Calshot Day 4 and reflections

Having done the majority of packing on Thursday night, the children got up at the normal time of 7.00am on Friday morning. Bedding had to be left outside each room and then rooms inspected before bags were taken to the lounge. The children did a really good job in packing efficiently and leaving their rooms tidy..

After another big breakfast, the children went off to their activities. With the watersports over for the week, the groups were taking part in trawling, orienteering, shooting, archery, climbing, initiative tests and skiing. Lunch was either a fish filet or fish finger roll with a wide choice of accompaniments.

The afternoon was more of the same before we said our thanks and goodbyes to all the Calshot staff who have been so brilliant throughout the week. We made good progress back to school and arrived at 5.55pm.

From a teacher’s perspective, it was the best of the six trips I’ve been on. The staff, accommodation and food were all fantastic, and the children were challenged throughout the week. Everyone learned something and developed new skills. The children also proved themselves to be tidy, well organised and on time. Here’s to next year!


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Calshot: Day 3

It has been  a mixed day weather-wise at Calshot, but fortunately this has had no impact on the activities. Last night, the majority of children slept through a spectacular thunderstorm and everyone was up and ready for action following another huge Calshot breakfast.

Among the activities taking place today was kayaking, initiative tests, trawling, climbing, shooting, archery and skiing. Some of the highlights included included several children revealing themselves as real sharp shooters on the rifle range, Itai performing some amazing moves on the climbing wall and the trawling group finding a seahorse. This was such a rare discovery that lots of the Calshot staff came to look at what the children had found.

Lunch was very tasty dinner wraps and dinner was meat or veggie bolognese. With less than 24 hours until we leave Calshot, the process of packing has already begun. As I write this the children are either at a games evening or preparing for the egg drop.

Quote of the day from Katie Laker: “I saw Mr Stanley in his swimsuit and it was hilarious!”


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Calshot: Day 2

The expected first night disruptions never materialised. The children were all so tired that everyone was asleep by 10.00pm and no-one was up and about before 7.00am.

This morning was a bit misty and drizzly, but still fairly warm. Everybody had a big breakfast. There was a choice of bacon, sausage (and a veggie option) scrambled eggs, beans, hash browns, plus toast, yoghurt, cereals and fruit. This was followed by room inspections where apparently there were a lot of tidy rooms (parents take note!). After that groups were taking part in sailing, kayaking, orienteering, skiing, initiative tests and archery. Lunch was a choice of sausage roll or a cheese and potato pasty with all sorts of potato and pasta options to go alongside them.

This afternoon saw lots more action with more skiing, cycling, kayaking and sailing taking place before everybody met just before six for dinner. On the menu tonight was roast beef plus a veggie option.

Tonight, half the children are taking part in an egg drop challenge while the other half are experiencing rushing rockets. We had enough time for a brief circle time where the children talked about the activities that they had enjoyed so far. The overriding sense that we got from all of them was that they were really enjoying things that they hadn’t done before particularly when they discovered that they were quite good at them.

Tonight should be a very quiet night, there’s lots of tired children already. Tomorrow should be another full-on, but exciting day


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Calshot: Day 1

We’ve arrived at Calshot and had a busy first day. The journey down was very smooth (several children slept for much of the journey), but there was a spontaneous round of applause when Calshot came into sight.

We unpacked, met group leaders and were given a tour of the activity centre before lunch (a choice of burgers with pasta or jacket spuds). The weather was fab for sailing and kayaking, while the trawling groups found cuttlefish eggs and a pipefish worm as well as a selection of crabs and limpets. The climbing and skiing group also had a good afternoon.

Dinner was hunters chicken or veggie toad in the hole, and as I write the children are either taking part in a games evening or firing water rockets at various objects. Everyone seems fine and are having a good time.

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Day 5 Streatley Trip – Bucklebury Farm

There was lots of excitement this morning; everyone was looking forward to today’s trip to Bucklebury Farm. Prior to that though the hostel was a hive of activity with fantastic teamwork from everyone. Bags needed packing, beds needed stripping, the trailer needed loading with our entire luggage; and then there were all our usual daily chores of getting the breakfast organised and after that making sure everyone had a packed lunch.


We arrived at the farm and straight away the children headed for the drop slide, this is what they’d been waiting for and judging by the smiles on their faces it was worth their wait! Soon after we were taken for a tractor trailer ride around a field amongst several species of deer, we listened to a talk and the children were given the opportunity to hand feed them. We were fortunate enough to see a young deer which was only 45 minutes old!


The children then went to an area where they had a go at den building using the trees and sticks around them. Here they were also able to toast marshmallows on an open fire which had kindly been built for us.


Lunchtime then beckoned after which we had our final activity of the day, a tour around the farm. There were goats, donkeys and calves amongst many other animals which the children were able to interact with and feed.


It’s been a fantastic week what with all the wonderful places we’ve visited, and the knowledgeable people who’ve run activities for us. I personally have had an amazing time, thank you to KB and MG for making it so; I hope they’ve all had as much fun as me!


