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

Keinton Mandeville Primary School

Okehampton 2019

Day 4

Another quiet and undisturbed night! The children were (and still are) very tired, but having a brilliant time. The breakfast this morning was a full English again and most plates of food were polished off!

We stayed on site today as that is where the high ropes, archery and bushcraft activities are undertaken. First we walked up to the top of the centre - another steep hill! We got harnassed up and were ready to face some exciting climbing challenges that tested everyone's physical endurance and took some of us out of our 'comfort zones.' Lots of us showed determination and real self-belief during this session and achieved beyond where they thought they could reach.

After a lovely lunch of sandwiches, fruit, crisps and cookies there was time for some games and fun. Some children played out in the grounds with new games they had learned from the instructors while others played a new card game that they had created themselves - a new form of 'murder mystery.'

Then it was time for our final activities of the day: archery or bushcraft. Many children showed great skill in the archery group as they took aim and attempted to score a bullseye! There were team games which Miss G and Miss Bugler joined in with - Miss Bugler is becoming a bit of a pro at this sport!


The other group were foraging in the woods and tasting all sorts of nature's edible delights! They tried naval wort, wood sorrel and sheep's sorrel.They'll tell you all about that experience! Next they walked a short distance to the bushcraft area and made fires and toasted marshmallows.


It was shopping time after that and the children were allowed to purchase a few items in the shop - a limit on sweets for themselves and the rest on souveniers and gifts!

A quick turnaround and then it was time for tea; the one everyone had been waiting!! This was devoured very quickly and the sticky toffee pudding also went down a treat.

After some more time playing and chilling out, it was time to get ready for the disco! You can guess who was the most excited out of everyone and it wasn't a child!! We all dressed to impress and made our way down to the dining hall where the music, lights and dancing quickly got going. Some super moves and dancing divas were seen on the floor and music for all tastes meant everyone had something to move and groove to!

It was back to the lodge for hot chocolate and more cake, pjs and finally bed. Tomorrow is our last morning here at Okehampton and we will be making our way back home with very tired but happy children.





Day 3

Following a very quiet night, we even had to wake up some sleepy dorms in time for breakfast this morning!  The selection for breakfast was egg muffins, croissants, pain au chocolat, fruit and yoghurt - very popular!

After breakfast, we walked down to the other site to collect our wetsuits, before finding mountain bikes and helmets our size.  We then set out along the Meldon cycle path, alongside the old railway lines, passing quarries, views of Okehampton Castle and even under the A30!  We finally reached the Meldon Viaduct, before descending in to the valley itself.  It was a lovely gentle ride, with some challenges, such as a 'no pedalling race' along the way.

After our descent, we stowed our backpacks and struggled back in to the wetsuits, before plunging ourselves into the icy stream.  It is fair to say it was a little chilly, but the children were up to the challenge and jumped, swam and scrambled with unending energy.  We sat under waterfalls, plunged in to pools and worked brilliantly as teams; the children's care and thought for each other and ability to support and look after each other, particularly when things were hard, was fantastic.


Lunch was eaten in the sunshine at the bottom of the gorge: tuna, chicken or cheese baguettes, before we donned harnesses and helmets to climb the rock face on the other side of the gorge.  Some of the children found the height of the wall a real challenge, but pushed themselves to achieve and really did themselves proud.  There were three different routes up the wall, each with their own challenge; all observed by random Dartmoor sheep!

Once the climbing was done, we gathered our bikes and set back off to Okehampton.  It is fair to say that some of the children's cycling skills really developed and their confidence grew brilliantly, meaning that the return journey was far quicker!

Tea was a delicious roast dinner, with either chicken or a cheese and vegetable bake and ice cream and a slightly runny jelly for pudding! 

Once the dorm inspections were finished, Michelle collected us for an evening of campfire fun, starting with some sports on the field.  We played cricket, french cricket and a version of manhunt, which the children really enjoyed.  Finally, we sang songs around the campfire; peeling bananas, being penguins and climbing aboard pirate ships, before eating vegan marshmallows - very exciting for Mr Shakesby!

Finally, it was back to the lodge for cake and hot chocolate before bed.  Another excellent day!   



Day 2

After a fairly settled night, all the children were refreshed and ready for an exciting day at the lakes!  We had a delicious full English breakfast, packed our bags and headed down to the main Okehampton site, a short walk away. We collected our wet suits and boarded a bus for a picturesque ride to the lakes.

Our first job was raft building and we worked in teams to construct a raft from wood, plastic barrels and rope. These had to be sea-worthy as we then tested them out - Mr J was stuck on an island and had to be rescued. But who would get there first?



After dismantling the raft materials, it was time for lunch  in the sunshine. We ate our food by the lake and watched the large fish swimming to the surface! Next it was time for canoeing, which we did in small groups - we played 'world domination' and 'pirates and merchants.' There was a bit of time to enjoy sliding in to the lake from an upturned canoe...great fun!

The final activity was kayaking and everyone took to the water, even though there were some initial reservations. Some real core values shining through today...well done Year six!!

What a fantastic day! All the children are now in their dorms and very quiet - it definitely wore them out!


Day 1

We have had a great day and all the children have just settled down for the night (hopefully!) They were all very excited when we left school and continued to be for the entire journey. We had barely got on to the 303 before children were asking 'are we there yet?' and 'how long will it take?!'

We did arrive in good time and ate our lunch outside the lodge before being met by our instructor for the week - Michelle. The children found out which dorms they were in and, luckily for them, already had duvet covers and pillow cases on their beds!

After exploring the lodge, the children had to be ready for some team building challenges which were run by the staff and gave them a chance to see how the children worked together to problem solve. They all did very well...and ended up getting very wet which most of them enjoyed!

We headed back to the lodge after these activities and then it was time for dinner! Pasta bolognese tonight, followed by apple crumble and custard! All children ate well - especially the girls and Mr 'two puddings' J!

The day ended with a long walk over the moors. It was foggy, rainy but very atmospheric and although everyone was tired, enjoyed it very much. I think the Dartmoor ponies helped!

Hot shower, hot chocolate and cake finished the evening off! We will hopefully get a good nights sleep ready for lake day tomorrow.