Life at Keinton Mandeville Primary School Life at Keinton Mandeville Primary School Life at Keinton Mandeville Primary School

Keinton Mandeville Primary School

Okehampton 2018



Despite a very rainy start (and end!) to our day, this didn't stop us from having another action packed few hours climbing high ropes, mastering mountain boarding and practising our archery skills!

All of these activities were on site and meant we could explore a bit of the grounds in which Bracken Tor lodge stands.

Again we split into two groups and headed off to our activity for the morning and afternoon sessions.

High ropes

There were many of us for whom heights were a challenge and it was fantastic to be able to face these fears and push ourselves beyond our expectations. Some of us were more confident and keen to climb as quickly and as high as we could! The first activity involved climbing along a low and high rope which then linked to two logs above and this in turn had a wobbly rope bridge above it - so much more fun in very high winds!!  The second challenge was called 'Birds' nest' and involved teamwork in which each member climbed a pole to a narrow platform where they could wait until the next member climbed up and then help them on to the platform as well. There was a fantastic view from up there (or so I am told!) and the fun part was leaning back and swinging back down to the ground.  


Although many of us had experienced archery before, most hadn't encountered such windy and wet conditions for this so that was an extra challenge! Ben, our instructor, taught or reminded us how to handle the bow correctly and showed us the correct techniques for collecting the arrows. We practised our aims and shots before moving on to some games.


Mountain boarding

This was a new activity for us all and the majority thoroughly enjoyed it! Like bigger versions of skateboards (and with foot straps) we learned very important rules about how to stand and control the board. We all picked this up very quickly and were soon attempting steeper inclines and pushing our boundaries and enjoyment levels even further!

We had a very busy evening once we returned back to the house and enjoyed a meal of pizza, wedges, sweetcorn and salad! It was time to spend our money in the on-site shop after that - we were very thoughtful and bought gifts for our families as well.

The last, much anticipated activity of the day was the DISCO and we dressed up in our finest outfits ready to groove the night away! Hot chocolate and cake rounded off another busy day and we are now all tucked up in bed and looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.

 Wednesday - Meldon Day!

What an energizing and exhilarating day we have had! Meldon day has always been a favourite with children and this was certainly proven today. We packed in lots of activities whilst under a variety of weather conditions - sun, wind and rain!

We saw glimpse of the sun as we made our way to the neighbouring site to collect our wetsuits and bikes. There were many keen cyclists and after putting helmets on and checking our bikes, we set off along paths, beneath bridges and finally we tested our off road skills through countryside footpaths!


When we arrived, we split into our groups and headed off to either a rock climbing session or gorge scrambling. Both activities were brilliant and meant we could get back to nature with spectacular scenery around us. We faced challenges that included: cold water, heights, balance and generally braving the elements! Everyone did this fantastically and approached all activities with confidence and the determination to 'have a go.'


We had to cycle back through the rain to collect our belongings, but we knew there was sausage and mash to look forward to and hot showers! After tea, the dorm challenge of 'teamwork' was demonstrated and again, with some very creative ideas!

Our instructors came back in the evening to play some games with us and enjoy a camp fire in the grounds of our lodge and we toasted marshmallows. Oh, and Mr Jesshop is also here - not sure how many marshmallows were eaten by him!

Tomorrow is a day on-site with high-ropes, archery and mountain boarding...and the disco!

Fantastic attitudes and self-belief have played a big part in the success of the trip so far. What a truly amazing year 6!



After some well earned rest from Monday's activities, everyone awoke feeling refreshed and ready for a full day on the lake!

Breakfast was very satisfying as there was lots to choose from! Most of us had a 'full-English' with toast or cereal, which provided us with much needed energy for the day ahead.

We set off on a brisk walk to the main Okehampton site, where we could collect our wetsuits and board the minibuses that would take us to a nearby lake that is used by Adventure Okehampton; we had it all to ourselves! The weather was a little dull and a bit windy, but we coped and wanted to keep going!

The girls were definitely more experienced at getting wetsuits on - some of the boys struggled a little but everyone ended up fully prepared for the water.

We were split into two groups and each headed off to either canoeing or kayaking with our fantastic instructors. Although some of us had tried these water sports before, our leaders taught us new skills such as different paddle and teamwork techniques and how to move more effectively through the water. We were then keen to practice these for ourselves. There were lots of games for us to play as well, which included 'World Domination,' 'Fruit salad,' 'Polo' and 'Sharks and Fishes.' Unfortunately forfeits were given for anyone who lost!!



In between each of these activities, we had tasty flapjack and luckily most of us  hadn't got too wet, so weren't that cold. A tasty lunch was provided and we took some cakes with us as an extra treat!


The afternoon challenge consisted of a raft building competition. We used logs, barrels and ropes to construct a floating vessel that would transport our team members around the lake and back again in a relay style race. It was a close call but team B just got it!




The sun briefly appeared as we enjoyed a last 'dip' in the water either sliding down an upturned canoe, or diving in from the lake side.


We returned tired but happy and had a lovely roast turkey dinner. After this we completed our dorm challenge which was on the theme of determination.

We have enjoyed a team quiz tonight and are looking forward to hot chocolate and cake before bed and more adventures tomorrow!


Just a quick first blog tonight.  After a fun first afternoon of activities, a delicious tea of spaghetti bolognaise and a 5 and a half kilometre night walk over Dartmoor, the children are now all quiet and getting to sleep.  Just a few photos tonight to give you a flavour of the first day.