We have had a lot of snowfall overnight and we're all fine and preparing to go on a walk in the snow this morning. We might even build some snowmen! However, the rest of the trip is under discussion as we want to make it as interesting for the children as possible so we will keep you updated with any further plans.
Today, we had even more snow!
Both classes (morning and afternoon groups) went sledging and it was great fun. We began with a walk from Dukes Barn to reach the destination for our sledging adventure. We used 'snow bum sledges' for individual children and tarpaulins for those who wished to go down in groups. They were both really fast and everyone got involved - including the teachers and instructors. Some of us even raced down the hill, we all had so much fun! The snow was fantastic!
Badgers go caving!
Our second activity of the day was caving! Everyone was so excited. Firstly, we had to get geared up into waterproofs and wellies and hop into the minibus ready to start our journey to Devonshire Mine. We were all determined to walk up the steep hill up to the mine, and climb over the wall to get there. Once we reached the small door, we were all feeling really nervous, but once we climbed the ladder down, everyone perked up. We were all amazed to see the inside and hear all about stalatites and stalagmites. We squeezed through tight gaps, crawled through small holes, and experienced absolute darkness. Everyone was so brave and worked so well as a team encouraging each other and giving each other tips. We were glad to get back to Dukes Barn travelling through the snow blizzard, excited for our tea and DVD night.
Badgers - Adventure Walk at Surprise View
Badgers started their day with the adventure walk. We were all wrapped up warm and cosy ready to face the snow out in the Peak District. Even though snow blizzard's had been forcast, we couldn't wait to start our adventure in the snow. Once we arrived, we trudged over the heather, through the trees and climbed over the rocks whilst the snow was fluttering. We even managed to have snow ball fights with each other as the snow had settled. Before we knew it, there was a snow blizzard so our instructor- Andy helped us to find shelter. We were so lucky, that he even brought us some hot chocolate to warm us up. Once we were warmed up, we carried on our adventure back to the minibus.
Owls - Tuesday afternoon challenge!
This afternoon was fantastic! We headed up to Surprise View for an adventure walk. When we arrived, there was snow on the floor but we found the footpath and headed up to the top. After a small while, we could see snow approaching and before we knew it, we had to shelter behind a large rock to hide ourselves from a blizzard! Once it had passed, we carried on our adventure. It was a real challenge for us all - especially the teachers! We climbed up and down rocks to see some fantastic views and enjoyed the snow. We even had a few snowball fights along the way. It was great fun when we bumped into the Foxes and spent some time playing with them before heading back down to the minibus to come back for our evening meal - Pasta Bolognese and strawberry cheesecake. Yum!
Owls - Tuesday morning challenge!
This morning, the owl group went caving - well actually it was mining as we visited Devonshire lead mine. It began with an uphill walk to the entrance of the mine, but Aidan (our instructor) couldn't get the door open so we had to keep walking uphill to an additional entrance. Everyone was so excited to get in and had great fun squeezing through small gaps, climbing over and under rocks and boulders and learning about the mining industry! About half way through, we all turned off our torches to experience 'pitch black' and we couldn't see a thing. Everyone was super brave! After a while, we made our way to the exit and walked back down the hill to return for a lovely lunch and prepare for this afternoons adventure walk!
The foxes have been abseiling this morning! They showed great team work; walking down to Miller's Dale Bridge helping to carry all the equipment. It was not as cold as we thought and we even saw some sunshine. Everyone got into their harnesses and despite a few nerves we had some great abseilers! We had some Foxes go down on their own and some with friends in tandem. As the morning went on, it got snowier and snowier! In the end we had a brisk walk back to the minibus and were shaking all the snow off! It was a dicey ride for a while but as soon as we were back on the main road the sun came out and the snow vanished!
After a lovely lunch of cobs, crisps and cake we are having a bit of time in our rooms and are heading out for our adventure walk this afternoon!
Greetings from Dukes Barn!
The Foxes have had a fantastic afternoon caving. We started with a bit of an uphill walk to the entrance of Devonshire Mine, lots of puffing and panting! Once we reached the cave entrance there were a few nerves but everyone was brilliant and climbed down the ladder into the mine. We saw lots of sparkles and learnt a lot about the different minerals, including stalagmites and stalagtites. There was a lot of up and down, climbing over rocks, squeezing through gaps but everyone did it with lots of enthusiasm and so much team spirit! We were so proud of them, they all did the challenges they were presented with and our instructor Dan commented on what a lovely group they were. Home now for a bit of time in our rooms, and we've heard a whisper it's pizza and chips for tea! If the weather stays fine, we will be out later for our torchlight walk.
