[lead]It has often been said that ‘Barnstondale isn’t a place. Barnstondale is a state of mind.’[/lead]
The residential takes place in the Barnstondale Centre which is in Barnston on the Wirral. But what is the residential adventure holiday for?
The Year 7 Star Project Residential is an opportunity for the new members of our school in Year 7 to get to know each other better, to get to know the teachers and teaching assistants and mentors better, to build as a team and to have, in short, an absolutely FANTASTIC time.
Log cabins nestling beside a wooded valley , comfortable beds with ensuite facilities, fantastic rooms you can put to almost any purposes, disabled access and design, an array of catering choices – all these are available at Barnstondale. That’s what it says on the Barnstondale website and they haven’t got it wrong!
It’s a tightrope type of act to design the Barnstondale experience. The teachers spend many a long evening carefully planning the experience. Should we include this amount of teambuilding? What about drama? Does this give us enough time for manhunt? Or football? When shall we have hot chocolate and toast? How long will they get to do archery? Who is getting the onions for survival? Who are we giving prizes to? And, most importantly, why does the Barnstondale Centre have the best sausages that any of the pupils or staff have ever tasted?
It may be a difficult task to decide how to fit everything that we do into three short days, but the litmus test is always ‘Awww, the pupils will love that! We’ve got to do it!’ And so it goes into the itinerary. We’ll worry about getting the money from Mrs. Wise later. She always says yes anyway. So let’s do abseiling and archery.
So what do we do when we are there? Well….
We try our arm at ‘Archery’. This is not as easy as it looks on the television, in actual fact it’s very difficult. Not made easier, either, by the Year 7 pupils who are naturally very good at it. Again, this is run by well-qualified instructors who use the big bows to shoot the very big arrows with pinpoint accuracy.
And the breakfasts, lunches, teas, hot chocolate and toast before bed. Which is excellent but nowhere near as fun as the … drum roll please…? TUCK SHOP!! Without doubt, the friendliest, most well-oiled, reasonably-priced and attractively-staffed purveyor of sweets and chocolates in the north-west of England!
And there’s much, much more which we managed to fit into half a week. But I am getting too sad thinking that the next trip is ten months away. So why don’t you join me and have a look at the photographs here and look forward to the next Barnstondale State of Mind!