Year 5 Residential – PGL

Year 5 enjoyed a fabulous residential trip to Caythorpe Court PGL in Lincolnshire.  Returning to this popular centre, 40 eager Littlegarth pupils disembarked after an uneventful 3 hour journey in time for a slap-up lunch.  The food at PGL is excellent, offering a good choice of nutritious meals including a well-stocked salad bar.  On arrival the children were introduced to Reuben our group leader, a solid Solihull rugby player who had only been on active duty for four weeks. He proved to be excellent, looking after all our children with great care, attending to every need and leading them in many boisterous and catchy, repeat-after-me songs.


The activity programme began immediately with everyone (except Mrs Toleman, team Matron, and Mr Crame, official photographer) taking to the lake in colourful, sporty kayaks.  The children had great fun manoeuvring their little boats around the lake before playing several games to test their paddling skills.  Inevitably most participants ended up getting very wet.  They returned to the accommodation block for warm showers but steam from the bathrooms activated the fire alarm.  The ensuing evacuation served as a useful fire drill demonstration.  Once everyone had warmed up and washed, it was almost time for dinner.  Searching for country facts and flags around the whole site occupied the young explorers after dinner ensuring everyone was thoroughly exhausted by the time lights were switched off in the dorms at 21:30.  Amazingly, by 22:45 all was quiet, save for some gentle snoring.


The activity programme over the next two days was very busy with the boys and girls waking around 06:00 and having breakfast at 08:05.  Dormitory 9 impressed everyone by making their beds, opening the curtains, clearing the floors and tidying their room beautifully.  They were rewarded later that evening along with the tidiest girls’ dormitory.  Before that, beneath the big, bright April skies, our pupils shot air rifles, swung in pairs on the Giant Swing, clambered and scampered along the high ropes course, challenged themselves over the Challenge Course and tried not to get lost orienteering.  We thought they wouldn’t have the energy or stamina for their evening entertainment but following the slide-show of all the photos taken so far, prize giving and de-brief, they were ready for a game of real-life Cluedo involving centre staff playing the parts of witnesses and suspects.  The children charged around the grounds searching for clues and a particularly naughty pirate!?  Once again, they all went to bed completely worn-out and were sleeping soundly soon after 22:30.


The last morning dawned much damper and greyer than before but spirits were high and sunny.  All groups enjoyed two activities after breakfast, Giant Swing or a trip round the high ropes course, the challenge course or a turn in the archery range.  The safety and quality of instruction is exceptional.  We built burgers for lunch, an anticipated highlight, said our goodbyes to Reuben who was off to undertake some high rope training then boarded the bus for the non-stop trip home, arriving in good time to meet beaming, expectant mums and dads.


The Year 5 children were fantastic and enjoyed themselves enormously.  They were well behaved and made sure that they tried their hands at every activity.  The staff team, ably led by Mrs Atherton, all agreed that the Littlegarth pupils were well organised, well-mannered and great company to take away; absolutely no trouble at all.  This was a truly memorable and positive experience for everyone involved.