Greeting from Dukes Barn!
We had a great journey up here and arrived to find the sun shining. The children have had a good look around Dukes Barn and had an 'interesting' half hour making their beds! We have just had lunch and the children are having some time in their rooms before we head off for the afternoon. The Badgers and Owls are abseiling and the Foxes are caving!
Will update later!
4FM – Day 2
We finished day one with our torch walk, going up the lane. We all had to turn our torches off to see how dark it was. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see any stars as it was too cloudy. After getting back to Dukes Barn we had some hot chocolate and headed to bed. We were pretty good at getting to sleep, the teachers made it to bed at about half 11.
For breakfast, the popular choice was the full English, full of food and energy, each group headed off for their first activity.
Badgers headed off to Millers Dale Bridge for abseiling. The temerature had dropped so much there were even a few snowflakes. We learned about the old steam trains and lime kilns on our way down the path towards the bridge. The whole group were excited to accept the challenge and there was no shortage of offers for people who would like to go first. Everyone abseiled at least once and we had lots of tandem efforts too. There were certainly plenty of giggles.
Owls set off for the Devonshire Mine, singing and making up lots of songs on the way. We walked up an extremely steep hill which tested our fitness. At the cave, we had to climb down the ladder into the darkness. We all had a go at being the leader which we really enjoyed, it’s not easy and we had to work as a team. One of the instructors got lost and the we had to work as team to find him. On the way round we learned lots about the mines and how children younger than us had to work in the mines, with just a candle to guide their way. We were all super brave and turned our lights off to see what this would be like. We found our way back to the entrance, we realised it was much colder outside, than inside. We raced back to the mini bus and headed for the barn.
Foxes headed out for our adventure walk to Robin Hood’s Stride and Cratcliffe Tor. We had loads of fun clambering, scrambling and sliding on the rocks. Mrs Blakemore fell over – twice! We tried some weaselling (squeezing through very small gaps in rocks) and even had hot chocolate in a survival shelter. It was bitterly cold but Mrs Blakemore and Miss Carter were so impressed with the positive attitude – not a single moan.
We all enjoyed a quick pit stop at the barn to refuel on sandwiches, crisps, fruit and cake, before adding more layers and heading out for the afternoon.
After dinner, Badgers collected our caving suits and headed down into the darkness. We absolutely loved it. We found out about how the mine was made, spotted crystals, fossils and new types of stone being made. We worked brilliantly as a team, guiding each other through the narrow gaps and twisting tunnels. We sat silently in pitch black after our torches were switched off. We realised the importance of listening and staying together. We made sure that we always communicated with the person in front of and behind us to ensure that the whole team had the fun of guiding us back to the entrance. Thankfully, after the very steep walk up, it meant that going back to the bus was all downhill.
Owls headed off in the mini bus for our adventure walk. We had loads of fun sliding, climbing, clambering and getting stuck in mud! Mr Rossington doesn’t think there was a single member of the owls group without a muddy bottom at the end of it. We walked through the woods followed by an adventurous robin and collected a few pine cones on the way. Mr Rossington was really impressed by their teamwork, how they helped each other up and down the slippery slopes. It was a great afternoon and we were shattered when we got back to the barn.
Foxes set off for Millers Dale Bridge to go abseiling. Warned by Badgers, we had added several extra layers to keep us warm. On the way, Miss Carter kept us entertained with her famous jokes. We got kitted out in harnesses and helmets and set off down the path. When we arrived at the bridge, the drop was further than we imagined but everyone was determined to have a go. Mrs Blakemore and Miss Carter were impressed by everyone’s positive attitude and determination, the support and encouragement for each other. Most of us had a go by ourselves, then a tandem abseil. Miss Carter had to climb over several times to show how safe it was. While we were waiting, to keep us warm, Mrs Blakemore took us a little further up the path to the railway tunnel – we had lots of fun making echoes. Tired and happy, we arrived back just in time for tea.
We all had a delicious dinner of meat pie, roast potatoes and veg, followed by banoffee sponge and custard. We are just packing our things and buying souvenirs before settling down in our pjs and onesies for a dvd.
