St Gildas
St. Gildas'
Catholic Junior School

Pendarren News

The Real Day 4.

So, it turns out today is day 4. Tiredness causes some confusion. This morning we awoke to bacon and beans and some of us needed a cup of tea to wake up. The Murder Mystery was frantic fun as it was a bit like orienteering, we gathered clues and some of us solved it! Future detectives in the making. The woods in the dark proved to be too frightening for some (Miss Clarke). Spare socks are collecting in the Lost Gallery, perhaps we foresee cold toes in the future. 

Today was the turn for groups 1, 2 & 3 to visit the river and study its changes. We tested the difference on its journey with our bodies. Earth Science requires a lot of wet feet it turns out. Some of us dipped our heads in even! The river and rocks got wilder as we travelled down stream from the source.  As the weather has been a bit wet, the river levels were too high for us to do the elusive Letter Box etc, but we were lucky enough to do a route of caving done only by a few! We even saw a bat, something our instructor had only seen twice in his life. We didn't like the spiders though. We raced through some boggy puddles and washed off in the fresh water of the waterfall. 

Groups 4 and 5 had their chance at canoeing and the High Ropes/Zip Wire. Miss Sanchez had a go at the High Ropes - she is very brave! It really is a test of team work and nerve to do these things, especially when we are feeling a bit tired now. We have really impressed our instructors though. They have told us all that we haven't moaned on any activity, not even when it rains! We should all be very proud.

Frankly, what a lot of us were talking about all day was the disco. We have eaten fish, chips, peas, jelly and ice cream, so we are full and ready to boogie! However, first, the rules state we must pack our bags (maybe those socks will find their homes...) and then we can disco on!

We are looking forward to telling you all about it tomorrow! 


Day 3, not 4: Wednesday 1st of February

We can hardly believe we are half way through our visit... We are still full of energy and loving every minute of it. Although there were some showers later today, we trooped on! Breakfast was an interesting combination of poached eggs and smiley faces this morning. Our quest for Inspection points is beginning to slip away from some of us, as we just don't seem to identify items on the floor as mess! Anyway, we set off on our day of activities. 

Groups 1 & 2 were buoyed by the addition of Miss Chu who made it safely to us yesterday. Our two groups set off to Mumbles for our own trip to the beach. We were lucky with the weather and we didn't get the showers until late! Hooray! We inspected crabs and creatures, Mr Squillario included. We then played by the beach, showing off our skills. 

Group 3 attempted the stacking challenge this morning on site. We worked in groups to really test our nerve at climbing stacks of crates. Lego practice proved to be useful here. Despite many man-made earthquakes, we made it to reasonable levels. Next was the zip wire, which we rode across the field with a fantastic view of the valley! No rest for the team though as we had to pull our friends back across the field again. We even had to let Miss Evans have a go, which was fine until we had to drag her back! After lunch we headed to the canal for some canoeing. We were confused when it turned into a history lesson, but we found out we make very good horses for pretend cargo barges made out of canoes. Despite the rain we all wanted a go at dragging them down the canal... until one of us fell in. 

Groups 4 & 5 were the first to participate in The River Study. We drove up into the mountains to observe the river at its source. We like seeing the scary wild creatures such as sheep and ponies! We then followed the river as it got wider and wider and ended up where some caves have formed. We bravely kitted up and headed in... The Letter Box. Tick. We nearly lost Miss Clarke, and someone took a dip but we made it. Next we observed a beautiful waterfall and it gave us all a freezing facial. 

This evening we are full to the brim of lamb Bolognese and garlic bread. Not sure if the lamb was welsh, we assume so. This year, we are the first to try out a Murder Mystery! We are very excited! It is about to start...

Day 2: Tuesday 31st January 2017

After a restful night's sleep for the most of us, we arose to a brand new day of our holiday. A hearty AMERICAN-style breakfast of pancakes and bacon was wolfed down alongside our usual cereals and toast. This fuel, we realised, was a much needed source of energy for the day ahead...

Two groups stayed on site and close by for both canoeing and the high line. We had to work together to spot each other and encourage our friends faced with great heights. Canoeing in the rain is an all round damp affair, but some of us weren't afraid of the weather as we raced and played in our canoes. 

The three other groups headed to Mumbles for a coastal visit. After our mini bus ride we took a coastal mile walk and tried to spot seals and pups along the way. The scenery was breath-taking and we built up an appetite for our sandwiches! We played a while on the beach before the tide allowed us to visit some rock pools. We found crabs, star fish, and prawns; some of us found each other floating in the rock pools. As it was drizzling, we decided we should get even wetter in the bracing waves of the sea. It turns out wellies aren't waterproof if you allow water in over the top lip. 

The mini bus back was steamy but warm. We sang and watched the water trickling up and down the aisle. Wellington boots are particularly difficult to get off when they're soggy inside... lucky the teaching staff are obliging at working in tandom to remove them!The drying room is full of our clothes ready for tomorrow. 

We had some washing and relaxing time before a dinner of chicken curry, rice and nann bread. Apple crumble to follow with lovely custard! We were lucky enough to have a story-teller called Daniel Morden visit us this evening. We listened beautifully as he told us a very engaging tale about Jack and his brother Tom... it was all the things we requested: scary, action-packed, romantic and funny! Now we are going to have a tuck shop and hopefully only revise what it takes to form a postcard. 

Day 1: Monday 30th January 2017

We met this morning at 7.30am in the drizzle for a farewell from our parents and some bleary-eyed siblings. Once on the coach we were away at 8.30am (ish) and attention soon turned to our partners and games. We broke our journey at a service station an hour and a half away and had a snack (some more sizeable than others..!) At least our teachers could grab a much needed hot beverage! Our journey was very swift and we cheered as we crossed the Severn Bridge and passed through to Wales. There were a few premature claps as we thought we were arriving, but eventually we reached the much-anticipated Pendarren House! What a sight to behold!

After a brief talk and tour, and some well received sandwiches we took our belongings to our rooms. No time for unpacking because we were kitted-out with waterproofs and wellies and headed off on our 'Croeso' - Welcome. We toured the grounds close by and some of us discovered excellent walking sticks. Our groups of 11/12 set off with our instructors and allocated teachers. Some groups tested their teamwork by shifting a heavy misplaced tire; some of us listened in to see if we could hear moles?! One of us allowed their glove to go for a swim downstream. 

Once we returned, we unpacked and made our beds. Some of us are keen to win the award for tidiest room... it's getting competitive! Our dinner of pizza and salad gave some of us our first turn at being waitors. We are still noisy dinner guests, just like every St Gildas' year group! 

We are currently having some down time ready for what is sure to be an exciting first sleep (and giggle) in our dorms.