We hope you have already seen the photos of us all sitting together at dinner.
Well, what a lovely first day we have had. After a delayed start, we made our way towards Devizes passing all the landmarks we have studied in art and then we arrived. Very excited and with bags of energy, we got off the bus and wheeled the suitcases to the stables for storage – and what an achievement that was – some of the cases were bigger than us! Goodness knows what’s in them but we think there might be some parents tucked inside ready to pop out later on!
Anyway, we got our bearings around the beautiful grounds and met our helpers for the next 3 days – Yousef, Josh and Keith. They are brilliant and make everything really exciting so we are in good hands.
Splitting into our three groups, we then headed off for the day to complete our activities –canoeing, low ropes and high ropes before swapping over after lunch.
After a lovely walk in the sunshine along the towpath (but sticking to the risk assessment guidelines and keeping well away from the edge!) we were fortunate to see a variety of barges on the canal. We were so excited to get started and spent the next couple of hours literally ‘messing about on the river’. Canoeing was amazing and we all conquered any fears we might have had and descended the bank with a little push and a splash before we were off, paddling around like, well, proper canoeists! We listened really carefully to the instructions to play a variety of games and fortunately, despite a few wobbles and some seriously dodgy steering, none of Mrs Falvo’s group capsized or ended up paddling down the locks towards the sea! On the other hand, several children, in Mrs Woolrich’s group, wobbled a bit too much and ended up in the water!! Luckily, those children did have some spare clothes to change into.
The low ropes involved working in pairs, supporting and guiding each other. We needed to work carefully travelling over ropes and logs concentrating on our balance.
The high ropes saw us being really brave and adventurous so that we could climb up a pole, being safely harnessed to lots of safety equipment, before ‘flying’ back down to earth. We also worked in pairs to follow a ‘lifeline’ through the grounds of Braeside – we were blindfolded and had to listen carefully to our partner and trust them. It was a bit scary but amazingly good fun.
Returning to the house, we had a quick snack before heading indoors to find out who we were sharing a room with......da da dah! Lots of happy little faces and excited chatter, squeals of excitement and hugs and then we were off to find our bedrooms, lugging our cases up 4 flights of stairs (and regretting packing ALL those clothes and teddies!)
After unpacking, arranging our teddies and bouncing on the beds to check on the comfort levels we then changed into our smart clothes and headed for the restaurant where we enjoyed a delicious meal from the lovely cooks who served up a treat for us. We were all quite hungry and it wasn’t long before we had cleared the kitchen of food and worked well as a team to tidy away and head outside for our final event of the day, the town trail. The town trail involved a lot of walking and our legs were a little weary by the end of the day but we had brilliant guides in the names of Mrs Puffett and Mrs Falvo who told us all about the various important buildings and sites in Devizes. We were all really great at spotting the blue plaques around the town and understanding a little more about why Devizes was built where it is and learning about the different buildings and monuments. Fortunately we were all good enough not to get shut in the lock up, none of us went for an unexpected dip in the canal and thankfully times have changed since Tudor times in St John’s Alley and the boys escaped a smelly result from being gallant to the girls! Next time you are in the centre, see if you can spot the famous statue of Ceres and savour the fresh hops from Wadworths (not a pleasant smell!)
Before bed we also wrote our postcards to you – we hope you get them before we come back! We can’t wait until tomorrow when we will hopefully get some more letters from you. If today is anything to go by, we will end up having our own post lorry! We have a slight inkling how Santa might feel but it is really lovely for the children to get letters, so thank you for writing. Please post any final letters first thing tomorrow so they get here by Thursday, thank you.
Finally, we settled around the lounge for hot chocolate, biscuits and stories before heading up to bed, the first night away from home for some of us and a big thing to get through.
All changed and safely tucked up after a brilliant day, we had more stories and then we were left to go to sleep...... at which point the tiptoeing starts...... the trips to the bathroom and of course the endless hushed chattering! Night night everyone. Yes, we miss you but we are all safe and well and looking forward to another busy day tomorrow.
Year 4 team and lots of sleeping monkeys! Xx