On Tuesday 5th November 2019, Miss Brierley and Miss Freebairn took two boys’ Cross Country teams to an event at Marple Hall School. The boys ran a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometres and were ranked individually and as teams.
Out of 11 schools, our Thorn Grove ‘A’ team came 3rd and our Thorn Grove ‘B’ team came 9th. Two of our boys also finished within the top 10 of over 40 runners. Well done to the boys for putting in a fantastic effort!
The day of reckoning; the final day; the day when the rain came; the day when everyone had just gotten used to eating an unfeasibly large, but delightful breakfast before attempting rather strenuous physical activity; and the day unfortunately, we had to sadly return home.
But sadness was the emotion furthest from the children thoughts; the children were as hungry as a wolf and ready to devour the breakfast and the trials that lay ahead. Team ‘Year Six’ were into the groove and ready to recall the glory days of Wednesday and Thursday and finish, quite rightly, as the heroes we knew they had become.
The children had an energy that was simply irresistible, the centre bristled with excitement and the groups felt like they could rule the world. As the rain began to fall even heavier, the determination of the pupils was like a rolling stone– gathering pace – and in the corridors of Robinwood, conversation crackled, like electricity, as the Thorn Grove pupils put aside toxic, fearful thoughts of the impending end to the trip to discuss the previous day’s events and those that were yet to come.
“Trapeze was amazing” “Another day here would be amazing” “Another hash brown and some more bacon would be amazing!” “Why is Mr Wilson so amazing at climbing, archery and trapeze and Miss Nuttall, Mrs Dewar, Miss Karim and Mr Chandler so rubbish!” (This last one was made up, but it was worth a try when you are as poor at these things as I am!) were all heard as they children excitedly milled around awaiting the new adventures the final morning was ready to deliver.
The whole group, who had grown, from what seemed like absolute beginners, strode confidently forwards, knowing that today was the chance to go your own way and squeeze out every last ounce of enjoyment from the opportunities that lay ahead. They had visibly broader shoulders, chins that were raised and hearts that swelled with pride and satisfaction. Nothing’s going to stop us now was the attitude they exuded and the Thorn Grove staff watched with glee as they strutted around the centre with an air of self-assurance that showed they were ready for anything.
The rain (as if presenting itself as a final challenge) tested the resolve of some of the groups. However instead of saturating spirits, it merely lifted them and the children blossomed in the summer rain like powerful plants refreshed and ready to reach higher. As the three fantastic groups, completed their final challenges the only thing larger than the smiles on the faces of the children were the huge experiences they were taking home with them. The last meal was consumed, the instructors thanked (Andy, Sarah and Annie, you were irreplaceable, magnificent and truly wonderful with the children) and goodbyes exchanged
Year six sprung towards the coach and stepped aboard
The weight of this experience could not be judged using scales or mathematical reasoning.
It could only be judged by the sheer enormity of wonderful memories the experience had produced; the friendships that had been cemented; and the smiles, laughter and happiness both these things will continue to deliver
Farewell Robinwood….. you challenged us, you excited us, you drove us to new heights and we will never forget you, so please don’t you forget about us…
May I take this opportunity to thank: the children – you were magnificent; the staff (Mrs Karim, Mrs Dewar, Mr Chandler, Miss Nuttall, Mrs Jeddal and Mrs De-Moulpied – there is no way the children could have such a wonderful experience without your help, support and dedication; the parents – your children are a credit to you and represented you amazingly; and finally, the Robinwood staff, who are simply brilliant.
This morning we were woken by the brooding presence of grey clouds lurking menacingly overhead, however inside the brightness of the children’s smiles and the infectious waves of joyful laughter staved off any thoughts that may have dampened spirits and dulled expectations.
Team year six, fully re-energised after a relaxing evening snooze, sauntered merrily to breakfast to be met by their next mammoth challenge- how to conquer the amazing cooked breakfast, toast and beverages. Unfortunately, this was no match for the hungry hordes and they demolished the feast and were left hungry for only one thing- the activities that lay ahead on day two.
Year six strode purposefully forward: bonds were strengthened; new friendships forged; happiness danced around the centre; and the stories of the previous days quests were spoken about with awe and wonder. Yet, yesterday had disappeared and there were new stories to write; new adventures to complete; and new challenges to overcome…
Day two was upon us and more memories were ready to be made…
The groups slithered through the gnarled spiraling passages of the caves; squeezed skillfully and manipulated themselves masterfully through the cracks and crevices of the prehistoric old glacial rock formations that stand atop of the hills overlooking the centre; created feats of structural engineering and skyscrapers of a truly colossal nature in crate challenge; and pondered the perilous puzzles that awaited them in the Dungeon of Doom.