Mrs Prior


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Streatley Day 4

Today we went to Wantage Vale & Downland Museum and had lots of fun. We met this very nice volunteer, she told us where to go and where stuff is. We split up in different groups and went to learn about:

  • A Victorian farm kitchen,
  • Weaving
  • And Geology.

Then we had a break and some ice cream.


Then we drove to an ancient burial mound called Wayland’s Smithy and saw Sarcen’s Stone. Here we did some sketching and a maths activity. After that we walked along the Ridgeway to Uffington Iron Age Castle. Ancient myth says that Dragon Hill is where St George slayed the dragon. We carried on our walk to see the White Horse Hill. On the way and then we flew kites on the hill. Then we got in the mini-bus and drove back to Streatly.



Group D: Alex, Cameron, Sam, Oliver U, Harriet & Katherine

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Streatley Day 3 – Visit to Pitt Rivers Museum & Natural History Museum

Today in the morning we went to Oxford and using park and ride we caught a bus to Pitt Rivers Museum. Here we went with a lady who gave us some activities to do. She taught us to think about the things we were seeing and imagine who the items belonged to and what the person was like. We were allowed to explore the museum and then we went outside in the sun and had lunch on the grass.


After lunch we went back into the museum into the Natural History Museum, and met a man called Chris who loves bugs. He talked about how bugs keep us alive because without them we would be swimming in dead animals and animal poo. He showed us two giant millipede’s, some hissing cockroaches and a tarantula and we held them if we wanted to. He drew on his board an insect and all its body parts. Then we had worksheets to do about insects and bugs so we explored the museum to find the answers. After that we had to find an object to sketch and then we walked to the bus stop to get back to our minibuses and back to the hostel.


By Group A: Ethan, Oliver P, Brooke, Lily, Amelia & Sophie

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Streatley Day 2

Today we went to Blenheim Palace; the journey was long but worth it! We were taken on a tour by Mrs Norton. We learnt that there were 400 school boys evacuated to Blenheim and lived in the Palace during WW2. We also learnt that Winston Churchill was best friends with his cousin, the 9th Duke of Marlborough. There were lots of paintings and tapestries. We found out that John Churchill, the 1st Duke, was in all of the tapestries.  After that, we drew geometric shapes that we saw outside the Palace and in and around the gardens. After lunch, we rode on the train to the Butterfly House and Maze.  We saw some really big butterflies and some small butterflies. Then we went into the never ending maze. It was fun! We then went to Rollright Stones and wrote some poems. We got onto the buses and set off back to the Youth Hostel.

By Group B

Freyja, Ellie, Rose, Euan, Theo and Freddie.

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Streatley – Day 1

Today was the day of our journey to Streatley. There were two mini buses, A and B group were in a black bus and C and D group were in the white bus. When we got to the hostel, we dumped our bags in the lounge and made our way to Didcot railway museum. At the museum, we were split into our mini bus groups and did some activities to do with steam engines. The first person we met was Isambard Kingdom Brunel (a person who was dressed up as him!). He told us the history of the steam engine and how they were created. We sat in a third class carriage. In third class, there was no roof, just wooden benches. In second class, there was a roof but no windows, and in first class, there were windows, a roof and comfy chairs! Next we picked up some milk churns to see how heavy they were. Most of us thought that the milk churn we picked up was heavy when it didn’t have milk in it.


After lunch, we went to sketch things around us in the yard. In our small groups we got to go on a footplate of a tank engine and we were shown how to drive a tank engine.


After this we headed back to the youth hostel and unpacked our bags and had dinner, which was really good!


By group C: Tom, Hamish, Lois, Joanna, Phoebe & Amber

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Should we build the Parthenon?

In literacy we have been looking at balanced arguments and relating it to our topic on the Ancient Greeks. We held a debate on whether the Parthenon should be built or not and followed this up by writing our own balanced arguments.

Here are some of our balanced arguments:

Is it necessary to build the Parthenon?

Since the citizens of Athens defeated the Persians, many people have started to think of ways to celebrate their triumph. One of these ideas was to build a big temple for the goddess Athena, who is believed to have helped the Athenians win the war. This temple and statue would be to thank her for the gift of our victory. Our great leader, Pericles, backed up this idea, and decided to put our gift of money towards the building of the temple. However, some other citizens disagreed with this idea, and wanted our money to go towards funds for the city, such as weapons. One lord in Particular, Thucydides, supported this idea.

The first reason that the assembly gave was that Athena would be pleased; she deserves a gift for helping them win the war, and the temple and statue would be the perfect gift for their goddess. Also, no-one can deny the fact that they should have enough money to pay for the temple to be built; there will be a lot of money left over to put towards other things. Finally, it is unlikely that the Persians will attack again, so if they put the money towards weapons, they would be a waste of money because we won’t need to use them.

