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Condover Hall 2018: Day 1

Posted on 12th Sep 2018 by Chris Barnes

Greetings from Shropshire!  Click here to see the pictures from today.

It hardly seems like a year since we were last here for our first Prep 6 residential, only a short distance away from Edenhurst yet potentially anywhere in England...surrounded by the rolling countryside of Shropshire, only five miles outside of Shrewsbury.  “Wow!” was the telling reaction as the minibus drew up outside, following a trouble-free ride along the A53 from Newcastle.  The hall itself, originally dating from Tudor times, is certainly imposing and has been substantially altered over the years.  Today it is owned by JCA Education and forms their flagship centre for outdoor pursuits and residentials.  How lucky we are that it is on our back doorstep!

After arriving, we met with Sarah, who would be our instructor for the next couple of days.  We took our bags into the dormitories to unpack and get ourselves sorted out, before heading off for a tour around the site.  This done, the children enjoyed some free time before heading off for their first activity: the Gladiator Wall.

This is a climbing-related activity where the children work together to climb up a frame with a series of different challenges, as you’ll see from the pictures.  It includes logs, a ladder, a net and then a section with tyres, before (if they get to the top) they have to stand on the log and shout “I’m a gladiator, hear me roar!”  Two children climb at a time: the others help to act as the belay team at the bottom, as well as being the cheerleaders!

Everyone surprised themselves today, getting higher or further up than they thought they would.  That, in part, is what this experience is about - challenging themselves and demonstrating a growth mindset: thinking that they can’t do something to realising that they might not be able to do something ‘yet’.  Some of the class showed that today and will find new challenges tomorrow.

We were first in the hall for dinner tonight...as you'll see from pictures over the next couple of days, we are well-fed here.  It was a hearty meal of sausages, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and vegetables (plus a drink and fruit, or ice-cream) - so no-one went hungry.

Following some free time and a visit to the shop after dinner, it was our turn for the campfire singalong.  Whilst a small group for the campfire, we were complimented on how well everyone joined in, both in number and enthusiasm!  The ‘Condover’s Got Talent’ and storytelling both went down particularly well, as did the quality and volume with which the songs were sung.  Mrs. Jones Drama and Mrs. Jones Music, please note - your influences were spotted!

It's twenty minutes to 10 and getting on towards lights out, so I'll close there for now and rejoin Mrs. Heyhoe for the 'unmanageable task' - getting an excited group of Prep 6s off to sleep!  We are in first for breakfast tomorrow (7:25) so it will be an early start for everyone...More blogs and photos to follow tomorrow.

If you’re not doing so already, do follow our Twitter feed on @EPSResidentials to see this and all of our other residential activities.

 

Chris Barnes