Yenworthy 2015 - Day 4

Dear Mrs Hawkins,

The Lodge stayed quiet a little longer than usual this morning as our brains and bodies took extra time to rest after their adventure yesterday. In the end, Miss Manley had to come and bang on our doors to wake most of us up. Duvets and pillows were all over the place - we think that some of us might have been practising our new surfing techniques in our sleep! Today, with the aid of modern technology, we got to see something that most of us have never seen before - what we look like when we first wake up in the morning! Now we think we understand why Miss Manley, Miss Piggott and Marie have been laughing so much each morning as our sleepy faces emerge! (We will only show you if you promise to stop laughing before next year!)

As the smell of breakfast cooking wafted down the corridors, we were busy working on making our dorms into places that could rival even the most organised of locations. Our efforts ranged from sorting our clothes into colour order, making sure our toothbrushes were all facing the same way, lining up our shoes with military precision... there are even rumours going around that some of us did flannel origami! We are more than determined to get ourselves the prize for tidiest dorm and more than happy to apply our new skills to the home environment. We'd be happy to take over for a while. You've done more than enough.

We are so experienced at our duties now, we completed them all in record time and were ready to go early so we met in the workroom for a briefing about today's events... Little did we know at this point that we were going to complete quite so much within such a short space of time. One of our tasks was going to be rockpooling. Quite a simple seaside activity for a pleasant summer's day...but not for us! We weren't just sightseeing - we had serious marine biology to do! But you can't do things like this without training. Our dramatic ability was put to the test when Sean asked us to become strawberry anemones and to catch the unsuspecting prawn swimming by. We make a pretty terrifying anemone- prawns of Oxford, beware! Then we learned all about how the anemone kills its prey - we won't print it here because it is far too terrifying a prospect for any little sea creatures who might be reading, but we'd be happy to let you know (and even give you a demo if you ask nicely!) Once we had been given lots of top tips about how to be successful and told what to look out for, we looked at our route on a 3D map (how cool is that?!) and got kitted up ready for the off. Armed with lunches and a drink, we piled into the minibuses and headed down to the beach.

We made some amazing discoveries and we found something even Sean had never seen before - he didn't even know its name! Amazing. Earlier, in the briefing, a couple of us had asked if the animals we were going to handle were poisonous to humans. We're glad to report that because we are all still alive, we assume that they are not. Phew. By now, it was getting a bit chilly down on the shoreline, so we headed back to the shelter of the cliffs to eat our lunch (hot sausage rolls or a cheese and onion pasty today folks!).

Today's fun had really only just begun. Next point on the agenda? Coasteering, Squeezing ourselves through gaps in rocks that we didn't even think that little prawn from this morning would manage soon became just the norm and we found ways to go over, under, through and round so many different formations. Some of us even leapt from rock to rock as the odd wave threatened to eat our toes and we all finished with a victory photo... Guess what? Sean and Pete stood us in front of a rock. We thought they had chosen a nice backdrop. We should know better by now. This rock had just a tiny little gap in it that every so often would let a big splash of the waves spray through. They timed our arrival perfectly and yes, we did get a little bit wet! Never again will we complain during a drizzly PE lesson because we can handle some serious weather conditions now!

We impressed Sean and Pete so much with our skills and teamwork that they decided that we would be one of the few classes to be allowed to tackle the coasteering extension. Picture this: Beautiful valley with lots of amazing rock formations. Along the top is a beautiful ridge path overlooking the sea 1000ft (yes, you did read that correctly - 1000 ft!) below. If you could only get up on to that ridge, the views must be amazing... Well, they are. We went. We saw. We conquered! In some places, we could walk, in others we were briefed to be prepared to get really low down and almost crawl commando style on our tummies. Thankfully, we only had to do this in one spot when it got a little bit windy. Although Pete and Sean have done this a lot, they know how much courage it takes to do this and they were so proud of us. Some of us were really apprehensive about it on the way up, began to get into it along the way, and on the way down, our smiles were so wide at how proud we were that we had done it, you might just have seen them in Oxford this evening! Pete and Sean were also smiling from ear to ear. They might just have been a little bit impressed.

"Let's go fly a friend" ... A quick ride back to the Lodge and it was time to put our helmets back on and head up the climbing wall. We learned to climb and how to belay for another climber. Some of us had additional flying lessons when our climber (taller than us) slipped a little and we shot up in the air a bit - thankfully, we had someone holding on to our harness too to prevent us from entering orbit! One pair looked a little like they were competing in airborne Strictly Come Dancing! We can't quite believe we managed to do so much in just one day - and it wasn't even dinnertime yet! However, after our shower, that too came our way and we tucked in happily to fish or veggie burgers and chips. Never has the divvying up of chips been quite so precise to ensure a fair and even split!

We have had such a brilliant week here, we don't really want it to end. Of course it would be nice to see you all, but couldn't we come up with a way of doing that that meant we could stay here too? Maybe you could all come down to join us? We know some of our parents would be more than happy to have come along....Hmmm. On second thoughts, we're not sure they'd be brave enough to handle some of the things we've aced this week. With that in mind and not wanting to put them through things they couldn't handle, we have reluctantly begun the complex task of repacking our stuff into our bags (we think they might have shrunk while here because it's pretty hard to get everything back in again) and we are trying our very best to bring home only the things that belong to us...though there is already enough clothing to create a new Spring collection for the fashion label "Mr Nobody".

Quotes of the day:

"I'm not sure I'm liking this sea-next-to-wind-next-to-rock thing."

"Rice pudding? I'd kill for rice pudding!"

"Miss Manley, she flew me!"

" I didn't even have a second to read the book I brought!"

" I want to do this all over again!"

Tomorrow we are going out on our river walk but as we will be back in Oxford tomorrow night, we'll give you the lowdown on that in person.

Lots of love,

Year 6 xx