even get our own staff lounge which we have filled with the many donations of snacks! The children are now all in their PJs and have enjoyed a bedtime treat. This evening they had fun and games on the field – including taking off their shoes and throwing them as far away as possible before racing to find them. Dinner went down very well with everyone – all plates were clean! Donuts for pudding followed by an amazing slice of cake (thanks Nathan!). We really aren’t going to go hungry this week!

Tomorrow morning the children will enjoy trapeze, problem solving and abseiling – raft building is now on Wednesday or Thursday.

Our Activity Programme

During their time at PGL, the children will participate in the following activities:

  • Raft Building (clothes, including shoes, will get soaked!) – Tuesday
  • Orienteering
  • Giant Swing
  • Buggy Building
  • Trapeze
  • Archery
  • Rifle shooting
  • Zip wire
  • Problem solving
  • Abseiling
  • Challenge course (clothes will get very muddy) – Thursday
  • Climbing
  • Sensory Trail
  • Jacob’s Ladder

It is wonderful to see how excited the children (and staff!) are about our forthcoming trip.

A few reminders:

  1. Please pack plenty of old clothes remembering some will get very muddy and wet!
  2. No aerosol sprays please – these can set off the fire alarm.
  3. Make sure your child has a waterproof coat; we will be outside whatever the weather.
  4. Pocket money (up to £15 in £1/£2 coins or £5 notes) to be handed in a named envelope to Miss Pear on arrival. Please ensure your child packs a named purse/wallet without money in it. They can then use this to take to the shop and keep change safe.
  5. Medication to Mrs Carter.
  6. Donations of sweets (no lollies), cakes and biscuits would be GREATLY appreciated – please give to Miss Branagan on arrival.
  7. Remember to have an early lunch before getting to school and to bring a snack to have on arrival at PGL.
  8. No mobile phones or other electronic devices. Cameras are fine to bring, but will be your child’s responsibility.
  9. Please pack a stamped addressed envelope with paper and a pen so that your child can write a letter home.

We look forward to the children arriving between 12:45 and 1:00pm on Monday (or usual school time if needed – if so please bring a packed lunch or order a school dinner)

Finally, despite the easing of covid restrictions next week, please limit social contact until the trip; it would be so sad if any individuals, or the whole group, were unable to go due to a positive case. Thank you for your support with this.