Last Friday saw the whole of Key Stage 2 enjoying a wonderful day of outdoor adventure activities at the award winning Top Barn Activity Centre. Located 6 miles north of Worcester, Top Barn Activity Centre is situated on a working farm in the beautiful Worcestershire countryside. The aim of the day was to promote teambuilding, develop confidence, learn new skills and give all our children the chance to experience challenging, action-packed adventure activities with qualified instructors.
We were delighted to have warm and wind-free weather at this stunning location and our children certainly made the most of what was on offer. I arrived just after lunch and the day was in full flow. Our 163 children had been organised into 14 groups and were making their way around a carousel of activities. Several groups were on the 10 acre lake. Two groups were learning the basics of open canoeing and the importance of teamwork as they explored the lake. Other groups had designed and built their own rafts out of barrels, ropes and logs and were aiming to successfully make it across the lake without the raft breaking up. Another two groups were learning the delights of ‘wobbly boarding’ – that’s wind surfing without the sail and using hands as paddles with two or three children sitting and wobbling on the board. It was just as well that all the children had brought a full change of clothes!
The land based activities included climbing, archery and rifle shooting. The 7 metre purpose built artificial climbing wall tested our nimble climbers and provided a fantastic experience for anyone new to the sport. The climbing routes are designed to allow anybody to get to the top no matter their climbing level. The ancient art of archery was especially challenging and required patience and determination. The rifle shooting required a steady hand and a keen eye, but some children had a real flair for it and managed 5 out of 5 bull’s eyes!
We have received some positive feedback but would really appreciate it if parents could let us know if you value these experiences for your children. We believe outdoor adventure boosts self-confidence, gives a real sense of personal achievement and helps children to develop independence and resilience. We shall be offering bellboating during the week before the half term break with the opportunity for parents to be involved too. Bellboating is canoeing in a double hulled canoe on still or slow-moving water and does not involve getting wet. Please let me know if you would like to have a go.