However, Athena can also be known as the goddess of simplicity, so she would just be happy with a smaller, simpler memorial. She would also be pleased because they have recognised her as goddess of simplicity. Secondly, they can never be sure if the Persians will attack again. They have a reputation for being tough and don’t like being beaten. Now Athens have defeated them, they have the perfect reason to seek revenge. They need the money for defences, and weapons, and not spend it on something that certainly won’t help them defeat the Persians or other attacking tribes once and for all. As well as that, Athena is also known and goddess of the battle and goddess of resources: she would be pleased if they  put the money to good use, and would be proud of them for concentrating on defeating the Persians.

To conclude, I think that we shouldn’t build the Parthenon because it’s a waste of money. The money, after all, was given with clear instructions: to use it on building houses and forging weapons, not building a large, unnecessary temple out of expensive materials such as gold and ivory. But, although I am thoroughly against the building of the Parthenon, if it became vital for it to be built, maybe the architects could build it with less expensive materials, such as marble and bronze, so Athens would still have enough money for essentials: houses and weapons.

By: Lois CA Causwell Boyle

Greek name for the argument: Melissa Nikos, citizen of Athens.


Should the Parthenon be built?

The Acropolis, a building which was very grand and beautiful destroyed in the war with the Persians. But was it grand enough to be rebuilt as the Parthenon. Pericles thinks think’s it’s a very good idea but Thucydides does not. This has caused and argument. We have to discuss it and find out if we will build it or not.

Since the temple will provide lots of jobs, I think it’s a very good idea. Then people can get jobs and earn money to live well. No one can deny Athena herself will be pleased. Athena gave us olive trees, which we can use for eating the olives, washing and so on. Athena will be very thankful if we built the Parthenon. Athens can look smart again. The war ruined all the nice and beautiful things around Athens. We need something which can stand out from all the rest. Egypt has got the pyramids and lots of other countries have things. Greece has got the statues of all the gods and goddesses but we need something big and bold.

Although there are many good reasons to build it the people also have some bad ones too. The money should be spent on other things, like the war or families which are having trouble with money. Some people fear that if we don’t protect our self then the war will be very hard and many people will get injured. Also some families with young children might not enough money and we could give them a small donation to live a nice life. As well as that, the building will be a complete waste of money, it at least could be a bite smaller or less   expensive materials on it. We got given the money not for a temple for us to live well and be happy. Others think that we should keep the money in treasury just in case the Persians come back when we are not expecting it.

Personally I think that we should not build the Parthenon because the money should be spent on the war. Although many people are religious, there are other places which just aren’t as big but can do the same thing. The temple will cost lots of gold, and all on another worshipping temple. If the Persians come back, we will not be ready and lose. The temple will be a waste of money. We got the money for the war, or anything that will help the people live well and be happy.

By Harriet Davy


Should we build the Parthenon?

After we defeated the Persians, many citizens of Athens believed that Athena helped in the war, and it is thanks to her that they won it. So someone suggested that we should build a sacred temple in her honour. The only way to get enough money to build the Parthenon, is to use the money the citizens put aside to for new weapons and armour. A lot of people agree with this idea, while others disagree. So, should we build the Parthenon?

“Athena will be pleased, as we are planning to build a great golden statue of her, covered in precious stones, in the middle of the temple. We owe her this much, for her precious gift and she also helped us defeat the Persians. So, I think we should build the Parthenon.”                                                                                                                     – Phillipus, citizen of Athens.

Athena means a lot to the people, and deserves this much and maybe more!! If it hadn’t been for Athena, Athens would have lost everything. Also, Athena gave us the gift of olive trees, which we use for cooking.

“We’ve got the money, so why not put it to good use? Anyway, Athens was once abandoned, we should do something to remember what Athens sacrificed.”                                                                              – Cilissa, citizen of Athens.

Athens would certainly look smart again, if the people were to build an impressive temple, such as the Parthenon. The citizens want to recognise what the people abandoned.

Citizens want to build the Parthenon, while others argue about it. After all, the people of Athens gave this money for more serious causes, not to decorate our city!

“And what if the Persians strike again? We won’t have near enough of money to buy new weapons, or armour! And Athena most certainly won’t help us this time. And supposing we do build the Parthenon, and the Persians do come back, it’s for sure that they will attempt to destroy the temple! As we would have used all our money on the Parthenon, we won’t have any left to defend it. I think it is a very bad idea to build this great temple.”                                               – Thucydides, citizen of Athens

Some citizens became and outraged when they found out that the money they gave was (probably) going to be used on an extra decoration on their city – and here is a point of view of one of them –

“Athens is already beautiful, our city doesn’t need extra decoration. After all, Athena is goddess of simplicity and intelligence. She doesn’t need a great big statue covered in rubies to please her!!”                               – Melissa, citizen of Athens

Many people believe that our goddess won’t want a statue made out of gold, or precious stones, and that building the Parthenon will just be a waste of money.

To conclude, I think that the Parthenon shouldn’t be built, as there is a chance that the Persians might strike again, also, the money should be used for new houses, weapons or armour.

Phyrra Nikos, citizen of Athens.

(Manon Rigault)







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