4FM Day one
Badgers-Armaan, Georgia, Eloise, Doug, Jacob, Miriam, Owen, Sammy, Alex, Mohsin
Owls – Ella, Kamaray, Jake, Katie, George L-H, Daniel, Megan, Maya, Evie S, Sid
Foxes – Edie, Nethanyel, Evie C, George C, Isobel, Evanthi, Grace, Fred, Harry
We arrived to beautiful winter sunshine, then faced our first challenge – making our own beds! It wasn’t easy and we learned the importance of team work. However, we have now all got somewhere to sleep. After meeting our instructors, we had a tour of the building then ate our packed lunches. Full of energy, we got kitted out for our first activity.
Badgers went to Burbage Edge. What a brilliant adventure we had! The children have had a fantastic afternoon scrambling over boulders, crossing streams and sploshing in an awful lot of mud. The sunshine made it even more special. We also pretended we were ninja warriors, springing, leaping and clambering over the enormous rocks. The hot chocolate and biscuits restored our energy for our trek, which thankfully was downhill, back to the mini bus. Once we got back to the barn, we had to be hosed down as we were so muddy! Mrs Morley said please stock up on washing powder!
Foxes went caving down the Devonshire Mine. We had had to climb what is possibly the steepest hill in Matlock before we even got to the cave. It was touch and go whether Miss Carter and Mrs Blakemore would actually make it to the cave because the walk up was so steep! Once we had descended the ladder, we had to duck and weave through narrow passages and low ceilings. We made our way deep into the mine. We had to turn our torches off to experience true darkness! This was a bit scary but with team work and determination we managed to navigate our way around a huge boulder. Miss Carter and Mrs Blakemore were really proud of our bravery. Our instructor lit a candle to show what it would have been like to work in the mine. We made our way out of the cave, back down the hill, which was much easier than going up, and went back to the barn.
Owls went to Millers Dale bridge for an amazing abseiling session. We were kitted out with helmets and harnesses. When we got to the bridge, it looked like a very long way down! Quite a few of us were a little bit scared, but with encouragement from our team members, nearly everyone had a go. It was much less scary than we thought – most of us had at least a second go, some children had a third! We really enjoyed going down in pairs – that was a lot of fun. Mr Rossington and Miss I were very proud of us. We made our way back to the barn ready for our tea.
We all enjoyed enormous fish fingers, chips and peas for our tea, with jammy sponge and custard for pudding. We are now enjoying some free time before heading out into the dark for our torch walk. We’ll tell you more about our adventures tomorrow.
Badger’s day started with a huge breakfast then onto the minibus to Millers Dale bridge to abseil off the 90ft bridge in freezing cold conditions. Everyone one in the group was brilliant! They all encouraged each other, had fantastic team spirit and completed the challenge brilliantly. All the children managed to abseil and most even had a go in tandem with their friends! We all managed to get back to Dukes Barn for some delicious cakes and sandwiches. Not much time for a rest before we dashed out again kitted up ready for caving.
We headed back to Matlock and dragged each other up the steep hill up to Temple Mine. Climbing carefully down the ladder, we switched on our head torches and started our adventure through the cave. We all loved looking at the stalactites and crystals. We learnt about the history of lead mining before squeezing through lots of narrow gaps. We showed brilliant team work by guiding each other in darkness. We are all really proud of ourselves. We’ve got back and are now having a delicious tea before we have to do some packing and relaxing in our pyjamas to watch a DVD.
Our day started with our adventure walk to Robins Hood Stride. We excitedly got into the minibus ready for our first adventure which was exactly what it turned out to be! As soon as we arrived, we splodged our way through deep mud and climbed over giant boulders and rocks. We had a go at weaseling, squeezing through tiny gaps in the boulders and finding our way out. All the children worked brilliantly as a team and couldn’t wait to complete their next challenge. We loved the opportunity to slide down big rocks on our bottoms as if it was a giant slide. To warm ourselves up, we had some hot chocolate which also gave us an extra energy boost! After a quick lunch, we were really excited at the prospect of abseiling.
Arriving at the bridge and looking over the railing, we realised that it really was that high! We all worked as a team to get ready and help each other put our harnesses on. This probably is the most exciting challenge that we have ever attempted. The group working further along the bridge, couldn’t believe we were only year 4 as we were so confident and ready for action. Part of our time at Dukes Barn has taught us not to be afraid of new things and to believe in ourselves, conquering our fears too. Miss Malik was so proud and impressed by the way we behaved and encouraged each other. All of that fresh air made us super hungry for our tea.
