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We were away from school by around 10.30 and had a good journey with a lunch stop at Tebay services. As soon as we arrived we were met by Martin and Chloe who explained what was going to happen first. Bags into our rooms and beds to be made! Then we went to the kit stores to get our much needed wet weather kit. This included wellies, waterproof trousers, fleece jackets and waterproof jackets as well as balaclavas and mittens to help with the cold. 

Our first trip was to Brothers water where we had a walk along a river and looked at some of the huge old trees that had fallen in the recent storm. Here, everyone had the opportunity to experience the water… some even walked in up to their chests! We also had a competition to see if anyone could hold one hand in the water for a minute… it was so cold! After this, the group tried out their teamwork skills for the first time with a supported scramble up the banking and everyone got safely to the top. It was going dark by the time we got back to the centre and a quick change of footwear then in to the dining room for tea. The food was great and we were very well fed! In the evening we kitted up again and Martin and Chloe showed the group how to light a stove in order to boil water for hot chocolate. The students were all very sensible with this task. The last bit of the evening was a slice or two of toast and watching funny videos in the TV room. 

Tuesday 23rd January

The whole group had a great sleep and had to be woken at 7am ready for breakfast at 7.30. The staff encouraged the students to be as independent as possible with them supporting each other where necessary.  The weather conditions were ideal for us, so some of the activities had to be rearranged but Martin and Chloë kept us fully occupied. A full kit out, this time including wetsuit trousers and we set off for the other side of Ullswater in order to experience some river walking at Scale How. The students all did themselves and the school proud! Team work and safety was very important in this activity as the stream was very full and the water was very fast. The next most important thing was positive encouragement of each other. Although the water was cold, no one felt grumpy or miserable and we sang some songs on the way back to the minibus. Once back at the centre we had plenty of time for hot showers and a bit of ‘chill’ time before tea. After another great meal we kitted up again and set off to Aire falls for a night walk with head torches. This was a spectacular waterfall, in full flow and the experience of the sight and sound of the water at night was certainly a highlight of the trip. Back at the centre there was another opportunity to relax together in the TV and games rooms and then bed at 10pm again. 


Another excellent night for all. Breakfast, bags to be packed and beds to be stripped then kitted up and off in the minibus to the top of Kirkstone pass. This is the highest point of the road between Ullswater and Windermere and was a fabulous place for a short walk, thankfully not in the rain, to experience some wonderful wind and look at the views in both directions. Back to the centre, sorting out the kit, eating our packed lunches and then we were off. Everyone received a certificate and a thank you from Martin and Chloe. They have really enjoyed working with our students this week… they have done you and themselves proud! 

Highlights of the residential from the students

  • Ryan – it was the hot chocolate on the stove 
  • Tyler- when I slipped in the river and ended up sitting down and also the night-time walk to see the waterfall 
  • James – all of it! 
  • Declan – making hot chocolate 
  • Jake – making the hot chocolate by lighting our own fire 
  • Mackenzie – the scramble/ climbing the rocks at Kirkstone/ seeing the waterfall at night 
  • Ismail – I liked the food! 
  • Finlay – walking through the river with my friends  
  • Jacob – seeing the waterfall at night 
  • Daniel – I liked it all 
  • Kyle – all of it !