A wonderful lunch and dinner was consumed, but these moments sped by as children excitedly refueled before their next activities; their appetite for the next challenges, the only hunger that could not be satisfied by the amazing food
The stamina of our intrepid adventurous was impressive and year six stormed on wards. Even the blustery weather and intermittent rain, couldn’t slow the juggernaut of joy that careered towards late evening.
The only thing that did eventually serve to stop the groups was time – the moon peered jealously down on the centre; envious of the simply amazing happenings it had witnessed and the darkness ushered the jubilant, but weary masses to bed.
Day Two was a triumph – now for day three!
As the eager July sun bounced over the horizon, the equally eager year six pupils bounded towards school, full of expectation and nervous energy. Laughter and conversation filled the school hall as friends and staff eagerly awaited the start of their Robinwood journey.
After the formalities were completed and goodbyes exchanged, the group grabbed their luggage and their pals and stepped aboard the coach.
As the warm balmy summer atmosphere hugged the coach, the journey progressed. The sounds of the quiet, somewhat nervous, conversation morphed into a chorus of singing; a selection of songs from the production were delivered as any nerves faded and broad smiles and laughter warmed the inside of the coach as we neared Robinwood.
Upon arrival, the children leapt off the coach; made their way to the centre and enjoyed a satisfying lunch – activities were about to start and much needed fuel was required!
The afternoon was filled with death defying feats on the trapeze; problem solving and pressure in the perilous piranha pool; conundrums and intrigue during alien conspiracy; and agility and strength on the climbing wall.
Dinner time arrived sooner than expected; time really does fly (just like the children on the trapeze) when you are having fun. Hearty meals and cake were consumed and final emotional goodbyes were said to departing staff and pupils (we will miss you Luke – have a wonderful holiday and we wish you all the best for the future)
The rain finally arrived as we moved towards the finale of our first amazing day- there was no chance it would dampen our spirits though as groups assembled for the team challenge. A thrilling, competitive tournament was fiercely fought and all groups worked amazingly to try and be victorious.
The final act of the evening was to enjoy delicious hot chocolate and biscuits before finally retiring, exhausted but exhilarated, to bed.
Below are some pictures of the first day activities and visit again tomorrow to see another update.
On Saturday our amazing Key Stage Two Cheerleading Team attended the UK National Schools Competition held at the Velodrome in Manchester.
The Squad, who were looking to retain the title two years in a row, arrived at the venue in very good spirits and, even though there were some last minute adjustments to the routine, felt confident about performing well. The children were joined by their amazing Team Spirit coaches Hannah and Lindsey as well as Mr Wilson and Miss Nuttall.
The competition is fiercely contested with teams travelling from as far as Bath to take part and the crowd, who were amazing (and very loud) supported the teams with passion and added to the amazing atmosphere at the venue. The teams only have one chance to perform their routine and because of this the margins for error are very slim; the squads have to be completely in sync and ready to perform when their slot arrives.
The team performed at 10:30am and had to start the preparation an hour prior to this as they made their way through grueling warm-up stations, uniform checks and team photos.
The routine, which contains complicated stunts, tumbles and dancing was delivered with precision, superb timing and fantastic synchronicity and the children, coaches and supporters knew they had a chance to retain their title.
However, the awards ceremony was some time away and the judges decisions were kept secret until that time; this meant an agonising wait for the results…
During this time the squad members, coaches and staff busied themselves watching the other squads and soaking up the atmosphere of the huge event.
Finally the wait was over, and it was worth it.
Team Spirit at Thorn Grove were announced UK National Champions for the second year in a row.
A huge thank you must go to the parents who helped and supported on the day and of course to the brilliant coaches at Team Spirit, Hannah and Lindsey, who work tirelessly to help the team.
We have a hugely successful cheerleading programme developing at Thorn Grove and we would welcome any children to the sessions, so if any pupils would like to join the squad, please see Mr Wilson in school.
Here are some of the pictures from the day.
As you may know, Thorn Grove is slowly but surely developing a Forest School. I have almost completed my Forest School Leader training and have been working hard to redevelop some of our Forest School areas. Back in the Spring term, I reached out to a local tree surgery and woodland management company, Kraken Tree Care, to find out if they had any logs or tree stumps we could have to use as seating in our fire circle as it was looking a little bit tired!
Please see the below information about cricket sessions at Ladybridge Cricket Club
They are looking to grow their junior squads and would like to offer the opportunity for Thorn Grove pupils to develop their skills and start to play regularly.