After a brilliant night’s sleep we all woke up ready for the legendary Dukes Barn breakfast. We were not disappointed ! Now feeling full of food and energy, The Owls met up with their instructor ,Phil, and were given caving outfits and helmets with head torches. Resisting the challenge to switch them on before we got to the cave, we hopped into the minibus and set off to Devonshire Mine in Matlock. We had a very steep walk, which is difficult in wellingtons, so we were all proud to reach the top and see the view over the Derbyshire hills. However, it wasn’t long before we swapped the light for the dark and climbed down the ladder into the mine. We were fascinated from the start. Our eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness and we loved the chance to twist, turn and squeeze through the natural caverns and chambers. We learned the importance of listening to instructions and why it is important to work as a team. Being first isn’t always the best place to be. We took turns to lead the group and loved it when we switched off our torches, relying first on candlelight and then when those were blown out, experiencing what pitch black really is. Having successfully navigated our way back to the entrance we were greeted with a sunny walk back to the minibus. Back at Dukes Barn we found we were hungry again and all enjoyed our sandwiches ,homemade cake and fruit.
Our final challenge of the day was an adventure walk up through Beeley Woods. Never have we seen so much mud ! Thankfully we were fully covered in overalls but we might have a few dirty socks where our wellies got stuck and our feet came out Owls loved the opportunity of climbing over and under fallen trees, sliding down muddy hills, crossing streams and just generally having a brilliant time. We took a quick stop for hot chocolate and biscuits before finding a new way back through the trees to get us back to Dukes Barn. Mrs Morley was really proud of everyone for their efforts and for not giving up when obstacles were tough. Once back, we were so dirty that we had to be hosed down before we could come back in the building!
All groups have just enjoyed a delicious tea of spaghetti bolognaise followed by cheesecake. We are just about to talk about our day before a bit of packing, souvenir shopping and finally watching a DVD in out pjs. We have had an amazing time and can’t believe it’s almost time to come home.
Oliver Price, Raheem Haque, Luke Sketcher, Rayhan Don, Joshua Devenport, Sam Prince, Emily Arsali, Scarlett Carter, Olivia Booth Unwin and Millie Childs.
Badgers day started with an adventure to Stanton Moor. The adventure walk turned out to be exactly that! As soon as we stepped off the minibus, our adventure started. We scampered through Heather and Bracken, set ourselves challenges clambering over the rocks and made fantastic obstacle courses for our friends. We fought our way through prickly bushes and sploshed into muddy puddles. Finally, we made our way to the beautiful nine ladies stone circle. We balanced and jumped through the stones. Eventually, we had a well earned rest with a hot chocolate and biscuits before making our way back to the minibus.
Joe Redgate, Sidharth Bhagat, Morgan Scott, Noah Turner, Alfie Ward, Olivia Mee-Yarborough, Jocelyn Russel, Eloise Jones, Sophie Hilditch and Edward Nelson.
Foxes started their first adventure to Temple Mine in Matlock. After a steep climb to the entrance door and a safety talk, we all switched on our headlamps and descended into complete darkness. Once the door was closed, we had to rely on team work to navigate through narrow gaps and tight tunnels. We experienced what it was like to be in complete darkness when we turned our torches off for a few moments and learnt about lead mining along the way. We loved looking at the crystals, stalactites and rock formations in the mine. We all worked brilliantly as a team and finally got back to the caves entrance.
Oliver Dukes, Jack Wray-Lang, Shraven Rajendran, Noah Shelley, Toby O’Neil, Ioan Marsh, Sam Wyatt, Maryam Khan, Ophelia Johnson and Sunny Powers.
The owls have made a fantastic start to their adventure. After lunch, we set off to Millers Dale bridge. Fantastic team effort meant that we carried all the helmets and harnesses together ready for the big challenge. Mrs Morley is really proud of everybody in the group who managed at least one abseil with some people even managing an extra tandem with a friend too. Although the bridge did look very high, everyone overcame their fears. Mrs Morley even heard the words ‘Epic’, ‘Awesome’ and ‘Wicked’. After having such a fantastic start, the owls are really looking forward to more challenges tomorrow.
We’ve all enjoyed a delicious tea, unpacked our suitcases and had a very dark torch walk through the village. Now safely back in our dorms, we’re getting ready for bed. Hopefully we’ll have a good night sleep!
Apologies for this appearing late, we tried earlier but we had lost our internet connection.
For those of you who are inspired by our history theme this term, here is the link to the Young Archaeologists' Club in Nottingham...