Simonsbath Day 5

What a week we have had at Simonsbath this week on our residential and we have to finish it as we have been all week and that is with some photos of our fabulous children enjoying themselves on their last morning.

After some swift packing and lunch making, everyone had their dorms looking in fine shape, to ensure that we had maximum time for orienteering before lunch. Emily briefed us on some essential map skills before the children were able to head off out around the entire Simonsbath House site to try to find the clues to enable them to answer a puzzle. As you can imagine, with so much experience of orienteering from their school activities, the children all found this fairly straight forward and impressed the instructors with their skills! With glorious sunshine on a beautiful Autumn day, it was the perfect end to a magical week, with everyone enjoying their last bit of Exmoor fresh air and scenery before a brief lunch and trip to the shop and on the coach to head home.

This week has been just wonderful and everyone has had the best time together, with so many special memories made through activities, experiences and time spent in the great outdoors. I have been immensely proud of Orchid class this week – their behaviour, have a go attitude, humour, sense of fun and above all, manners and respect have been a credit to everyone. They have been super company and the week seemed to fairly fly by, as we were all so immersed in having a fantastic time. Thank you to you all for such a lovely week.

I really must take this opportunity, also, to thank our amazing staff. Mrs Hannam, Mrs Tyler, Mrs Robertson and Miss Bartlett have worked exceptionally hard this week, showing great care, nurture, fun, enthusiasm, humour and of course outstanding organisation to ensure that every single person has the best possible week they can. I am so proud and thankful that we have an incredible team who all work together so seamlessly for our children and it has been an absolute pleasure to share their company this week. Thank you all so much.

On that note, here is the last day in photos and the children’s own words as they describe what they have enjoyed most about their week. Thank you for your kind comments and I am delighted that you have felt a part of our week as we missed you all and wanted to share it with you.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Simonsbath Day 4 Part 1

Good evening from a happy and ever so slightly tired Simonsbath. Today we have had some of the best weather we’ve ever had here, with wall to wall sunshine for our walk to Lynmouth.

After being dropped part way en route, we all made our way down through the woods via Watersmeet, stopping for lunch by the river on the way. After a trip to the local museum, a little bit of shopping, rock pooling and even a ride on the cliff railway up to Lynton – very exciting! – we were treated to a private showing of the History of Lynmouth and Lynton at the Lynton cinema – who knew there was one there? It’s lovely.

Of course we couldn’t let the day pass without celebrating Luke’s birthday properly with a very loud rendition of Happy Birthday and cake before settling down for a film. Shortly we will be broadcasting for the last time on Westwood Radio this week and I am so proud of everyone for making the week very special indeed.

Vlogging from Simonsbath!

This week Erin has been vlogging her experiences of Simonsbath for a Guide badge that she is working towards. She has done so well with Izzy to make these videos, so please enjoy their adventures so far as a morning treat… Also, if you could please let me know whether these play or not by commenting on the post I’d be so grateful as the broadband here is a little slower than home. Thank you.

Simonsbath Day 3, Part 2

Another amazing day down here in Simonsbath and it is so good to read all of your comments and messages, thank you all so much, we all love them.

Since I posted earlier, the children have been den building this afternoon on a woodland walk, which was just brilliant. Seeing everyone work together so productively and with such enjoyment in the open air was a joy. The children really have had a go at everything possible since we got here and have approached everything with such excitement, they really have been a pleasure to bring away. The zip wire, for example, today. A high platform to launch from but this didn’t phase them at all, as you can probably see from the photos!

Then after dinner this evening we had a ukulele workshop… If you managed to listen to Westwood Radio earlier you will have heard a clip that I recorded and quickly edited for the show. Such a lot of fun and yet another memory made with their friends. There have been so many of those this week.

Tonight’s radio show was another huge success with many new faces taking to roles they haven’t tried before, scripts written during hot chocolate and everyone having a complete ball on air. Plus, no broadband drop outs and SO many listeners and texts too. Thank you, it makes such a difference to the children when they know who is listening.

So, here are the final photos from Day 3. It’s been another fabulous day. Tomorrow we head to Lynmouth.

Here also is tonight’s incredible live broadcast from the common room. So proud of our children for the skill and enthusiasm they show.

Simonsbath Day 3 Part 1

Hello everyone from a sunny Simonsbath. Today has been so action packed that I’m going to have to put into a few blog posts! This morning we climbed a great wall (not of China…), experienced a zip wire and learnt some bushcraft! Here are the photos from the first session before break. I’ll upload the rest now and get them on here later for you to enjoy. I also recorded the children over lunch talking about what they have enjoyed so far.

Simonsbath Day 2, Part 2

Hello again! As promised, here is part 2 of another very special and hugely fun day here in Simonsbath.  After dinner this evening, the children were able to take part in the most brilliant Morris dancing session with a live band and traditional Morris group. they learnt dances, including some with sticks(!), watched a fantastic performance and everyone really got into the spirit and enjoyment of the evening activity.

This was then followed by some hot chocolate, accompanied by one of my mum’s home made cakes of course, before Westwood Radio took to the airwaves once again. The children presented an amazing show, which ended up being almost 40 minutes long and was so professional, particularly since they only had 25 minutes to write their scripts, as we are so busy during the day. I was immensely proud of everyone and must thank you all so much for tuning in and for all of your messages. We love hearing from you and reading them out. We will, of course, be back on air tomorrow after another jam packed day, but for now let me say good night and leave you with some photos of tonight’s Morris dancing and the radio show to listen again to, in case you didn’t catch it earlier.

Simonsbath Day 2, Part 1

Hello again from a slightly misty, but full of energy, Simonsbath. What a fantastic day we have all had so far and we are only just at tea time! This morning our adventurous children all attempted the assault course successfully, which of course they loved. This was before a quick refreshments pit stop – food is an essential part of being here! – and then onto a carousel of fun outdoor activities. From mountain biking in the hills of Exmoor to archery to climbing, our children have done it all today with the biggest smiles on their faces and huge amounts of achievement and celebration.

They have all been so polite – this has even been commented on by the centre staff on more than once occasion already – and have tried absolutely everything they have experienced. It really has been a joy to see everyone having such a great time together.

Tonight we are all looking forward to a Morris Dancing session after dinner before we attempt to go on air again later this evening. Keep an eye on our website and Twitter for the exact broadcast time as it will depend on how long we spend dancing. Please do tune in as well on radio.westwoodwithiford.org and text or email us – we loved hearing from our families last night, thank you.

I’ll be back later with a few more photos of our evening session, but in the meantime here is day 2 so far…

Simonsbath day 1

What a first day we have had today! Straight off the coach and after a swift lunch we were putting on waterproofs for a beautiful walk down through the Barle Valley in Simonsbath. Learning all about river features, Emily, our instructor, led us along the river and the children were fantastic at identifying them in some of the most beautiful countryside. We even spotted some Stags and Hinds.

After dinner the children settled down to some puzzle challenges and loved using their brains and working together. This was, of course, after they had made their own beds – a challenge that some found trickier than others! To round off the evening and a wonderful day, our Westwood Radio team took to  the airwaves to present a show live from the common room, packed with all of the usual top features and news from the residential.

I’m sitting here now at just gone 11.30pm and there isn’t a sound to be heard. The children have been amazing today, so well mannered and polite and they have obviously all had the most brilliant time. I’m looking forward to another day of it tomorrow.

Here are some photos of our day and the whole radio show broadcast earlier this evening. My apologies for the technical hitch, our broadband connection dropped out. We will be back again tomorrow…